Stand Up Thailand – Update #2

Hello Friends and Family!

Please enjoy updates written by teens on our trip!

Day 3-Second Chance

Day 3 was a very interesting day since the things we did varied greatly. First off, we went to Second Chance Bangkok. Second chance Bangkok is a charity that was started by an Australian couple which takes donations similar to Goodwill and allows the citizens of the slums to sell those products to make money for their family. When the owners of Second Chance got to Thailand they chose to live in the slums rather than get a big house for themselves. The people live in such poor conditions yet they seem to still be cheerful. This was a very eye-opening experience because there’s nothing like that where I live. Then we headed to the airport for a flight to Chang Mai. I sat by my new Besty from New Jersey, Ruth, and although we probably annoyed everyone on the flight, we had a blast singing and dancing! When we got to Chiang Mai we enjoyed traditional Thai style dinner and a show. Although the dinner was delicious, the show was pretty weird. It lasted about an hour and was full of many short very odd dances. We did some shopping afterwards before heading back to the hotel. As a surprise to wrap up the night we lit sparklers to celebrate the Fourth of July. All in all the day was great and I’m so excited for the rest of the trip.

-Amelia

Day 4-Chiang Mai

Today was our first full day in Chang Mai. After eating at the large breakfast buffet, we set off on a bumpy bus ride to Wat Prathat Doi Suthep, the temple up in the mountains of Chang Mai. We explored the temple buildings including the center golden pagoda. Our group was blessed by a monk. Once we had descended the temples’ 309 steps, we went to lunch. We had yellow curry a dish unique to northern Thailand. I thought it was delicious. After lunch, the eating continued at the fruit market. We tried lots of Thai fruits including jackfruit, mango and Durion. I actually thought the jackfruit tasted like a cross between a banana and a mango. The tamarind, used for flavoring Pad Thai, had a fig texture to it. The Durion, is known for its spiky outer layer and its distinctive smell. On the inside it is smooth and yellow and in my opinion tastes like egg custard. After the fruit market, we went to Wat Pra Sing, the temple in the middle of Chiang Mai. Before exploring, we were given coconut ice cream from a vendor in the park. I had mine with chocolate and strawberry sauce and it was amazing. At night we went to Chabad to celebrate Shabbat. I have never been to a Shabbat service at Chabad before so it was a new experience for me. The fact that the service was all in Hebrew made it somewhat familiar, but I didn’t hear most of the prayers since the girls and boys were separated. After a LARGE meal, we walked back to the hotel ready for Shabbat activities tomorrow morning!

-Sophia P

Day 5-Relaxation

On Shabbat, Sarah and Drew let us sleep in a bit which was very cool. We ended up going outside for our morning Shabbat service. Instead of the typical service, they told us a story about a boy who prayed in the forest. The boy felt he was different when he went to the forest which is similar to how we feel on this trip. We are in a different country yet still doing Jewish things, which makes us different but similar. For more effect, we each went to our own space in the little temple park and prayed or reflected. I thought about the trip and what else we are gonna do. It was peaceful being on our own. Then we went to the open space and played a game. Ninja, toilet tag, hotdog tag and a clapping game. Lunch was at Kit’s favorite restaurant. Lots of veggies and Chinese Thai food. It was interesting. Most of us were tired of eating rice and noodles so we had some smoothies and ice cream. For a surprise, Drew, Kit and Sarah took us to get Thai massages. They were super painful since we all were sore, but relaxing at the same time. After free time, we did a meaningful Havdallah service to bring in the new week and remember the week we just had. We were able to have some time in the Night Market to buy souvenirs for family.

-Joseph M

More updates soon!

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