Christmas break from school has been many things. Relaxing, no. But interesting, educational, and enlightening, yes. It’s hard to believe that I am in my third week of Christmas break already.
I had been hoping to be able to get into one of the refugee camps along the Thai/Burmese border over my Christmas break. This has been a dream of mine for a long time, but I’ve never had the time off long enough to do it, whether it was time off from work or from school. This didn’t work out for this break, though, so I was left with a variety of other options.
One of my first ideas was to make donuts to sell over my Christmas break. Has it been successful? Not sure how to answer that question. Yes, I have made some money, but it’s been more tiring than I expected. However, it’s been delightfully refreshing to my brain to be able to do something with my hands while letting my brain wander, pray, or listen to poetry or music.
Then there was our Christmas party with our Thai cell group from church. We had it at our house and invited friends outside of the group, played some games, shared a short version of the Christmas story, and ate tons of amazing food.
I also picked up several hours of teaching during the break. A friend knew of a young woman who was wanting to study English. Next one of her friends wanted to study as well. So, along with some of my regular teaching, I also had some extra one on one teaching. I have loved getting to know these students; they are young ladies who are very interested in learning English and are lots of fun.
My friend Amy is back visiting in Thailand too, after moving home last year. Getting to see her again and have some good chats with her have been fun.
There are several highlights that especially stand out from my Christmas vacation. It’s not over yet, so some more highlights might still pop out. However, in looking back, I can almost narrow it down to three main favorites: the EMA student graduation, my trip to a Kachin village in Northern Chiang Dao with a college friend, and a 4 day bike trip into the mountains that my sister and I did. I hope to blog more extensively about these in the next week or so, so look for some posts on these in the future.
But for now, here are a few peeks of photos.
Baan Mai Samakki, the only Kachin village in Thailand:
Dten Rom Manao is a festival that happens once every several years.
Not far from the Kachin village is a Chinese village, Arunothai, about 15 minutes from the Thai/Burmese border. While these people live in Thailand, their children’s first language is Chinese and they still practice many aspects of Chinese culture. Below is a boy from that village.
My friend’s grandfather beside their fire.
A sister trip from Chiang Mai city to Doi Intanon, to Khun Yuam to Mae La Noi, and from there to Mae Chaem:
Coffee made on the fire at Baan Mae Klang Luang, a Karen village on Doi Intanon.
Drinking more coffee on Doi Intanon.
A sister shot early in the morning as mists were rising from a valley close to Mae La Noi, Mae Hong Son.
On a morning jaunt through the mountains of Mae Chaem at the Karen homestay on the last day of our trip.