Terrific and Terrifying Times






I’ve been in Thailand for almost ten days. So what am I doing in Thailand? I am an Asian Studies major who just got back from a semester in China. I know I might not have a lot of opportunities to live abroad after I graduate and so I want to make the most of my time in school. My university also mostly only has courses on China and Japan so being in Thailand allows me to learn things I won’t be able to at my university.

I picked the program I am in because it will allow me to try a lot of new things. We get to sea kayaking, go back packing, snorkeling and ect to learn about eco-systems and how people interact with them. I have no out-doors experience so everything will be new and hopefully exciting. I am still really nervous about the program and the three weeks each month back-packing. I started school last week. Four hours of Thai in the morning and this week we start our Foundations course in the afternoon. I am not sure what the topic is, I suspect Thai culture. My program operates under a block system and we switch courses every four weeks. The next block is Rivers.

Crazy Horse

Yesterday ISDSI took us rock climbing. 96.6% of the 17 students had fun but I did not. I am terrified of heights. I was not looking forward to this. They took us to a world class rock climbing place called Crazy Horse. They spit us into two groups. First my group rock climbed. I gave rock climbing a shot thinking “how do I know I won’t like it? I have never really tried it. Maybe it will be fun.” Boy was I wrong! I didn’t even make it half way up before I slipped. That freaked me out so I came down in tears. Yes I know I am a baby, but I couldn’t help it, that is how my body reacts to stress; with tears. I was so embarrassed. The rest of the time I helped belay other people.

After lunch, my group went cave exploring. This sounded okay. Again I was wrong. After climbing up a wall, I saw that we were very high. They wanted us to zip line at this height and then repel down. I turned around and went back down the mountain. No way was I about to do that! I was already freaked out just getting to that point. I would have had a heart attack if I’d tried to repel down at that height! I was shaking just from the practice repel we’d done before coming up!

Needless to say, I now am sure I do not like rock climbing.


I have seen and used squat toilets before and thought that they were different from American toilets but that it couldn’t get stranger than that. I was wrong yet again. In Thailand they don’t use toilet paper! They have a sprayer next to the toilet to wash your-self off with! I definitely had never heard about that before coming to Thailand, except for in the crazy high-tech Japanese toilets.


Getting climbing shoes.

the zip line.


From where I was sitting before the zip line.

Pi toto

crazy horse

Hannah and I getting ready to climb before the zip line in the caves.r

Me waiting for the guide after deciding not to do the zip line.

Practice repel before the caves.