May 24, 2017
Today is day six! It is amazing that we have already been here for almost a full week. We have filled our days with rewarding and invigorating experiences, and the time seems to be flying by. Being in Thailand around such wonderful people makes me never want to leave and makes me want to come back and teach again sometime in the future.
Today we started by going to the elementary school for their morning assembly and it. was. ADORABLE!! So many cute children dancing and happy as can be… but there was a couple children crying for their parents (Which I can relate to). The children were broken up into three groups, normal day uniforms, ballerinas, and tae kwon do. The students do activities daily and get to switch between school, sports, and dance. I wanted to stay with the little kids the entire day but unfortunately we had to head out after an hour.
After the assembly, we went to the Hua Hin art village. The Village rested on a property that was formerly a residence and the oldest village in Thailand that has remained in its original place. There were multiple pathways that wove their way through a series of buildings and roofed areas. These pathways connected and intertwined with each other, allowing us to wander our way through the entire property without missing anything. It was interesting to learn that some of the buildings still reflected the architecture and style of a traditional Thai residence; though the property did have a few modern twists that catered to the current needs of buying and selling art.
Even after the few modifications, some of the rooms were open with very high ceilings, and others were adjusted to create studios. Each room and pathway was lined with a variety of media, entirely from the work of local artists. Some of the work included extravagant canvas paintings of sea life, and elephant sculptures crafted with intense detail. There was something unique and one-of-a-kind in every direction visible. Some of the artists were even working on new pieces in the same shops that they were selling out of. Seeing the artists at work was extremely impressive. It was also nice to be able to put faces to a few of the masterpieces. These artists were incredibly talented, and many of us purchased pieces to take home with us.
After the art village, I got to go ride elephants and luckily I got my favorite one!! She is a cute short little chubby one and has such a personality! She is super sassy and loves watermelon and bananas. Sara, Nicole, and myself as well as our teacher, Donna, all got to go together. We each got our own elephant and we got to ride them on this beautiful path. The elephants were so gentle and they were so much fun to be around! You don’t realize how far up you are until you are actually riding on their backs. I am so happy I got to experience this opportunity and it is something I wish I could do on a regular basis!
One cool thing I learned about my elephant is that she is being bought by a Swiss man and he is keeping her in Hua Hin but visiting monthly so she can stay with all her elephant friends and can be taken care of by the foundation.
After the elephant riding we went on to another sports camp. The girls are improving more and more each day and I love being able to coach them!
We ended the night with dinner on the beach. The owners of the restaurant had become friends with Ekk after he held lessons to teach their children English. We invited all of our new friends that we have made here in Thailand. This includes a few of Ekk’s students that have been interpreting for us, and our cooking teacher and her family. The food was excellent, and having everyone get together was a pleasure. It was a wonderful way to end another night here in Thailand.