Entered a Stranger, Left With a Familyprint story
September 12, 2012
During my time at the Farmer Community School in Plaboo, I kept a blog of my experiences, feelings, duties and any other random thoughts. I thought an excerpt from the final blog entry would serve as the perfect review for what I believe to be the most special place on Earth.
Everyone said this experience would change me as a person, and I have to admit, I wasn’t sure if I agreed or not before I came. I guess I thought, how could I change that much in just two months? But I’m pretty sure I was wrong. And that is due mostly to the people I have met and lived with in this amazing country. They bent over backwards to make us comfortable, displayed such patience with our language barrier, and truly made us a part of their family. The core staff here at FCS (Lam, Toy, Om, Li, Pui, Satngad, Narong and Mos) has become especially important to me. They taught me how to be happy with whatever life throws at you, how to laugh at just about every situation, and how to truly live in a completely unselfish manner. Life in Plaboo is based on community, on sharing, and on taking care of one another. Nobody is concerned with who has more or who got the better end of the stick. People are genuinely concerned with the well being of all of those living around them and the organization that Lam envisioned and brought to life just intensifies these characteristics. I learned how to make just about anything with rice, how to shower with a bucket, sleep with a net, and dance through the streets. I can’t deny that I will miss how gorgeous my pale white skin and crazy blond hair is here. I will also miss always knowing when people are talking about me, just from hearing the word falong (thai for white person).
I will most definitely appreciate the simple things in life thanks to Plaboo. It still amazes me how happy Thai people are to dance around the village, throwing rice and catching candy. The delight on the kids’ faces when we play Bingo never gets old. There is no need for television, video games, or ipads. Most people are happy with each other’s company (and a little whiskey every now and then). I think this is because they have learned to appreciate and understand what’s really important; friends, family, and goodwill. Lam has taught me how far a positive attitude can take you and how truly selfless people have the fullest, richest lives.
Words can’t really express how grateful I feel to have had this opportunity. I know that some are unable to do a long-term trip like this for one reason or another and I feel lucky that I had the chance. I sincerely hope Plaboo has gotten as much out of me as I have out of them, but I doubt that is possible. I look forward to continuing the relationships I have made with these people after returning to the City of Brotherly Love. And while I have various emotions about leaving these people, the lifestyle, and this country, I look forward to the final leg of this journey. I suppose MOST good things do come to an end (although I’ve always hated that saying).
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