Thailand June Update by Riley Wilson


Our time here in Thailand is coming to a close and, tired as we may be, each team member is clinging to every last moment and experience here in this incredible country. The last couple of weeks have been a stressful and thrilling whirlwind of work, play, and cultural experiences. Relationships between Youthlinc and the locals have grown stronger and deeper each day as we have worked side by side on a variety of activities and projects. The wall around the school is now being completed, the site is cleared and the Burmese Learning Center is looking better than ever with fresh coats of paint on the playground and cafeteria, and a colorful elephant mural, made personal with names to signify what we have produced and gained throughout our time with the people. Many of the women and children have gained valuable life and business skills, and trades to help them be successful and self-sustaining. This culminated with a showcasing of their work at the boutique held after closing ceremonies, where many came to sell and display beautiful clothing, accessories, handmade soap, and more.

Last week’s excursion included a trip to the beach and a wet adventure in the river, with impressive rope-swing skills displayed by many students and mentors as well. The team now looks forward to the final excursion, set to include canoeing and interaction with elephants. Through the work and excursions combined, every team member has gained a powerful appreciation and love for the culture here in Thailand, and learned a great deal about people and the world, truly becoming international humanitarians and globally-minded people. Along with the lessons learned, many will be remembering the friendships they have forged, particularly with the children at the school. Through games and spending time together, it has become clear that no border of language or culture can hinder the ability to form lasting relationships and connect with others. Goodbyes have been hard, but we are all excited to continue making the best of our trip and, when the time comes, eagerly looking forward to applying our experiences to the world in the future.