fbpx
Category

2016

What You Think You See…

By 2016, Asia No Comments

Having grown up in a very affluential part of Canada, where I was largely sheltered from the daily realities of poverty, I had unknowingly formed an image of what poverty was supposed to look like. In my head, poverty was shanty towns and poorly dressed, undernourished individuals, with wild hair, which in many cases may be true. I had also imagined that anyone who didn’t have an electric stove or was forced to cook outside must also be poor. But, my experience in Thailand has taught me otherwise. There are many forms of poverty and sometimes it expresses itself physically…

Read More

Jai, A Lesson from the Heart

By 2016, Asia No Comments

In regards to our recent journey across the world to Thailand and Laos, there is one specific experience which I wish to capture amongst all the beautiful, scary and life changing moments. This happened after weeks of seeking something which I could not put into words until it happened. I was searching for a heart to heart* moment, a moment where I was able to glimpse into another’s world and understand for a minute, even though it may be very different from my own. A smidgen of empathy. What I learned, though, was this is not something I can force to…

Read More

Perspectives on Peace

By 2016, Asia No Comments

During a workshop with the staff from the MCC Xieng Khouang office in Laos, our group was asked to brainstorm some answers to the question “what is peace?” It seems like such a straightforward question, but it’s pretty loaded. I realized that I’ve never actually thought about this before. It turns out that the term “peace” can hold entirely different meanings to different people. MCC Laos’ Mittapab (meaning “friendship”) group even had to change their original name, which included the word “peacebuilding,” because the government claimed that the nation already had peace and therefore had no need for a peacebuilding…

Read More

The Spice of Life

By 2016, Asia No Comments

Food in Thailand is some of the best food I have had in a long time. While almost everything you eat there is served on rice, with fried noodles or in a curry soup, there is still a wide variety of meal options for even the pickiest of eaters to choose from. From the spiciest dish you’ll ever try to plain fried rice with a fried egg over it, Thailand offers an array of intense yet amazing flavours that will completely blow your mind. The best dish that I tried in Thailand is the classic pad Thai. This world famous…

Read More

A Continuous Effect

By 2016, Asia No Comments

War is a huge thing. It affects people from all over the world, including those who have not even been alive while it was happening. This is one thing I saw very clearly in Laos. There, people from all over the country still suffer from a war which happened over forty years ago, a war which very few people in the West know about today. I used to be one of these people. In fact, I knew nothing at all about what was happening in Southeast Asia. What surprised me about going to Laos is how peaceful it seems, despite…

Read More

Discovery

By 2016, Asia No Comments

When I was on the 14 hour flight going from Toronto to Seoul and I was getting hot and cold flashes, I discovered a love for that little fan vent in the ceiling of the airplane. When I was throwing up in the Korea airport and there was a line outside the only working stall, I discovered a loathing for out of order signs. When I was sick for my first three days in Chiang Mai, sleeping all day on a bed as soft as plywood, watching while everyone else was out exploring an entirely new and different world, eating…

Read More

Ancient Ruins & the Resonance of Mystery

By 2016, Asia No Comments

Staring out at the ruins of ancient Sukhothai, the hot sun stretches down, aggressively upon my back and upon the ancient flats of brick. My mind stretches down, aggressively upon the question of what this place is to me. The mystery of these ruins taught me something important: the idea of deep history in foreign lands. In that moment, I understood the metaphor and the symbolic significance of these ruins for me. They were a reminder and a good representation for the unknown unknowns with my worldview and the limited vantage point of my consciousness. They spoke of a knowledge…

Read More

Soccer in the Rain

By 2016, Asia No Comments

There are so many experiences I could write about and draw with words. But instead, I choose the simple stuff. Escaping from the bustle of Chiang Mai, the twelve of us venture in two song thaews (red trucks with two benches), loaded with ginger gravol and peppermint essential oil. Weaving through peaceful rice fields and around mountainous greenery, and then up and up the heights, we arrive. Later, I walk beside a gentle stream beside a deep verdant forest. The ground below me is reddish like I would imagine PEI’s dirt to be like. Little streams trickle past to join…

Read More

Jump Right In

By 2016, Asia No Comments

It was our first Saturday in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and we were ready to explore the city.  There were so many activities to choose from. Cafes and restaurants, elephants and nature parks, even the famous Thai massage.  A bunch of us squeezed into the back of a Songtaew and set out. Our decided destination was a museum called Art in Paradise. This was unlike any museum I have ever been to. The entire museum is interactive. You take pictures the entire time as you pose with the art. When I first got there I had a difficult time with the…

Read More

The Bee’s Knees

By 2016, Asia No Comments

I’m a fan of bees. So naturally, I was ecstatic to come across forest beehives and signs of honey collection during one of our hikes through the forests of Ban Huay Hin Lad Nai Village in Northern Thailand. This Karen community in particular has been recognized as a model for self-sufficiency, responsible forest management, and sustainable living. Seriously– they’ve won awards and everything. Some of that success can be credited to their forest beekeeping. Ban Huay Hin Lad Nai began harvesting honey around 10 years ago, when the then-dwindled bee population finally started to pick up again thanks to their…

Read More

Donate Now