Pre-departure Excitement!

In the months and hours leading up to our orientation at the Wat Temple in Elk River, I became increasingly eager and nervous to 12733389_10206863612602982_3261109381562977513_nlearn more about our trip to Thailand and meet the strangers who will eventually feel like family to me  (or so I’ve heard from past students who have gone on this trip). During the drive from Minneapolis to Elk River, I found myself fidgeting with the radio and tapping my fingers on the steering wheel more often than usual as I worried about getting to the temple on time and what the other students would be like.  But during my time at the Wat Temple, I felt so at ease, and now I’m even more excited to go to Thailand! Being at the Wat Temple also made me realize that I need to be a lot more aware of Thai culture before we go, and I have a lot more to learn. Like, I had no idea that as a woman I cannot touch a monk, which I started to catch onto as the day went on. I also didn’t know that I wasn’t supposed to point my feet towards a monk until Dr. Solheim pointed it out. I have a feeling that during this trip I will be having a lot of (good) learning moments like that, where I’m unknowingly doing or saying something improperly. Along those same lines, my main learning goals for this seminar are to become more aware of how my cultural background influences my perceptions of the world and to see the world using a different cultural lens.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone again and getting to know you better!

3 thoughts on “Pre-departure Excitement!”

  1. Anastasia,

    I really liked your honesty of your anxiousness towards going to Thailand; it is something that I, too, feel. Something that stood out to me from your post was when you mentioned being aware of Thai cultural norms, like no feet pointing towards the monk. I also think that little things like this to be something that will teach me a lot about learning and experiencing a different culture.

    Looking forward to getting to know you better! Thanks for a great post 🙂

    – Lizzy

  2. Anastasia,
    I can relate with being more aware of what Thailand will have in store for us before we go. I think that the orientation at the Wat Temple gave us more insightful outlook on the Thai culture, language and food. It’s the little things in life that matters the most, and the little things we learned at orientation definetely opened my eyes. I look foward to meeting everyone else as well. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Anastasia,

    “… to become more aware of how my cultural background influences my perceptions of the world and to see the world using a different cultural lens.” Excellent informing quote. Each time I come to Thailand, I try hard to be a respectful visitor, and i am aware of how Western I am, like an elephant trying to do a graceful pliat. Thoughtful post.

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