Saturday, January 31, 2009

I am back in civilization for a bit and thought I would update with a quick blog. I'm in Mae Hong Son on some  independent student travel, but we are leaving for the village in about 3 hours by way of truck. The homestay has been pretty awesome so far, and the village, Ban Huay Hee, is really cool. 
My homestay family is pretty awesome, the parents are about 30 years old and they have two small kids, both between 5-10 (I'm not very good with ages...). They also have 4 cows in our yard, one momma pig, one baby pig, 2 dogs, 4 puppies, and I think I saw a cat somewhere too. They don't feed the puppies very much, so I fed one of them once and he literally follows me everywhere I go. The village is really small, I think there are something like 25 families in the whole village, and around 125 people, so TBB makes up a substantial portion of the Ban Huay Hee population.
The food has been pretty awesome, my host mom is a pretty stellar cook, and I learned how to say "I like spicy food" in thai and she makes delicious chili paste and puts hot peppers into my scrambled eggs.
The town is really community based and they seem to share almost everything, including, sometimes, us. There have been a couple times when my host mom will not make dinner and just lead me over to another house and I'll eat there. Also, when they all harvest rice 10% of what they harvest goes into a communal thing of rice that they all share if someone doesnt have enough rice. They are also really self sufficient, growing most of the food that they eat in the village.
Sorry this blog is not very interesting, I can't think of any funny anecdotes at the moment, I just needed to put something up so that my parents would know that I am alive. We get back to civilization again in about a week or so, I'll write again then I guess.
One love,

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sorry this is going to be short but I needed to blog before I go into the boonies of Thailand for an ultra-rural homestay with no electricity and no internet. I'm going to just make a list of things that have gone on of note.
1. Arrived in Chiang Mai, had incredible Pad Thai on the street for a dollar.
2. Drove to UHDP (Upland Holistic Development.... Program?) which is like a test site for agroforestry and sustainable agriculture where they try out agriculture methods before they attempt them in nearby villages.
3. Had Thai classes and learned about the various methods of organic/sustainable farming.
4. Slaughtered a pig.... yes, slaughtered a pig. I helped to hold the legs while Zach stabbed it in the heart.... it was pretty crazy, but also pretty cool to know exactally where my food was coming from and being there for every step in the process.
5. Attended a traditional wedding, which took place in the house of the bride. Felt kind of awkward about being there, but apperently, everyone who is around is welcome to attend the weddings in the villages. The ceremony was really cool, and I'm sure people will put some pictures up somewhere..... but i forgot my camera.... per usual.
Anyway someone needs the comp, everyone is trying to get in their last internet before we leave for our homestays. Can't think of much else that I should blog about, but hopefully I'll have some awesome stories from my homestay.
keep it real,

Thursday, January 8, 2009

What’s crackin’ everyone. As I write this, I am sitting in a hammock on a beach In Koh Tao (gotta love wifi). I’m listening to some Lil’ Wayne right now (Outstanding is the song, for those interested, sick beat). We’ve been here for about…. 5 days…? And are here for another 2.

Most of the group is SCUBA diving every day but unfortunately, I am not allowed to be our SCUBA instructor because of my asthma….. which sucks, but I’m making the best of it. After being told that I wouldn’t be diving, I let loose a couple expletives and began planning out my next couple days.

Sorry this blog is a little scattered, im a little tired, probably going to listen to some Damian Marley, Pepper, and Slightly Stoopid and then go to sleep after this.

The ride over here was pretty choppy and a ton of people got really sick, but thankfully not me. I was close though, pretty hard to hold anything down while 5 people directly next to you are retching so loud it wakes you up from a peaceful nap. Anyway, I cranked the ipod to full volume and made it through, but probably half of the people on the boat were puking their guts out. Sorry for the visuals, my bad.

The food here has been pretty spectacular, Pad Thai and Thai Curry are unbelievable, and wickedly spicy. We had a group BBQ the other night (I was on pork grilling duty) and the chili sauce they gave us felt like a delicious volcano exploded in my mouth and rained tasty lava onto my tongue. I could go on forever about the food I’ve had so far here, but I don’t want to get started, because I would probably write for another hour.

So my daily routine here has been something like this: Wake up at around 9-10 (or 12), throw on the bathing suit, go to the beach, sit on the hammock, order a coffee shake and eggs, consume, swim, change, go Muay Thai boxing (I’ll explain later), eat food, come back, go back in the Ocean, snorkel a little bit, play the guitar, eat, hang out with the crew, sleep, repeat. Sometimes I will shower in there, but I mean, the ocean counts right……?

Since Emily and Beth and I haven’t been going SCUBA diving at all, we’ve found our calling in Muay Thai boxing. Our fists are now legally registered weapons, we are not going to be able to get on the airplane with them. If you don’t know what Muay Thai boxing is it’s basically kick boxing but you are allowed to elbow people in the face. Awesome, right? It’s also a pretty kick ass work out….. pun intended….get it….anyway……  check out this video if you want to see what muay thai is (and don’t mind watching violence) So we’ve been doing that quite a bit and it’s an absolute blast, and a great work out. Our first Muay Thai class was my first real work out since like…. My last wrestling practice in March, so my body was like “stop that, why are you doing that, you are going to be sore tomorrow” but by the second one I was alright.

Someone just put on some Lauryn Hill over there, so I’m going to have to go see what sort of cool people listen to Lauryn. There was something else I was going to write about, but I totally forget. Anyway, we are going to be in northern Thailand outside of Chang Mai for the next month, living with families and working on their farms, which I am f’n pumped about. Noah and I are already planning our media project as a rap video, so look out for that, it’ll hit the streets in early February. Aight, I’m off to chill with the homies, they are listening to my ipod dock over on the hammocks, then maybe go watch an episode of Psych on Alexis’ Ipod (awesome show btw)

Stay classy,


P.S. sorry for the typos