Since landing in Thailand, the feeling of being in a foreign country seemed so surreal. However, now it has really hit me of how far away I am from home and how this country has become my temporary home. Through all the friendships I have made and peers I have met on this beautiful journey, Thailand has been amazing thus far and words cannot explain how I feel.
Growing up in a rather traditional Hmong family, I have seen my mother garden for multiple years now. As a way of earning extra income, my mother grows vegetables to sell at the weekend flea market near our home. My mom’s garden reminds me of the agriculture in the Hmong village in the Chiang Dao district that we visited yesterday. I have always wanted to visit a Hmong village and reconnect with my roots. As I was looking into the scenery upon entering the Hmong village, I saw mountains in the distance. After clearly looking among the mountains, I noticed there were acres upon acres of land for gardening/farming. Later on I learned that the Hmong people in the village do agriculture in those mountains. There is a road they travel on by truck in order to get to the land. A portion of the agriculture they do is for selling in order for the village people to make a living as well as other things.
Driving up in the mountain to visit their land used for farming made me feel very sentimental. My immediate reactions to seeing the village and garden was that in a way, I felt a little closer to home. From listening to my parents talk about their qub teb, qub chaws (pronounced ‘qhu-thay-qhu-kaw’) or old home place of Thailand and Laos, they would mention how their village and scenery looked like for me as a little child. They would also describe the acres of land used for farming and growing food to eat. From this experience, I saw the connection from the agriculture and land for farming relative to my mom’s acres of farming land. Seeing the squash vines from their agriculture land they let us tour made me think of how happy my mom would be if she were to see them. I know the greens from the gardens, acres upon acres of land, and beautiful mountain scenery would excite my mother if she were to be there with me and remind her of home as well.