Around the world

Around the world; a Nation Hopper's journy to teach on all 7 continents.

Friday, September 30, 2011


Did you know that a banana tree only produces one bunch of banana’s before dying? P Ui  told me via Nathan that there are over 30 species of banana trees in Thailand. 
A tree starts growing and produces a flower (the big almond looking thing on the tree) from which the bananas grow. 
As the first tree is growing, baby trees spring up around the base of the first tree. These baby trees will produce fruit when the first tree dies. While the baby trees are growing, baby-baby trees will grow around them, repeating the cycle. 
With the baby trees spouting before the first tree dies, there is always a supply of bananas. I don’t remember if P Ui said bananas grow year round, or if its just during this season. I want to say that the bananas are a year round thing, but I’m not one hundred precent sure. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


This morning there was this huuuuge moth on the wall of one of the unfinished houses. It was nearly twice the size of my hand. The girls told me it's called a psua, which from my understanding means demon shirt. I was completely wrong. Nathan said I was right on base with the definition of the name. P (when said in a low pitched tone) is demon, and sua is shirt. But when you put them together in reference to a moth, it comes out meaning butterfly (which is the name Thai's also give to moths). 

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Had a pretty amazing day. I went with Jack, Sue, and Nathan into Korat for a shopping day in this mall that was ridiculously huge. Three stories, complete with waterfall (Cause really. It's not a mall with out a waterfall), food court (with places such as Dunkin' Doughnut's, KFC, Pizza Hut, some ice cream place based in San Fran, McDonald's, and one other place whos name escapes me), a grocery store, an Ikeaesque store, and more clothing stores then anywhere.

There were soooo many people to look at, clothes to browse through. And sooo much noise, it was so loud. Sue and I walked off while Jack and Nathan meandered around for a while before having lunch at the Pizza Company, which is a rival pizza place of Pizza Hut. The food was pretty good. I had a salad with quail eggs that was delish. But it's pretty hard to mess up a salad. We then went to the grocery store. There was a lot of Western food, ie. Taco seasoning, tortillas (why was I not in Korat for fajita night?!), brie (Thai's do not eat bread or cheese), and kit-kats.

After shopping all day we went back to Jack and Sue's ac filled house and started a documentary called Food Inc. We only got maybe 45 mins into it, but I am very interested in watching the rest of it. It's a documentary on where our food comes from in the States, the process and so on. It was really interesting and very, well. You probably wont want to eat meat after watching it.

Joy took us to the nicest restaurant on the man made reservoir for dinner. The weather was lovely, cool with no rain. We sat on the patio for a good two hours just chilling. Sue and I talked about India. I'm getting very excited about going. 12 more days! Sue told me about all her teachers and what the weather is going to be like. I'm very excited, its going to be dramatically different from Thailand, so many new things to see and do.

Friday, September 23, 2011

New picutres

I've been pretty bad about uploading pictures the last few weeks. Mainly because nothing terribly exciting has happened to take pictures of. But I just uploaded everything on the camera onto my flicker acount.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

'Fagitas'. It's what's for lunch.

Holy crap today was busy. I honestly think this is the first time I've stopped moving all day. P Ui and I went to the market this morning... No, I have to start at the beginning. There will be a party at the big house on Friday for everyone who has a birthday in September. I have been asked to make some American food, for 40 people. Now, I do not have the patience to sit and grill 40 burgers, nor is there a grill big enough. So I decided on fajitas and black bean and corn lettuce wraps (one of my favorite things to make at home). I talked with Nathan and Joy (Joy has a stand at the morning market and speaks ridiculously good English. I had lunch with the two of them yesterday.) and they felt reasonably sure I could find everything I needed, except for tortillas, which makes sense. So I googled a recipe and decided that since I am a New Mexican, making tortilla's should be. Like, in my blood, right? I thought it would be a good idea to do a test run to make sure I could actually make everything mentioned above so that way, come Friday, we were not stuck eating toast with peanutbutter and bananas.

Back to the market. P Ui and I buy blackbeans, corn, lettuce, a bucket of garlic, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, flour, etc etc. All the things needed to make pork fajitas (yes, I know pork is not normally used to make fajitas but its what everyone here eats.). We get back to the house at 9:15 and P is surprised when I tell her I'm going to get started. But it took 2 hours and 45 mins to make everything. P and Yi Op helped wash and chop veggies. Yi helped me make salsa via mortar and pestle, the meat was sitting in lime juice and garlic in the fridge, the corn was kerneled by hand, and the beans cooking. It was time to make the tortillas. I had the recipie, I had the ingredients. I did not have measuring instruments. I used a bowl to measure out cups of flour, and eyeballed the salt, baking powder, and veggie oil. I was sooo skeptical as I flattened out the dough. But I put the wok on the stove and cooked the first tortilla. Imagine my surprise when it came out tasting exactly like a tortilla! Haha! Everyone from the office (Ging, Walai, Blah, P Pete, Khun Rut, Noo, and Nathan) came over for lunch. Khun Rut, Ging, Nathan, Walai, and P Ui were the only ones who liked my 'fagitas', everyone else had rice and Thai soup.

I had a lesson with the staff and it went really well considering I had spent all morning in the kitchen instead of preparing a lesson. They read through their homework, I split them into groups and gave each group a stack of cards. On the cards were words that, when put together told a story. They had to put the words together to make a story, keeping in mind all the grammar stuff that I am oh so good at (again, heavy sarcasm). The two stories turned out very different and they were even more surprised when I brought out the original and showed them that even though we all had the same words, when put together differently they make completely different stories. I hung out at the office before the little girls got back from school. It's been pouring since the end of the staff lesson, so I couldn't take the girls outside for some games. They were having such a hard time focusing and it was pretty tough coming up with fun games to play inside.

Jack and Sue got here today. They came by at the tail end of the lesson. Jack, Sue, Nathan, Walai and I went back to the big house for dinner. We had left over 'fagitas' and I ate toooo many tortillas, I couldn't help it. They taste like home. Now it's to bed for me, even though its only 8:30 :)

Countdown for India begins! 17 days! Walai told me that I had better come back, or she will fly out to India and kiddnap me!

The cook's husband killed a snake today! It was about 2 1/2 feet long and green. He wailed on it with a broom, I don't know how it was still alive when he threw it over into the next property. That's the first live snake I've seen. Knock on wood.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The lake

Nathan, P Ui, P Petsamai and I went to a lake for a little 'free time'. The lake was gorgous. There were these little bungalos on the edge of the water. They had a table and pillows to sit on. It was a nice place to just chill. I wanted to get in and swim, but didn't have my suite. I've been told we will be going back and taking the girls with us for a swim. I'm really looking forward to it.

We ordered an early dinner, which was a fish as big as my arm, fried squid, some weirdly colored rice cake things, and a bowl of cashews. The ants loved the cashews, Nathan loves the ants. Much to everyone's surprise (mainly the P's) I loaded my plate with the spicey sauces. One was particularly good and tasted a bit like salsa. The squid was hands down my favorite. 

Nathan doesnt like fish, and all the dishes on the table include fish. P Ui presuaded him to try some. The following pictures of Nathan trying a bit of fish. 

Keep in mind he hasn't put the fish in his mouth yet.


There we go 

Despite the look, he actaully like it. 

The view was beautiful. Some pictures of the rest of the stay. 
P Petsamai

Nathan, P Petsamai, P Ui 

P Ui, me, P Petsamai

I pushed a wind chime out of the way for a picture and it was crawling with spiders. This bugger nearly ate my hand. 

Friday, September 16, 2011


In addition to the novel I just wrote, today has been the BEST. DAY. EVER. (I've made soo many spelling mistakes because I'm typing too fast. Thank you spell check)

-My lesson with the staff went over by 45 minutes today because we were having too much fun.
-I got the dates for my departure to India (Oct 8th) and return to Thailand (Nov 17).
-I've received the holy grail of esl sites, tips, games, and everything esl from Gayle (with more to come)

-Been praised for my teaching skills (if that is what you wish to call them). 
-Noi is no longer afraid of me, she actually hugged me today. 

-The older girls can understand me 90% of the time if I speak slow and stick to topics covered in class.
-My book is 99% finished.
-I am 193487412u32un4343u% happy.

This my friends, is the definition of perfect.


As of tonight at midnight I have been in Thailand for one whole month, and what a fantastic month it’s been! I cannot believe the many wonderful things have happened in four short weeks. I have made handfuls of new friends, been ‘adopted’ into three wonderful families, have had the pleasure of teaching some of the brightest girls I have ever met, and gotten to peek into a world I’ve only read about. 
Sitting at the kitchen table and having one of the girls run up to me and ask me a question, understand the answer, and then run off to tell the others, or come up to me and list off the words we learned in class that day, or to hear them singing ‘head shoulders knees and toes’ softly to themselves while they do their homework is priceless. 
Having the staff come up to me and start a conversation, seeing how comfortable they are speaking English, hearing how the words flow together more naturally then before, surprised to hear them rattle off new vocabulary they learned on their own has become an addiction. 
I am more sure then ever this is what I want to do with my life. I realize working with children, teaching them, loving them, leading them is a gift someone has thought to bless me with. It doesn’t matter if I am in a pool teaching them to blow bubbles, or in a room teaching them English. This is what I’m good at. This is what I want to spend the rest of my life doing. 
Four weeks doesn’t seem right. It seems like I have been here long then that. The days flow together in such a way, I feel like 97 have passed by. My brain is a sponge, absorbing every word, every image, every smile, every new thing like there's no tomorrow. 
As of today, I know 52 words in Thai. I understand the main concept when people are talking to me, as long as they keep the vocab pretty simple. The staff is mega impressed and insist that I only talk to them in Thai, and they will only talk to me in English. Walai feels sure I will be fluent by the time I leave 0.o. 
Since I know in advance that I will be asked for this, here is a list of the words I know. The Thai ‘spelling’ is a mix of the way they actually spell it in English, and how I spell it to remember how to say it. Some of the vowls are not the ones you say in English, but there is no other letter for it. What I’m trying to say is, don’t go saying these words to random Thai people. You will end up butchering the word beyond recognition like I do. 
As for the words themselves, most of them have been learned by simply listening to the conversation around me, picking out the words repeated most often and comparing them to the subject being talked about. Some were learned through miming a request, such as ‘eating’, others the girls taught me during our English lesson. As I mentioned before, for every day of class they put in new words, I put in one or two Thai words. 
Random words
Kang/Di- Good
Khun/P- a title given to someone older, a sign of respect 
Arina -what
Chan- I
Ka- like a polite mmhm
Cup Khun Ka- thank you
Nit non- a little
Bow- light weight 
Seing- sound 
Fun- Teeth 
Bakka -pen
Home- pleasant smelling
Aan- read 
Futo-its raining
Swadika-  primary greeting used at anytime of the day 
Swadi- how are you
Khun chop- do you like
Mai me-I don’t have 
Nwang Sao- Sister
House related 
Hong nam-bathroom
Ab-to bathe 
Aroy -delicious
Mann-type of potato 
Dow who- tofu
Nam-water, or liquid
Cow Yen- dinner 
Ging cow- to eat 
Cow- Rice
Rong tao- shoes

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Today was a pretty relaxed day. Did a whole bunch of writing before going to pick the girls up from school. While driving through town, I was kinda zoning out through the front windshield when a bubble came floating down the street. It popped so fast I couldn't tell if there really had been a random bubble floating down the street or I had just imagined it. We passed by a street cart and I saw a snake being skinned. I wish I had been able to take a picture of it. This man had the snake's tail tired to the top of the cart and had the snakes body stretched out as he was skinning it. The flesh was very very white. I couldn't see the color of the skin, not that I'm such an expert in snakes that I would be able to tell what kind of snake it was from the skin. After we passed by the snake cart, three more bubbles hit the windshield. These I definitely saw, but never determined where they came from. It must be the spirits that life in the house.

I got a card from my great-grandmother today! It was very sweet of her to send it to me, thanks Grandma Virginia!

I've heard from a few people that they are receiving their postcards. I'm getting another batch tomorrow and will hopefully have them out by the end of next week.

Sue and Jack are coming into town around the 20th, just a few more days. Sue and I will be in India for 6ish weeks, I'm still not sure on the departure and return date.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New Friends

Today was exciting. I spend it with a group of lovely ladies from New Zealand. They are here on a missions trip and are in Nang Rong for the week. I went with them to a school to teach some English. There are 7 girls; Charlie, Ashley, Hannah, Dibby, Rosie, Cherry, and Eylse.

We paired up and each went to four, one hour classes. I was paired with Rosie and Eylse. We started off with a game where the kids had to find New Zealand and American on a blow up globe. Roise and Eylse taught the kids about all the interesting facts about New Zealand. I learned quite a bit myself! I talked a bit about America and Texas before we moved onto family. We each told the kids about how many people are in our family, how many brothers and sisters we have. Then we asked the kids about their family. It was a lot of fun. I had not been in a Thai classroom before.

Eylse is in the blue shirt. Rosie in the red skirt. 

 Slapping the kiwi

'Find New Zealand'

'New what?!' 

At the top right of this picture you can see my very poor attempt at a drawing of the U.S. 

After we finished at the school we went to the supermarket and then back to the church. P Ui picked me up for my English lesson with the Foundation girls. I was going to get a picture with the New Zealand girls, but we were all so sticky and sweaty I decided not to even ask (by this point I probably wouldn't have taken a picture, not even for a massive amount of money). But hopefully I will get to see the girls again. Sunday at church for sure. But they might come to the house on Friday or Saturday to participate in my activities with the girls.

Sorry for the pretty cut and dry post. I am exhausted. The last few days have been jam packed and I've been getting to sleep rather late and have to be up early.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

ChineseThai funeral

Wow. I just possibly had the best night in the three weeks I've been here. It was incredible.

Walai and I picked up Tessany and drove to Burriram. Tessany is a kindergarten teacher, how she is involved with the Foundation, I'm not sure. This woman is a certified bad ass. Apart from knowing everyone in Isan (the northeastern part of Thailand), she has been teaching for 20 odd years, and she received numerous teaching awards, but one in particular. Now this particular award is pretty dang special. Only 12 people in the history of the award have received it (how long the award has been around I'm not really sure. But it's been around for a long time). Who did Tessany receive this award from you ask, well the King of course.

We get into Burriam and go to a food market. This thing is like a huge outdoor flea market of food. There are so many vendors selling so many different food items, along with clothes, shoes, and toys. Walai picks up some Chinese onion and sweet potato cakes before we sit down to eat. Taking into consideration the vegetarian of the group, Tessany and Walai opt for a soup stand. We get a soup that had the little seafood cake/tofu texture thing that we had at the restaurant on Thursday night. The soup was delicious in case you were wondering. The weird cakes, not so much. The sweet potato one was better then the onion one. Both had a weird texture to them. Not bad, not good. Weird. After eating we still had some time to burn so we walked around and got some treats for the girls. Tessany and I walked by a woman a her son selling woven animals. Tessany turned to me, gestured to the animals and informed me she would like to buy one for me. I politely declined, saying there was no way I could accept. She insisted so I picked out an elephant :) I invited Tessany over to the house one night this week that I am going to be cooking an American dinner. I am thinking fajitas.

We got into the car and drove to the funeral. It was held at a Buddhist temple. The archway was lit up with a lime green light. I wasn't sure about the picture policy in temples (I know that in the actually temple they are not allowed. But I wasn't sure if this was inside the temple, or the outside seeing as how everything was under big tents) or at funerals, so I didn't take any but I'll do my best to describe everything. 

After we walked through the green arch we meet the family of the woman who were all dressed in white (this is specifically Chinese). We then proceeded to walk around 150+ people, all of which turned to stare at me as I walked by. We sat in the back and I got a pretty good view of the alter. It had beautiful blue and green banners with gold Chinese characters on them. At least 50 wreaths made of flowers in every color (These are Thai) hung from the ceiling and stood next to the coffin, on which stood a large picture of the deceased and two candles. 

To the left of the alter was a small room where the monks sat. To my left was a giant dry erase board. Walai told me that each of the children will host a service for their mother, this was service 4/11. The funeral will last all week. Walai pointed out to my right a Little Tykeish chest of drawers and tv made of paper. I was informed that these would be burned at the last service so the deceased could carry them on into the next life. The service started. Several monks held paper fans in front of their face as they chanted. Walai told me they held the fans in front of their face so they could concentrate on the chants and meditating instead of the people in the audience. 

While the monks chanted, everyone pressed their palms together and bowed their heads. The chant was in Bali and Walai couldn't understand it, but we figured it was for the woman to have a safe passage. The chant lasted for about 5 minutes. After the monks finished their chant, three members of the family got up and gave the monks three pieces of clothing (monk clothing, not like a pair of pants or a shirt). The three pieces of a monks clothes represent something important that has to do with Buddhism. Like an idiot, I forgot my notebook and pen. There was so much information racing through my brain that I lost the rest concerning the clothes. After the clothes were presented, the monks chanted again for about 5 minutes and the service was over. 

The family had prepared food for everyone, so we again sat down to eat. Walai and Tessany had a Chinese/Thai soup with pork in it while I had 'Thai spaghetti" as Tessany called it. We all shared som tum (spicy papaya salad). For desert, green tapioca that looked like little green worms swimming in coconut milk and ice. It was delicious. After we ate, we said good bye to the family. I got an up close look at the paper chest of drawers. There was also a bed, car, and house. The burning would have been very interesting to see. Rode home in yet another food coma. This was an amazing experience I will never forget. I am so unbelievably grateful to Walai and Tessany for letting me tag along. The kindness they have shown me, I dont have words to express how incredible these two women are. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Arts, crafts, and skype

This morning P Ui went to pick up the other girls from the house for our arts and crafts day. While I waited I skyped with my sister, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. They got to meet the girls in my house, Paa, Fai, May, and Nat, as well as several girls from the other houses. The girls were excited to show off their English skills. My family was asked 'do you like to (jump, eat, run, go to school)' at least 10 times. It's been raining all morning and the skype was choppy but we made it work. I'm very glad that I am able to connect these two worlds via the Internet. The girls love seeing pictures of my family and get excited when they can actually see and speak to them. It's defiantly a highlight of the week.

For the arts and crafts project I had the girls make word books. A word book is pretty self explanatory, its a book of words. I had the girls decorate the covers with stickers and markers.

Then I had them write down most of the words we have learned over the last 3 weeks.

I told them that for every word in English they learn, I will learn one in Thai. I even made myself a word book. 

Yes, my Thai handwriting looks worse then the 5 year olds. 

When the girls were finished with their books, we sang a few songs and played a marco poloish game with one of the sings. 18 kids + running around the living room x eyes closed = great idea. I was surprised at how well it actually worked! While all of this was going on, Yi Op and the cook (I feel like such a horrible person for not being able to remember her name, ever) were making these little coconut cake thingys. As far as I know it's fried coconut milk. And it's delicious. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Food Coma

I just got in from Burriram, where I had dinner with P Pete Samai, Walai, Nathan, and two board members and their families. The restaurant we went too is very popular in Burriram. We sat at a table that had sort of a pit underneath it, so you sat you were in a chair, but the table was sunk lower.. kind of like benches all the way around, but it was the floor, not benches…. it was, I don’t know how to explain it. :) 
Dinner was excellent. There were so many dishes on the table, bonus that I was able to eat all but one. There was a fried fish that was too die for. Sweat and sour soup (they really meant spicy beyond belief) with shrimp, squid, and bamboo, all of which I like very much. Then there was a round dish with oysters, dowwho (tofu), kind of a seafood patty that had the texture of tofu but tasted like seafood, and shrimp. There was a plate full of duck with noodles. Last but not least, crab curry that was to die for. I couldn’t stop eatingm everything was fantastic and I had to try everything, sadly I had to pass on the duck.---- I was reminded of two important people tonight. Steve Morrell because of the duck. I have this very vivid memory of eating a duck that Steve and his brother shot once. I wish I could’ve sent yall some of the duck, Nathan said it was outstanding! I was also reminded of my mother. I told Nathan this story and he relayed it to the rest of the group. When ever we were involved with a Christmas party, either hosted it or attended, my mother would eat smoked oysters. I remember one year she ate so many of them she was sick to her stomach.------I’ve been without meat for the last 9 months. Nothing has tempted me into breaking my new years resolution more then being in Thailand. It is excruciatingly painful to have to pass up these ridiculously good looking dish because they have meat in them. Ugh. 2012 needs to be here already. During and after dinner was full of smiles and laughter. I don’t think I have laughed that much in ages. My cheeks are still sore!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Banana flower

Had a banana flower for dinner tonight. I didn't know you could eat them... I mean I assumed you could, but I didn't think anyone did. But people do. It looked like a very brown artichoke, tasted like one too.

I also tasted this flower looking thing at lunch. It tasted like an Aveda store. Ick!

As I am writing this, the kids are watching a Thai soap. A couple fell off a flooded balcony into a river. The dude was shot previously, I think. There were several men involed in the shooting and nearly all of them were wounded. When the woman surfaced and could not kind her companion, so she dove down and there his was. Floating lifelessly in the middle of the river. She swam up to him and started shaking him to see if he was conscious. He was not. She then tried to blow air into his lungs, or just tonsil hawk him back to life, it was hard to tell which. This did not work. So she clung to him crying. Underwater. For five minutes. The show then ended.

Monday, September 5, 2011


..... are everywhere!!! Gah! I put on bug repellent at least three times a day. Once when I get out of the shower, again before picking the girls up from school, and a final time before dinner. I have to, or get eaten alive. And with the spray on, I STILL get eaten up. P Ui has this, actually I don’t know what it is. It’s pink, smells like vicks, and turns warm as you rub it in like icy hot. I have been informed you use this on bug bites, not on sore muscles. 

It works though. You slather some on and the itch goes away. The bites are bad at first and you think you might have to tear a chunk of your flesh out to get the itchy and burning to stop. Not to mention the bite swells to an alarming size. But after applying the balm you realize you are going to live and are extremely thankful you didnt take a spoon to your arm and dig the bite out. 
I was unfortunate to receive two mosquitoes bites while giving a lesson a few days ago. The office does not have the magic balm that sits in the little medical cabinet in P Ui’s house. These bites were the worst bites I have encountered thus far. In addition to itching, burning, and stinging like a bleepity bleep, they were easily the size of one and a half quarters. Maybe two. The picture below does not do one of the bites justice, and no I am not exaggerating. 

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Today P Ui took me to Burriam for church. I met her husband and made a bunch of new friends. Three in particular stood out (the only three whos name I was actaully able to remember. You try learning 20 new names in a different language in ten minutes!). The first is Monica. She is from the the Philippines. She is an English teacher in Burriam. The other is Mue (I have no idea how to spell her name correctly.) She is the daughter of one of the women who go to church with us in Nang Rong. The third is Ga, who is married to a Danish man that has been to over 50 countries. Monica, Mue, and Ga's English is very good and I spent most of the time talking with them. The service was long, from 8:45-noon. After I had lunch with Mue who then took me to the classroom too meet some of the kids and then to meet Monica. I sat and talked to Monica for about four hours before P Ui was ready to go home. I had a blast and drank Sprite out of a bag.

But probably the most entertaining thing to happen today happened at lunch. I was sitting with Mue when a woman came and sat down across from me. Her English was very broken and it was a bit hard to understand her. She first asked me for my name, I gave it to her. She then asked in a very strange, two word's max, where I was from. Then she said something so fast all I caught was 'email' and married'.  I finally figured out that she wanted my email address, so I gave it to her. Then she made me swear on pain of death to email her a picture when I got married. This wasn't a 'when you get married in the FUTURE' statement, it was a 'when you get married in the NEAR future statement. Now, why this woman wanted me to email her a picture of my wedding day, when I did not have her email address is beyond me. Why she was under the impression I would be getting married next week, beyond me to infinity.

On the way home we stopped by the Big C, which is the ginormous, walmart like store, we went to on Monday. As I was coming out of the bathroom (Brownie points to Big C for having western style toilets and a big win for Amanda) a case caught my eye. In side were hand guns. Then a message came on over the intercom saying the taking of pictures was not allowed in the store. I'm assuming people caught taking pictures of the state secrets they keep in the freeze dried soup isle will be punished with the guns for the case (that was totally sarcasm to the max for those of you who think I am serious ;). They also have blueberry and strawberry Oreos, but no where near the state secrets or guns.

That was my day :)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Wat Khao Angkan

Nathan came by today to pick up P Ui and myself and took us to an old Thai Wat. Wat Khao Angkan. It is about a thirty minute drive from Nang Rong and located on a ‘mountain’ which was really just a big hill. There were four or five Wat’s and several small shrines scattered around. What made this Wat particularly special was the giant golden reclining Buddha out front. 

The first Wat was the biggest and the ‘main’ Wat. This one is my favorite. Inside were gorgeous murals of Siddhartha and his life, a big golden Buddha, a picture of the king during his time as a monk, and two cases of old books that I drooled over. Nathan told me that the books contained old manuscripts written by famous monks. One manuscript in particular tells of a man who would come, his brow would bleed and his palms priced. The manuscript was written before Christ and has no ties what so ever to Christianity. You are not allowed to take pictures inside of the Wat’s I was very disappointed that I could not share with you all the beautiful art that lined the walls in the main Wat. It was truly breath taking. 

The second Wat was just to the right of the main Wat. It houses the golden foot print of Buddha, but the ‘real‘ print is located under the main Wat. 

The third Wat is my second favorite. It has these two giant serpents that sit in front of the entrance. The serpents are said to live in a river in the north parts of Thailand, kind of a loch ness monster of Thailand. 

Sanskrit was engraved on their scales. Nathan told me that Thai language is a derivative of Sanskrit. 

Nathan was looking for a Wat he had been too years ago but couldn’t find it. He said we simply could not leave without seeing it, so we enlisted the help of a monk (who gave us umbrellas when we got there because it had started to rain). He took us to the side of the second Wat and pointed up a hill.
As he was leaving I asked Nathan to ask him if I could take his picture. The monk debated with himself for a moment. Nathan said not all monks will let you take their picture. I stood there with my fingers and toes crossed and was thrilled when the monk decided it was alright. He would not how ever take a picture with me. Monks are not supposed to touch a women in any way. If I was to hand him something, I would have to set it on the ground or the table before he could take it. 
The last Wat was just as beautiful, with a steep tiled staircase that lead up to it. 

I am so thankful that Nathan brought me along on this trip. It was a wonderful experience. I only wish we could have stayed longer. The hour and a half we were there was no where near enough time to truly see all the beauty in the Wats. I would have liked to talk with the monk via Nathan. I have so many questions, I probably could have talked to him all day. But it was an incredible adventure and I can’t wait to go see what else is out there.