by
on January 22, 2012 on 1/22/12 from ,

Peer Learning and Waterfalls

What I really learned last weekend however, was taught to me by observing one of my peers.

Learning Opportunity

    Over this last weekend, my program took us on a leadership retreat. We stayed in some cabins and were taught leadership skills, how to build a litter (similar to a stretcher), and some other useful information for when we are in the field. What I really learned last weekend however, was taught to me by observing one of my peers.    I am not sure what to call this realization or how to describe it, but I will try and describe it now. I have a tendency like most human beings to put myself first. I rush to be at the front of every line. I want to eat first, choose things first, and ect. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and most people think this way. One of my peers however is the complete opposite. She allows everyone to eat before she does, chooses things after everyone else, worries about others first, and herself last. I think that most people would like to describe themselves like my friend, however I think most people are more like me.     I think that something I as a human being need to work on is really putting others before myself. So I am challenging myself to attempt to eat last during meals and try to stop rushing to be first all the time. I think it will help me become a better person.

The Rest of my Week/Weekend

    So, beside learning about how to better myself, this weekend we had to take a swim test to determine whether or not we would have to wear a life vest during our Rivers and Oceans courses. It was difficult. We drove to a lake before the retreat and had to swim to a far away point, and then back, and then tread water for 15 minutes. I was one of the first two to go (we went two at a time) and boy did I have a hard time with the swim. I have not swam since maybe August or July. I have also never swam that far at once (or at least not in a while). I think I passed though. No one told me otherwise.    During the retreat I got to swim in a pond/stream with a waterfall! I was beautiful. It wasn’t very deep but I still enjoyed it. We also went on a nature hike and I learned there are five different kinds of bamboo.  

On Wednesday ISDSI sent us on a city scavenger hunt after the Ajans (professors/teachers) taught us how to cook some Thai food (which we ate for lunch). My team won! We had to go to six different places and take 13 different photographs. My team scored a perfect 120 points (10 points for the 13th photo went to the funniest picture). We ran everywhere! Our first stop was at Chiang Mai University. After that a market to eat bugs/fruit (we chose crickets, but I didn’t eat mine…), then to a temple, the city wall, a hospital, and a mall. We took pictures with nurses, elderly women and in front of the post office just to name a few things. It was a lot of fun, but for all our effort to win we only got a snickers bar. ISDSI paid for our transportation and the bugs/fruit. It was a nice afternoon all in all. The lunch we’d made early was great too!

On Thursday my host sister Pi Miu graduated from university and we briefly went to one of her friends parties. It was a little strange. It was a family party but on a stage in the middle was three half-naked college aged women dancing and singing. My eight and six year old host nieces and nephews were there so I didn’t understand why that was appropriate.   

My Thai is not getting much better. My host dad said “niu khaow” (or was it Khao niu?) to me yesterday and I could not remember that it meant “are you hungry” after a weekend of only Engish and my host mom said “oh no Breanna, Mai Khaow Jai?” and shook her head. (mai khaow jai means to not understand.)We have Cross-Fit today and I have my Thai Foundations class in twenty-minutes so…TTYL.

Our swim test.

We got to cook in Thai class last wednesday before our city scavenger hunt. I helped make spring rolls. I got to fry them!

Sitting around the camp fire on Saturday night