I met a group consisting of 12 people in Chiang Mai that I was to be leading for the next 2 1/2 weeks at the orphanage. We left civilization and made our way up north, through emerald hills and winding roads, to fang where kids' orphanage lies. It's always strange leading a group of people to a place you've never visited before but I went with the flow and all was well.
I met a group consisting of 12 people in Chiang Mai that I was to be leading for the next 2 1/2 weeks at the orphanage. We left civilization and made our way up north, through emerald hills and winding roads, to fang where kids’ orphanage lies. It’s always strange leading a group of people to a place you’ve never visited before but I went with the flow and all was well.
Both the staff and 42 orphans are absolutely lovely and we felt at home in no time at all. It’s been a complete life-style make-over with my average day beginning at 5 am and going non-stop [teaching English, playing with kids, more English teaching, etc] until 8.30 pm…by which point I was usually completely knackered and collapsed into bed! The people I’m working with are great fun…the staff at the orphanage sweet…and the actual kids are incredibly lovely. Such cute, loving, free kids.
The days are long but I actually go to bed at night feeling fulfilled…something which I haven’t experienced much of in the past year. It’s actually quite refreshing to be so far removed from modern technology and just be surrounded by gorgeous nature instead. Dare I say, I am actually enjoying the stillness of being up before the sun rises and seeing a few snakes, fire-flies and all kinds of amazing creatures. A random cultural occurrence took place last week: Jay asked three of us to accompany him to a local funeral…I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity…so off we went, with a few of the orphanage staff. I was quite surprised to see that the “funeral” appeared to be the village social gathering of the century! There was music going, tables set up outside for food & refreshments, people gathered in all kinds of colourful attire, a movie station set up in the corner for kids…and then a Buddhist ceremony going on inside.
We were ushered into the ceremony room and soon surrounded by smiling grannies sipping on Red Bull and chewing tobacco/tea leaves! Quite bizarre…everyone seemed to be in the highest of spirits, smiling and joking. People were donating money to the widow; the amount and donor was then broadcast through a mic to the crowd!! Soon enough some monks [teenagers] turned up for the actual ceremony. Bizarre! We were forced to chew on some vile salty tea leaves…had to swallow them since there was nowhere to dispose of them…my tummy didn’t feel too good the next day! It was one of those glorious experiences that most ‘backpackers’ don’t get to experience.