Jet-setting to THAILAND!
This Thursday, April 18th I will board my first (of many) flights that will send me to the other side of the world! Cultural Canvas located in Chiang Mai Thailand is very excited about the arrival of Miss International and I cannot wait to get to work. We will begin our orientation on Saturday where we will learn about the Thai language, culture, traditions, religion, and lifestyle.
The Songkran Thai New Year was April 13th-15th however the celebration usually carries on throughout the entire month of April. Just like American tradition, New Years is celebrated with friends and family and includes resolution setting focused on refraining from bad behavior and to do go good things. However, they do have a New Year tradition that is very different from ours. They douse each other with water to wash away all impurities and to bring in good luck and well being for the new year. Throughout the years it has escalated to massive water fights in the streets with super soaker guns and buckets of water.
I might be lucky enough to catch the end of their celebration. After we get oriented and settled in we will get to know more about the children and families we will be working with. I am so curious to see how the Thai children adapt to my healing arts sessions. I have lots of great project ideas I have been researching for weeks! The only concern I have is the language barrier, but that is what makes art so fabulous, most of our words can be described visually through art. Whether or not we can understand each other verbally, I know we will be able to connect emotionally. Art is a universal language.
I am looking forward to meeting the other volunteers. There will be a handful of people from all over the world. Together, we will plan and implement a healing art curriculum to children living in poverty, with disabilities, to battered women and their children, and women seeking refuge after escaping from human trafficking. I am hoping we all have very different world perspectives to bring to the table and all tougher, we will develop some brilliant project plans.
My best friend Melanie Hoang will be accompanying me as my chaperone because Mama Wanous would never let me get that far away form her, alone! Melanie works for a really cool company, Bobiam, which supports Free Arts Minnesota so it was a natural choice for her to accompany me. We have known each other for 8 years and I am so thankful she was able to be my sidekick for this three-week adventure. Keep watching the blog for updates and wish us luck!
Please send your hopes, best wishes, and prayers! He hears them all.
Thank you to everyone who donated and made this trip possible,
Miss International 2012