May 21, 2017
Today is our third day in Thailand! This morning we attended mass on the campus. The mass lasted about an hour and it was beautiful inside! The church has high ceilings and purple amethyst geodes leading up to the alter. The choir consisted of Thai men, woman, and children. The children had beautiful voices and my heart melted when a little boy came up to do his solo! During the mass, Father talked about how we are all connected through technology and DNA. He talked about how even if you have not met someone you can learn so much about them through social media and also, if you have not met someone, you are related through DNA, through God.
After the mass, we went up for communion. It was very different here because there is no wine, and you have to bow down to the father before taking the communion. Also, since most of Thailand is Buddhist, it was interesting to see how many catholics were present from all over the world visiting.
After the mass let out, we came back to change and headed to the national park. The national park has a waterfall, called Pala-U, and it has 15 levels to it, although you are only allowed to go up to level ten. The ride was about an hour and when we got there we stopped for lunch at this little place on the hills. The view was beautiful and blooming with life.
One thing that I noticed is that the Thai people are very relaxed and time is not an issue with them. They are in no hurry and we learned that when ordering our food. I ordered papaya salad, and egg rolls… which were amazing! Also, we got an order of pineapple fried rice to share and it was not what any of us were expecting. It had this shredded pork on the top which looked more like cotton balls and the rice turned our mouths yellow… needless to say, it was pretty gross.
After lunch we headed to the waterfall. When we were driving there, we were informed that we had to be gone by dusk because wild elephants and tigers venture out at night and can be very aggressive… pretty scary!!
Once we made it to base of the trail we had to start hiking to get up to the waterfall. This hike was much more intense then I originally thought! We moved through the jungle at a slight jog in a single file line due to the small path way. We only really slowed down when we had to uses ropes to scale across a rock face without falling. Once we reached the waterfall the cool water and beautiful veiw was worth the mud, sweat and sore feet! We swam, took pictures, and squirmed at the fish touching our feet. The hike back down was a little easier because I knew what to expect and we moved at a leisurely pace. This hike was amazing, nothing what I expected but everything that I was hoping for.
In the evening we attended the cicada market for some dinner and late night shopping. There was a small live band and we were able to surprise Sara and have the band preform. We had no idea what to expect but they pulled us over to the “stage” (area of grass in front of the band) and we danced and got to celebrate her birthday with her! it was such an awesome experience. Also, I got the best pomegranate tea I have ever had and fried bananas with chocolate and almonds on top… so yummy!