Emma Willard School in Thailand
Day 7-Khao Lak
Today we woke up and packed, we were all excited to get to Phuket and the beach. It was quiet during breakfast though, as we realized this was our last day in Chiang Mai and with Mr. Nok. After breakfast we got into a new bus and went to the airport mall. The mall was HUGE!!! There were five floors! We all spread out through the mall, but we didn't buy too much there seeing as we couldn't bargain. Most of us also ended up inside the Doi Chang coffee shop, enjoying various drinks and the free wifi. We were supposed to be on the bus by a certain time on order to catch our flight, but a few girls couldn't find our entrance seeing as there was about fifty and they all looked very similar. After a quick call to Stacey for directions, they made it out and we headed to the airport. We rushed inside, got our boarding passes, and headed to security. Before we went through security though we had to say goodbye to Mr. Nok and Mr.Tong. We were all very sad to leave them, we had been through so much together and had really connected with both of them. We hugged them and said our goodbyes.
After a few tears we headed through security and made it to our gate with about a minute to spare. Being Emma girls, in that one minute we had already made new friends; a couple from Pittsfield, Mass who were on vacation in Thailand. Soon we wished our new friends a good trip and got in line to board. We were spread throughout the plane, from rows three to row thirty-one. After a very short plane ride the pilot announced we were getting ready to descend. We all looked out the windows and stared in awe as we watched islands pass by in the clear blue water, we even saw a rainbow. After we landed, we got into vans and watched the beautiful scenery pass by. We reached the orphanage's hotel about two hours later.
The orphanage and the hotel are in Khao Lak, about 1.5 hours north of Phuket. The building was beautiful and the view from the roof was breathtaking. Before dinner we enjoyed three amazing dances preformed by children from the orphanage dressed in traditional clothing and viewed a video about what the orphanage (Baan Tarn Nam Jai) does. We learned about the devastating effects of the tsunami in 2004 and how the orphanage was quickly set up after to provide a home and an education to those left without parents. We saw clips of children learning practical skills like gardening that would help them throughout life.
After our delicious dinner of southern thai food, we then got ready to go to the night market. As we emerged from our hotel rooms, it was pouring! The rain slowed quickly, then stopped as we got into the vans. At the night market we looked through various shops and used our new finely tuned bargaining skills to get the most bang for our buck. As we headed back to the vans the rain started with a newfound strength. Some made it to the bus only damp, others tumbled in soaked completely through and laughing. We headed back to the hotel dried off and got ready for tomorrow's adventures.
Kaela & Elaine