Yesterday I joined the “Bangkok Volunteers Group“MeetUp.com group and it’s organizer Celilu on a trip to Hua Hin to meet Emma, the Founder of Jungle Aid. It was great way to spend the day with like-minded people and to learn more about the work that Emma and Jungle Aid does to support the Karen people who live in the Jungles of Thailand. The Karen people who they support are a group of people that are refugees from Myanmar, that live in remote villages in the jungle that do not receive any outside help. They do not have access to basic medical care, education, and are denied the ability to grow their own crops or to keep animals so that they are able to eat. Jungle Aid supports these villages by providing medical support on a monthly basis, by helping them establish micro businesses such as producing and selling coconut oil, and is looking to assist them with education and setting up permanent medical clinics.
Read more about the work of Jungle Aid on their website http://www.jungleaid.wordpress.com. I will be volunteering with them on January 26t
h, if you would like to make a donation please feel free to paypal me at firstname.lastname@example.org to January 26th. If you don’t have a paypal account leave a comment below and I will contact you. If you live in Bangkok just contact me so we can get together.
This medical clinic was the most amazing trip. On the 24th of November at 6am 7 volunteers including Emma our nurse, Sam our Osteo, Millee the Educational lead and 2 medical students from The Little Foundation set off. We had the donated rice (300kg), medicine for a remote emergency clinic and enough supplies to leave for a month. With a 4 hour drive to Bang Saphan followed by a 2 hour hike through dense jungle, crossing 5 rivers with all the supplies to reach the most remote village ever visited. It was an incredible journey.
In this village only 1 child attends school due to the costs charged by the local school. Our aim is to work with the local Thai school to see if the fees can be reduced so we can support the other 27 children to attend school. They have very little food and all 54 people living in this remote village eat twice a day at 10am…
Matthew and I recently had great weekend vacation to Hua Hin. Hua Hin is a nice easily reachable beach town south of Bangkok. During its rise of popularity it was destination for Thailand‘s royalty, rich and elite. It now is lined with small boutique hotels and all the major hotels as well. The Founder and President of school Khun Paron owns property in Hua Hin and was gracious enough to allow us to stay in one of his guest houses while we were there. You can automatically tell that there are a lot of Westerners that visit the area due to the array of restaurants – French, German, Italian, Russian, etc… We actually ate a pretty good Italian restaurant one evening.
To get to Hua- Hin from Bangkok you have several options, rent a private van, take a van that departs from Victory Monument (2 hours), take a train (about 3 hours), or drive yourself. We took the train there and it actually ended up being 30 minutes late, most Thai people take the van that leaves from Victory Monument. For the ride back we cancelled our train ticket and took the van, and it had 2 stops in Bangkok- one that was actually closer to our neighborhood. If we return with a larger group we will more than likely rent a van so that we can have a driver over the course of the weekend, it actually cost more to get from the house we were staying at to the main part of Hua-Hin (a 10 minute ride 200 BHT, Bangkok to Hua-Hin in a shared van 150 BHT)
There are quite a few places that you can visit while on a weekend vacation in Hua- Hin. We actually didn’t go to the nearby caves, waterfall in the national park, or vineyard, and hope to visit again so that we can get to do that. But here are a few things that we did get to enjoy:
When you think of a palace you think of a grandiose, ornate, closed in, somewhat stuffy place. This palace is the exact opposite. While it is grand, it’s on stilts and is completely open aired with open windows everywhere. It’s a light sand color with aqua and pink highlights. The grounds are amazing with large trees throughout. One of the many interesting features is that any part of the actual building that touch the ground (columns and stairwells) have a small moat about 1 inch wide and deep around them. When King Rama VI lived here, he detested ants; the moats were constantly filled with water, which prevented the ants from climbing up to the living quarters of the palace.
Hutsadin Elephant Foundation
Hutsadind Elephant Foundation is a place that rescues injured, abused, neglected and retired elephants. To raise money they offer a tour of their grounds via an elephant ride, opportunities to feed the elephants, and of course the infamous baby elephant show (at the end she asks for a tip by passing you a basket). The elephant ride starts of a bit tricky because your on top of this massive creature that is walking around on a not so even surface, but after a while you get used to it. Then you notice the elephant goad (the tool used to control the elephant) and it’s shocking because the mahout (the person controlling the elephant) will use this at times to poke it to make it do what they need it to do. Which I do understand somewhat since you have people on this large animal you need a way to make sure that it doesn’t go charging off. I also never heard the elephant cry or scream, so I’m assuming it was something similar to when my mom pinched my arm as a child to make me follow her lead – not fun but not torture either. The interactive baby elephant show was very cute, it really displayed the intelligence of the animal. She danced to the music, put a hat on my head, kicked a soccer ball to Matthew, and hugged us with her trunk.
Hua-Hin Floating Market – Skip it, just don’t do it to yourself.. Go to a real one.
Cicada is a modern artist market that is open in the evening. There are live shows going on throughout the market. There are original quality products being sold by local people, and I don’t mean the touristy gift items these are things, jewelry and clothing that you would actually use. And of course there is food. The atmosphere is great we actually went there two of the nights we were there.
Hua Hin Night Market
The Hua Hin Night Market is more like your traditional Thai market except it’s a night and there are restaurants that sell man eating sized lobsters. I of course wanted to eat one of these gigantic lobsters but I would not be able to take on the task myself and my husband is allergic to seafood. So please come visit soon so we can eat one of these things that were as long as my arms.
And of course the beach
Yes scream at me now, I didn’t take any pictures of the beach… so here’s one from the internet. But it’s a lovely beach you can rent lounge chairs, buy beverages and food, go kite surfing (not that I saw anyone doing that), take a banana boat ride, and of course go jet skiing,
Hi everyone! Just wanted to do a quick summary of a few things that have gone on in our lives here in Peru that I haven’t blogged about.
My in-laws visited (mother, father, and brother). We had a great time together, and we even got my mother-in-law on a bus trip to see the Ballestas Islands, my father-in-law on a doon buggy ride….. and my father-in-law to lie down on a sand board face forward down a sand doon! More pics: click here.
Two of my classmates Alex Figuerola and Jennifer Nelson from D.A.S.H. (Design and Architecture Senior High) have come to Peru (separate trips, and not to visit me lol), and I got the opportunity to hang out with them. Thanks to facebook for the connection. More pics with Alex: click here.
I’ve gotten to visit a few AMAZING restaurants (in no particular order):
Panchitas: Amazing Peruvian food brought to us by Peru’s famous chef Gaston Acurio! We had the best anticuchos I’ve ever had and I ordered arroz con pollo with lamb, and the Ariquipeno dessert queso helado (DELICIOUS) . Big thanks to Ursula and Miguel to introducing us to this restaurant. I couldn’t find the website but this one has great pics> http://www.cucharasbravas.com.pe/panchita/
El Rincon Que No Conoces: Another wonderful restaurant featuring Peruvian food. We got to go to this restaurant with the lovely Ericka Madrid of www.delectableperu.com. The restaurant typically has a buffet on Wednesday, our group went on Saturday; however, Ericka was able to get the restaurant to do fabulous tasting menu for our group. It included 3 types of causa, anticuchos, papas rellanas, arroz con pata, seco de res, and picarones all for S/.45!! http://www.elrinconquenoconoces.pe/
I can’t believe I never finished my blog post about Machu Pichu with my friend Keisha, since then Matthew has gone. Machu Pichu is everything what everyone has written and said about it. It is an absolutely breath-taking place. But just a note, on our way back from Machu Pichu Keisha and I got lost on the side of a mountain and rescued by 9pm. Yes, I found the one patch of cell phone service next to a bat cave and a suspension bridge. HA.. Long story; hence it hasn’t been written.
One of Matthew’s best friends from college Jared just visited us last week. We had a great time and even went to a pena, De Rompe Y Raja http://www.derompeyraja.pe. Jared got to dance with the criolla dancers and got lit on fire! More pictures: click here.
As the summer winds down and Matthew was away climbing Huana Pichu and visiting Machu Pichu, I got to spend the day at the beach with my friend Candice and our own United Nations group =); the girls were from the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Korea. More pics: click here!
As with the majority of holidays in Peru people travel for New Years Eve. Matthew and I were lucky enough to be invited by our friends Ursula and Miguel and their college friends to rent a beach house in Mancora. Mancora is in northern Peru and is known for having the best waves, great surfers, and buenisimo ceviche! Matthew was really happy that we went with a bunch of meat lovers who pre-packed that brought tons of steak and sausage along (if you don’t know he’s allergic to seafood and fish) – we barbecued almost every night. Don’t have lighter fluid here’s another option.
We had a relaxing week on the beach with a group of Ursula and Miguel’s college friends and two of their adorable daughters. Matthew and baby Paulita had a connection – I have to watch out for this girl lol. We got to work on our Spanish since the whole crew was Peruvian. Let me tell you I wish I would have paid more attention in Spanish class – “girl talk” in a foreign language is quite difficult lol. But they were great about it and threw in some English every once in a while. Everyone brought champagne so the champagne flowed every night. Riccadonna Asti was the brand of choice its pretty sweet – I like it! It doesn’t help with speaking Spanish though. We also celebrated Gonszalo’s birthday. His wife Rafaella brought all this party stuff down to celebrate it – how great! Besides that there were plenty of days relaxing on the beach and in the pool.
New Years Eve was fun, the married folks stayed at the beach house, ate dinner and watched the fireworks, and the single girls and guy went out to party. Dinner was great Lorena made a delicious homemade pizza, we had barbecued steak & chorizo, and I baked potatoes on the grill. New Year struck and there were fireworks launched from every beach house and hotel in town.
And of course we ran across the Peruvian tradition of burning a dummy that represents someone evil from your past was live and in living color. What you do is you buy one of these lovely guys and post a note on him of why you want to burn him. Then you attach a few flammables to it like fireworks, and let it go! Now that’s cathartic! Talk about closure.
We went in to town a few times, I tried conchas negras ceviche YUMM, I could have eaten them every day! Thank you Celso for introducing me to them! The black shell fished can be found on the street that goes towards the beach from the main road (there’s only one street to the beach). You’ll spot it because it a place with a table with a bunch of black shell-fish on the table guys are opening them and serving it up in bowls by the masses.
The best part of the trip – me taking surfing classes and catching a few waves!