In the second leg of our trip in Chiang Rai, we met with a organization called the CRRU Hmong Student Club. CRRU you stands for Chiang Rai Rajabhat University and the club is for Hmong students, who are in the minority at the university. This gives theses students to a close group of people that they can relate to and help out the community in many different ways. We learned about the university and the history of the students enrolled in it.
With the CRRU Hmong Student Club, we had the opportunity to work with them and visit a local Hmong village, that was struggling to gather water because of the low water supply that they were experiencing. The plan for the day was to build water reservoirs up the stream for them to be able to gather their water from. It was awesome to see how the whole village and community came together to embark on this trip and complete this task. This involved a long, treacherous hike up the mountain to get to the spot and Ill tell you what, as someone who is afraid of heights, it took a lot of courage to get past some points in the trail. Once getting to the location, we began the process of making 2 reservoirs. Even though, we could’t speak the same language as them, they truly let us be involved and helped direct us through hand motions and gestures. I know I speak for us all when I say they truly made us feel like we were apart of their community and not an outsider or visitor.
This part of our trip was really fulfilling and eye opening , certainly for me, and I sure the others as well. To see all the work that had to be put in by the community to just get access to water was truly amazing. It really makes you sit back and think of how easy we have it and fortunate we are to not have to worry about this kinds of things in America. Any time I think I may have it hard, I will look back on this experience and think about how well off I really have it. It made us feel a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment to be able to help them complete this task and truly make an impact even if it may have not been the biggest. I learned, that community is very important to be able to successfully survive and provide for you village. They truly are like a family and it was definitely felt throughout that experience. Thai people welcome others with open arms and make you feel at home and is something I will try and do more throughout my life.