We are wrapping up our finals weeks here in Thailand. Although we have visited many places, Gaia Ashram and The Mirror Foundation were my favorite places to be.
In Udon Thani lies a very special place called, Gaia Ashram where their main focus is to teach and inform communities around the world about the way of restoring our ecosystems while restoring our connection with mother earth. At Gaia Ashram, the team is so welcoming and so passionate about what they do, and it inspires those who come to work with them. Ohm and Tom are the owners and founders of Gaia Ashram and the amount of blood, sweat, and tears that has got into creating such a space that allows the earth to heal, but also the individual is something that is wonderful.
After 7 days of working and getting to know everyone at Gaia, our team set off our new adventure. While it was a bittersweet goodbye, we hope to see them again in the future as well as raise awareness for mother earth and how we should change they way that we’re treating the planet. We then made our way to Chiang Rai, where The Mirror Foundation is located. This Organization helps not only the environment, but also with disaster management, building programs, and much more. Once we got to The Mirror Foundation, we got to take a tour and while waking around, we saw a gift shop that sells traditional whistles that are carved into different designs and then made into necklaces, bracelets, and more which then helps the team find each other while walking through the jungle.
Our group was going to help widen a bridge in one of the local villages where the Akha people live. Akha people are an ethnic group who live in the mountains and care a lot about the earth. The village was extremely breathtaking, and the Akha people were so inviting and caring. We got to stay with homestays while staying at their village. I got to spend a lot of time with Abou (grandfather in Akha) who is also someone who is known throughout this village by everyone. He has worked with The Mirror Foundation for many years, but also works on his own. The way About talk about this and, and how throughout his life has done anything that he could to make it a better place for his children is moving because I’ve never seen someone so dedicated to save our planet. He is someone whom I will miss the most and hope to see again.
Once we had finished expanding the bridge- which took about 4 days- the village wanted to throw a celebration as a thank you. We got eat traditional Akha food while also enjoying a traditional dance. I will hold onto this memory forever as it was something that I haven’t experienced before, and hope that I get to visit them again.