Hostels are booked, bags are packed, and transportation is arranged. We are finally ready to depart on our month-long backpacking adventure through most of mainland Southeast Asia. Highlights will include Koh Pha Ngan, Chiang Mai (for Songkran, the water festival), Sukhothai, Ayuthaya, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Phnom Penh. I’m not sure if I’ve packed nearly enough clothes for the trip (my backpack is the lightest it’s ever been) but I suppose this is the warmest climate I’ve backpacked too.
I’ve occupied myself the past two days by biking to Pla Pak Noi and Wang Yang villages to deliver letters to my sixth graders. They graduated from elementary school this semester and since I won’t see them in school when I get back, I wanted to say goodbye. I got this idea from Val, another WorldTeach volunteer in Thailand, who also delivered mail to her students a few weeks ago.
These trips into the villages gave me a unique perspective of my students’ lives outside of school. Many of them were taking care of younger siblings, cooking, and performing other duties that made them seem so much older than they are. I also met grandmothers, uncles, and parents along the way. Here’s a great picture of my mail delivery assistants who led me around Pla Pak Noi village yesterday:
Well our bus arrives in a few hours so I better run and finish getting ready. I will try to update along the way when I have internet access, but no promises. Enjoy the warmer weather back home (I hear it is finally feeling like spring) and I look forward to posting pictures when I return.