It comes as no surprise that I look up to Jessica Quinley for her Supreme dancing abilities….however it might shock you that I have been shadowing her and learning her ways of movement for quite some time now. I got the perfect opportunity to showcase my skills recently. Here in Thailand, where I invented dance I’m known as Papa (Cuts The Rug) Tawan. I owe it all to J-Quinley. Here, I pay my respects to my teacher…..thank you.
At the market by a local college there was one vendor who caught our attention. This specific vendor was frying and selling crickets, worms, and giant cockroaches. After excessive peer pressure and “carpe diem” eddying in the back of my head I pinched my nose and crunched into a worm. Honestly, it didn’t taste like too much; kind of had the consistency of a hot fry and the taste of a potato chip However, as you might know, I’m quite insectophobic so this was a BIG deal for me. In hindsight, I’m glad I did it. I want to be a sponge to everything Chiang Rai can offer me. On the other hand I probably wont be crunching into handfuls of worms like the natives do. ;) Cherio mate.
…my first but certainly not my last encounter with the Akkha children. The following day we climbed a mountain (err, big hill). When we got to the top the kids attacked Jonny and I (I’ll post a link to a video of that soon), then I carried two Akkhan kids all the way down the “mountain” on my back…like a mule. This morning I awoke to nearly a dozen of the village kids crawling into our hut screaming again. Needless to say, my weekend was adventurous.
On January 1st of 2010 I began to scribble in a new chapter of my life. This chapter was introduced by 25 hours on seemingly endless flights and sleepless layovers in multiple airports. On January 3rd I arrived at my final destination in Chiang Rai, Thailand. The following three months will be spent exploring, learning, and worshiping ushered by Media Light Institute.
My first day here I knew it would be an unforgettable adventure. I nearly ran off the plane to meet my good friends, the Quinleys, who were waiting on me inside. We hugged and savored each other as we drank airport coffee together. We loaded up and got in the car. On the way to their house we passed rice, tea, and tobacco fields, Buddhist temples, and quaint buildings that more resemble tree houses than homes. After that my day was spent fishing and riding motorcycles, which was all in all, quite an enticing first day. I fell asleep around midnight (12 noon in the states) severely jet lagged.
The next day I woke up in the house next to the Quinleys, showered, and made some breakfast. After that I went outside to join my room mate Jonny for some morning reading. Later on we rode to the elephant village only to be given some disappointing news that the elephants had been put away for the day. We decided to detour to a waterfall in the jungle, however, by the time we got there and walked almost a mile into the jungle to where the waterfall was it was minutes from being completely dark. CARPE DIEM!! Brooke, J-rex, Jonny, and I stripped into our bathing suits, charged the mountain of rocks we had to climb down, and plunged our shaking bodies into the frigid water. Accredited to the height and degree of the waterfall, the wind made it nearly possible to walk into the shower of water. Eventually I pushed my way farther and farther until I was directly underneath the roaring faucet-painful. I continued through to end up behind the waterfall. It was absolutely beautiful. “Thailand so far,” I thought, “is a book worthy of reading.”
Day three was a much needed lazy day. We hung around the house and rested for until the sunlight slipped away. We played games under the dinner hut and simply enjoyed our friends around us. Dinner was being prepared as we sat on the loft outside, sipped our tea, and watched the mountains receive the sunset. We ate the exquisite food that atae reina cooked for us and then laughed ourselves to tears playing catchphrase for hours.
Today I moved my stuff from the house near the Quinleys to my dorm room at (MLI) Media Light Institute. It was an interesting experience meeting the people I will be spending every waking moment with for the next 3 months. There is Joshia from India, Aim from Thailand, EunHae from Korea, along with a smorgasbord of others. I can already tell after just a few short hours together that when I leave in April, I will be leaving a part of my family.
We had Orientation, rest time, and then headed to the night market for dinner, seafood fried rice, street meat, Thai tea…………and a deep fried worm!! I ate it….I almost peed myself but I did it- due to slightly intoxicating peer pressure and a little whisper in the back of my head “carpe diem”. Keep reading, I’ll keeping seizing the day. More stories, pictures, and videos to come.