Bangkok Biscuits, A Long Boat To Laos, and the Power of the Downward Dog

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After two long days of rainfall, today’s sunshine brought us a day that was nothing less than amazing. We arrived at the children’s home this morning with a planned day of fun activities for the kids – from sports, to yoga and music, and the crowd-favorite, the craft station. As the kids moved from station to station, their excitement and enthusiasm was contagious. Carrying their beloved animal masks made at the craft station (with the assistance of Gabby, Bianca, and Alli), the kids showed off their spiritual, mental, and physical discipline at the yoga station, led by 3 lovely Yogis- Christal, Aelea, and Mart-Mari.


Next, they were off to the music station, where our musical gurus, Trevor, J.P, and Natasha brought out the rhythm in the kids as they learned classic North American children’s songs, and then taught us Thai songs in return. Last, but not least, was the sports station led by two very tired, (and slightly sunburnt) leaders, Ashley and myself. Never in my wildest dreams would the thought of playing hours of monkey-in-the-middle have seemed appealing to me, but somehow these amazing children made it one of the best days of my life!

Following lunch and in the need of a little R-&-R, the Hero Holiday crew took a scenic riverboat to the nearby country of Laos where we had our first experience of local market-bartering. Just as I thought this day couldn’t get any better, we were off to then Mekong River to go swimming with the kids! At first, my fears of what lay beneath the opaque river water was overwhelming. Four years of university microbiology raced through my mind as I considered what might be lurking in the water below. But this concern soon became obsolete as dozens of kids arrived and ran towards the water. Before I knew it, I was neck-deep in water with kids hanging off of every limb and having the time of my life! The kids swam and splashed the afternoon away followed by a treat of Bangkok biscuits and juice. As the children devoured as myany cookies as their stomachs could hold, it truly resonated with me that these amazing kids and volunteers we’ve been blessed to meet are more than a gathering of children in need, but a giant family with endless amounts of love. Each child has their own unique and irreplaceable role in the family, being able to express themselves without fear of judgment or punishment. Their bellies are full of food, their hearts full of love, and their eyes are full of hope and opportunity. Days like today compel you to reflect on all things you once though were important and essential in your life, only to lead you to the same conclusion reached in ’67 by The Beatles – all you need is love.
~ Steph, Participant, LiveDifferent Hero Holiday Thailand

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: May 8th, 2012