16 students embarked on the trip of a lifetime from Mar. 30-Apr. 7. Members of the DHHS Travel Club travelled to Chiang Mai, Thailand, located in Northern Thailand.
After a long flight with a layover in China, the students embarked on a drive through the mountainous region to the base house. Rustic Pathways, an organization that works to sends students abroad, housed the group in the base house where teenagers who live in the surrounding villages live so that they can attend school.
Mae Sariang is the region in Thailand where the majority of the trip was held. The locals are a part of the Karen people, an ethnic group known to the region.
The group participated in a multitude of activities, such as visiting a Buddhist temple, weaving with locals and learning Muay Thai.Mornings were spent tending to the on-site garden; part of the student’s community work was to help to teach the locals English.
Each student was paired with a “buddy,” a Thai student who was the same age as them. This activity was meant to build relationships and teach each group of students about new cultures via games and other events.
“My favorite part was being able to interact with Thai kids and learn about their daily lives to see the differences between their culture and ours,” says junior Aidan Rice. “I learned to be grateful and that being kind and happy can break any barriers, whether it’s cultural or religious.”
Traveling so far away from home, the students were deeply immersed in the culture. “My favorite part was getting to know the Thai kids and seeing how they don’t need a lot to be happy,” comments senior Molly Copp.
The students learned local manners, etiquette, how to greet people in Thai and indulged in the local cuisine. Aidan Rice adds, “The food was so delicious!”
The most popular part of the trip was going to visit the Elephant Nature Park, which is the home to elephants that are taken care of ethically.
There, the group helped to bathe and feed elephants. Junior Sean Treichler expresses: “being in the presence of all those elephants in the sanctuary was one of the most awe-inspiring moments of the entire trip.”