Sawadee ka thuk thuk khn!! Hello everyone!!
The first week of learning and experiencing familiar (because I was born in Thailand) and different things in Thailand seemed surreal and heartwarming. From what I have experienced and learned thus far, the balance of life, as I agreed with the monk from our Monk Chat when we visited Wat Suan Dok, is my focus for this blog.
First, helping the less fortunate is something is a kind act that people should practice but there needs to be a balance in terms of how one serve or help. On Tuesday, I learned about the seven tips to protect children: treat children as children and not a tourist attraction; look for better ways to volunteer with children; do not give to begging children; call professionals to help children because they know best; report child sex tourism; report child labor; and be a ChildSafe Traveler. These tips reminded me that there needs to be a balance of how I can help children so that I am not perpetuating the cycle of children un-safety.
ChildSafe Speaker: M.
Secondly, learning how to cook the three Thai dishes at the Thai cooking class called Cooking@Home evoked the theme of balance for me as well. As a Hmong daughter, I considered myself an “education” daughter and not a “traditional” Hmong daughter. This means when it comes to education and cooking, I put all my time and effort into studying and doing school related activities and not on cooking. So yes, I am not a cook like my mother. As a Hmong daughter, I feel shameful when I think about my cooking skills. I want to be good at both school and cooking. Recently, I have come to a realization that I need a balance between studying and cooking. One reason is because I will not live with my parents for the rest of my life, for I will get marry and go live with my husband (and his family). Connecting back to the cooking class, I was inspired when the instructors emphasized that people have different tastes and so one can adjust the spice or substitute ingredients according to their preference when one cooks. This means balance to me. This actually inspired me to learn how to cook (from my mother and older sister) when I get back home. I look forward to using my time and effort in both the school and kitchen.
Tum Yum Koong Sour and Spicy curry
I felt blissful when we visited Suksasongkroh Chiang Dao School because I got to see Hmong, Lahu, Karen, Thai, and other tribal students, as well as talking with one of the teachers. From my observations, the students seemed shy but I also felt that they were excited to meet us, too. The small group talks and large group activities together were fun and diverse — I enjoyed every moment of it. There were many so-called balance examples from this memorable interaction, but I want to focus on the theme of balance of the strict rules of the school. The rules of the school were strict but I learned one of many reasons why during the teacher interview. It is because of balance. The students in this school are at risk whether it be being an orphan, an abused victim, and abandoned child. Thus, to ensure fairness, protection, and minimize problems within the students, the school set strict rules. This is a balance of the school; it is also something I consider “love for all children.”
Silly photo: my afternoon group at Suksasongkroh Chiang Dao School.
Finding the balance between two or more things is important because it can be harmful and destructive when one fails to interact or support children in the professional, best, respectful, and non-harming ways. It can be embarrassing and devaluing, for I do not yet have a balance between my education and cooking skill. It can be to control problematics behavior and situations, for the rules in the Suksasongkroh Chiang Dao School are strict. Overall, the first week of Thailand has provoked the importance of balance for me. I look forward to the next two weeks to find or analyze balances in the activities and knowledge I gain.
Kwap kuv ka thuk thuk khn!! (: