From Bangkok Phom rak Khun (with Love)
===Letter Home, June 29th, Bangkok Thailand===
My group trip just ended and now Im on my own again.
It was a really intense trip. I often felt full and pulled to my extremes. Intensely beautiful and intensely painful realities to witness. Our work project was situated deep in the Thai countryside, down a dirt road, a few kilometers from the Burma Border. For our project we mostly mixed cement and layed a foundation for a playground for a free school that taught 500 kids many of whom were refugees. We did some sustainable agricultural projects on a model farm and planted fruit trees with proper monks. Most of the villagers in Viakadi, where we lived, had until recently relied on hunting and gathering in the forest for animals and bamboo for shelter. The big companies had moved in and clear cut all the old Forest and replanted with endless rows of rubber tree plantation. The old big forest was not only a food source but it also held down the soil and the big trees sucked up the water from the monsoon. This has led to massive flooding and erosion. I saw houses that got washed into rivers. I met slaves of human trafficking and endless refugees who'd ran away from Burma with horrific tales.
The whole time also it was so beautiful. So green. So alive and wet. Steep jagged mountains that look like paintings, houses on stilts made of bamboo, long wooden bridges, Bald monks in Saffron robes....Which reminds me. I got to climb a mountain and sit with a monk and ask him the meaning of life (Ill tell you his answer later). I watched elephants devour a 40 foot tall cake made of fruit during a local elephant festival. I sat in a brothel with my group and we interviewed teen sex workers and told eachother stories and laughed with them and listened to their reasons and stories and situations. I sat in a loud, dimly lit, overcrowded factory with the slaves who make most of the clothes that you and I wear. I went to the Jungle for walks, had dinner with the mayor and lunch under the River Kwai Bridge. Tomorrow I head south to the Islands, to a white sandy beach where I'll sit and swim and think and be thoughtless and eat healthy food and read books and write songs on the gulf of Thailand.
Next week touch n go in NYC then off to Nicaragua for 5 weeks.
Phom rak khun (with Love)