Sawadee kah means hello in Thai. I’ve just arrived back to Chiang Mai this morning after staying five days with a home stay family in a little rural village known as Mayream. Shortly arriving into Mayream, the first thing on the agenda was to take Thai language classes. On the first lesson I learned the basics to communicate with my family. After class, I was introduced to my lovely home stay family. I was welcomed with a big warm hug from my older sister, Pii Fon. I was introduced to her two children, Namon who is six and Nun who is ten years old. I also met Pii Fon’s mother and father in law. Staying with my home stay family for five days was truly heart warming. My time with my home stay I learned about Thai culture. Buddhism, learned about my home stay family and ate delicious spicy food along with mouth watering Thai sweets.
Every day I bonded more and more with my family. I talked about my life in America and Pii Fon talked about her life in Thailand. I was a little nervous about language barriers but Pii Fon spoke decent English, enough to understand and keep conversation. During breakfast and dinner time we would talk for hours, learning about another and teaching each other our languages. I also taught her a bit if Spanish! My homestay was a poor family, living with the basic every day needs.
I was touched about how happy they lived with minimal things. I thought to myself that you only need happiness, health and love to live a simple content life.
I also learned traditional Thai dance, how to cook dishes and was able to immerse myself in Thai culture. Everyday the students and I practiced our dancing and Thai. Our final day with our home stay we had a religous ceremony to send us off with good luck. That night we danced, ate lots of good food, performed a traditonal dance and thank you speeches to the village.