news from the my new home

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sawadika!

So from where I left off last night... Ilse and I wandered the streets last night, taking in the crazy street Khoa San, eating mangos over sticky rice. And today, what a day. We were on our feet a lot, walking around to different sight seeing spots in the city. We saw the national museum and the Royal Palace, both of which were so beautiful. Such intricate architecture and beautiful statues. At the museum, we learned all about Thai history; it was very interesting to learn about a country that escaped colonization because the king at the time decided to westernize and centralize their government for themselves, as opposed to completely giving control to the British or French. In between visits, we were let off to wander around a market, where three friends and I gathered tons of random street vendor food and made ourselves an amazing lunch of pineapple, dried kiwi, fried corn dough things, fried chicken, and little crepes (the filling we're still not sure). It made my day when 10 of us decided to go on a boat ride down the river. After thinking the woman scammed us out of 200 baht (about $6) each, we finally got taken on a tiny boat to see river-side mosques, houses built literally on the river, a floating market, and even a floating ambulance that offers 24-hour emergency eye surgery. Tomorrow, we're driving to the mountains (!!!!!!!) where we were supposed to go on a hike, but the princess has the area reserved for the week, so we're not allowed up there...  We won't have internet or anything for seven days so enjoy this for a while, and check out the pictures on facebook. I'll upload some onto here, but my half-hour internet allotment is slowing ticking away. Talk to you in Khon Kaen then.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Orientation...

So I had my first full day in Thailand today. Unfortunately, outside of lunch and dinner, I spent it inside the hotel conference room for our first day of orientation.We were introduced to our program facilitators and staff and the rest of the students. We talked about our program's objectives and themes: help, globalization and development, people's movements, and communities. We worked on our goals and filled out a learning inventory: basic orientation stuff. So far, I've had guava and pineapple juice, fresh papaya, green curry with chicken and rice, fried noodles with sticky sauce, vegetables and fruit, and Chang, the cheapest Thai beer. Amazing, all of it. Tomorrow, we're going to visit the Royal Palace and National Museum, places I'm excited to see again since freshman year of high school. Well, I'm going to explore more of Bangkok besides the hotel, so I'll check in in a bit. Miss you all so much, and I'm working on making friends as good as you guys, but everything is amazing, and I'm having a great time.

I made it!

Just got here! Took a crazy cab ride through the beautiful streets of Bangkok and arrived at my hotel. It's awesome, and I can't wait to start my day bright and early at 9 am tomorrow. Meeting the rest of the group is awesome. More to come.

Friday, January 22, 2010

1/2 plane rides done!

So I'm sitting in the Hong Kong airport waiting for my transfer to Bangkok in about an hour. I met up with Ilse and Esther at JFK and we found Cyril and Gianna, two juniors from UMichigan at the HK airport, all of whom are awesome and I already get along well with. I can't believe this is happening! I was so anxious last night (? about what night it was- the night before I left) that I managed to roll myself out of my bed at 5 am. I'm pretty sure I was having a dream about Jodie Foster (I don't think I could even pick her out in a picture, but for some reason, I was sure that that was who was in my dream that got so blatantly interrupted by my wooden floor and the corners of my night table into my side and head.) So I survived a 16 hour plane ride since then where I attempted to force myself to sleep during the Thai nighttime to no avail. I watched Inglorious Bastards, finally, and all the Friends and 30 Rock episodes they had available and did a few Sudoku puzzles. Although I'm still freaking out about the size of my luggage, I'm getting really psyched to get to Thailand and start my program. My schedule looks so amazing from spending time in Bangkok, to retreating at a national park in the Laoi Province, to getting settled in at Khon Kaen University, to going on our first homestay.






Having checked for our passports and boarding passes a thousand times, Ilse, Esther, and I are all ready to go at JFK.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

my addresses

just in case you want to mail me something nice or pretty.

Regular Mail:
Larissa Gaias
CIEE- Khon Kaen
PO Box 91
Khon Kaen University
Khon Kaen 40002 Thailand

FedEx:
Larissa Gaias
CIEE- Khon Kaen
973/1 Moo 12, Tambon Sila
Amphur Muang
Khon Kaen 40000 Thailand 

Thursday, January 14, 2010

a week prior...

So I'm a week and 2 hoursish out of hopping on that plane in JFK and flying away to Thailand for four months. Nothing's packed, my first homework assignment is not completed, and my computer is awaiting major fixage at the Apple Store. However, I'm really freaking excited nonetheless, and I think Molly leaving already made it really hit me that it's happening. Also, we've been getting introduction emails from everyone on the program, so knowing a bit about the people I'm going to be spending the next four months is making it more real, and I'm really psyched to meet them all. So I guess I'll be blogging, I say that now at least, I'm going to need someone to bug me and keep me honest. I also plan on sending those update emails, so leave your e-mail address if you want to be added to that lucky list. Also, my skype name is... larissa.gaias. I'm also the only Larissa Gaias anywhere, so searching that will find me without confusion (even on google). I'll be 12 hours ahead of the Mainers and New Yorkers, until daylight savings time switches, because we don't have that over in Thailand, so calculate away from where you are.


Well, well, well, I guess I'll go get everything Southampton in over the next seven days. I need to eat as much pizza and cookie dough at Alex's as possible, basically; I already miss Maine and although the state and I may be having some separation anxiety issues, I think I'll get over them once I land myself in warm, beautiful Thailand. I may need a snow globe to get me through the semester, however.