Austrian volunteer Sandra enjoys experiencing the Thai Bai See ceremony.
I arrived to volunteer in Nong Khai on a Saturday evening to be greeted by two lovely smiling women from Mundo Exchange and the Thai Association Laekplian Lokgatat.
We walked to the volunteer house and they welcomed me with Bai sii Su Kwun traditional ceremony. This was then followed by a dinner in which we got to know each other a little better and discussed a plan for my stay.
The next morning began with Tak Baht, a wonderful way and ceremony to start the day, and it really did set the scene for the peaceful, kind and caring time I would have. Nalinrat and I then rode our bikes to visit Maechee Tunjaton to begin English lessons and meet more amazing caring people like Vanida, a Thai elder with an amazing story of her own.
During my stay I also had the pleasure of a road trip to Bueng Kan with Bobbi, Nalinrat and Mango the cat. This was only 130km but took 6 hours of fun, food and laughter. In Bueng Kan I had the pleasure of spending New Year’s Eve in a beautiful Wat on the Mekong and participated in meditation and chanting ceremonies under a divine full moon.
The New Year began with a bleassing and breakfast with the monks, nuns and local lay people. After breakfast Pra Arjan Uen (Satit) and I began our English tutorials, followed by the monks helping Nalinrat with some hard labour lifting heavy logs into the back of the utillity truck. I wonder if they are still in the back of the truck :)
All in all, I had a wonderful time in Isaan and left feeling Jai dee or good hearted and inspired.
This story was written by Sandra. She has also donated roofing for an Isaan project and hopes to return to learn and help more. She quickly integrated into our hearts, ways and Thai culture. Thank you Sandra for all you do and did for Thailand.