We are in Thailand. It took us about 24 hours to get here since the flight was very long (about 13 hours to Japan or Taiwan for a connecting flight, and then another 5 hours to Bangkok, plus a few hours of layover and transportation to and from airport adds up to about 24 hours).
After breakfast we started our day with social activities. Our hosts arranged for bus transportation to the Rose Garden. This was a great social activity since students were divided into teams and each team completed a task that tought them something about Thai culture and allowed them to get to know each other. It was a full hands-on experience and practical immersion, and it included:
• rice husking with traditional “low-tech” tools,
• traditional weaving using coconut leaves,
• bamboo dance (teams jump over bamboo sticks to the beat of the chants – my favorite and most fun to watch),
• orchid garland making,
• Thai herbal compress where different ingredients are mixed together,
• making of pottery figures,
• painting of umbrellas, and lots of other kitchen/cooking challenges.
The garden has a few elephants, so after our busy morning, students were able to ride elephants for a small out-of-pocket fee. Some students decided to feed elephants with bananas or suger cane. After a tasty group lunch with Thai specialties, we visited a local museum called Siam Museum. After a full day with lots of fun activities, we have a couple of hours to get ready for the official opening ceremony that starts on Wednesday evening. Greetings from Thailand.