Monday, January 9, 2012

Thailand - 2

Some pics (Blanca and another student) and an update, below, from the faculty advisor. Blanca is having a great time!

Sunday January 8:
Today was a day of fun and relaxation and several optional activities. Some folks began the day with Sarah Kim teaching and leading them in meditation. Sarah is very skilled at this and the request came from our conversations with Buddhist monks about their meditation practices. Some used the morning as an opportunity to sleep in, especially after such a long day yesterday.

We went together to Sunday morning worship at the First Church of Chiang Mae, one of the congregations associated with the Christian Church of Thailand, which is affiliated with the United Church of Christ as a united and uniting church. We were warmly welcomed and sat together in a special section for visitors that had headphones providing an English translation of the service. We followed the worship service with lunch out together. Then the participants had a free afternoon. Several chose to have Thai massages that were unanimously declared wonderful. In the evening, we went to the Sunday night walking market inside the gates of the old Chiang Mae city and finished the evening with dinner at a Thai buffet. It was a fun and relaxing day and came at a good time in our overall schedule.

We may be out of email touch for the next couple of days. Tomorrow afternoon, we are heading to the city of Mae Sot which is on the border of Thailand and Burma. There we will visit a Burmese refugee camp, an NGO called Burmese Issues that focuses on the internally displaced people inside Burma, and a school and medical clinic that serve the Burmese population in the area. We will spend two nights at a resort outside of Mae Sot and the rest of the time touring and learning about the situation and peace-building efforts in the area. It will be a very full few days. I am unsure whether or not we will have internet access while there, but will certainly email you upon our return in a few days.

Everyone is well, taking good care of themselves, and looking out for each other. We hope that you are well, too, and pray that it is so.

I’ll be in touch again in a few days. Until then, abundant blessings!

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