And here I am, after a long trip from Bali I finally arrived to the Chiang Rai center. The place where the weather is just perfect, with authentic people,happy to help you and never expecting anything in return. It’s a Thailand wonderland. Amazing food and great local markets.
The first days at the center were pretty chilly, as I was just starting to know the place, the kids and the other volunteers. What a refreshing change to the heat and humidity of Bali!
So what we do here? Most of the people would say…. serving the kids, being their live-in caretakers. Depends how you see the things, depends how you choose to give and also depends on your mindset. I am just talking from my point of view and from what I experienced so far.
I cleaned the yard (there are lot of leaves falling down from the trees, and everything is covered of a yellowish layer of leafs…just as when is autumn) and then I made a fire from it. Which I kept firing up quite often.
Did I enjoy it? Yes, it reminded me of my childhood at my grandparents’ village. After that we went to pick up the smallest kids from school.
Surprisingly,on the way back we started right away to play and put funny faces to each other which gave me a feeling that we could spend some nice time together. They are leaving for school at 7:30 am(including the other children that attend the high school) with a public bus that stops just in front of our yard. We only see them around 3 PM (the smallest ones) and 5 PM (the high school children) when they come back from school. I like seeing them around. Sometimes during the weekends, some of them go to their villages and everything is so quiet here. Not my favorite part. I like hearing them be noisy and the bustle of their activities.
I am not a great cook, since I usually don’t cook for myself. But here we also have to cook for ourselves and for the children. So far, I just have helped, which is the best thing for the kids because they eat VERY spicy foods, and I think that everything I would make they wouldn’t enjoy too much because it would all be too bland. But I will give my best for sure.
The kids study at school all day, and they also have homework to do or exams to prepare after school, so having the dinner ready for them is also very rewarding. I could tell that they are very smart children, sometimes shy, sometimes maybe just tired of socializing (which is totally understandable; we are here for short periods of time and keep coming and leaving. Is not so easy to be open all the time, but this is the exciting challenge for me — getting to know them better.)
They are all great children that take care of each other. They behave like siblings. I will be here only for a month so I really hope I will get to know them better. I love being here and spending time with them, and helping them with their daily routine.
As for the city, I have never been happier in a new place as last night at the Saturday’s Market. Everybody dancing, teaching you the moves, smiling at you, and giving you great energy. It was magical and positive indeed!
Chiang Rai: definitely a place to love and surely a place to come back to.