Written By Cari & Brian
Sabai Spring Spring 2019 has bid farewell to Southeast Asia. We have had such a journey, it is hard to summarize in a short blog post. Over the past three months, we have been privileged to experience three very distinct and different cultures and countries in Southeast Asia spending the most time in Thailand.
In Thailand, we lived with local host families, learned to speak basic Thai, spent 10 days “roughing it” on an organic permaculture farm, worked on a very labor intensive service project (building the foundation for a future school for children of migrant workers from Burma), trekked and stayed in local villages, hung out with and bathed elephants and spent time exploring Bangkok.
In Cambodia, we visited Angkor Wat, learned about the history of the county with a visit to Landmine Museum outside of Siem Reap, spent time with local students, experienced the history of the genocide with a visit to S21 and the Killing Fields and concluded our time there with a yoga/meditation retreat in the south to recharge and reflect before Vietnam.
Vietnam had us exploring Saigon, spending a memorable week in the Mekong River Delta with students from a local university, visiting the CuChi tunnels and the war museum. Many of the students are now Open Water SCUBA certified and excited to use their skills around the globe. The Group also planned a memorable week of travel up to the North concluding in Hanoi with stops in Hoi An (the Old Quarter of the city is a UNESCO Heritage site) and Hue (known for its ancient Citadel/Imperial City and the Perfume River). We spent the final days of the program wandering the many alleys and enclaves Hanoi’s Old Quarter and visiting the breathtaking Halong Bay.
Challenging at times, the group as a whole and as individuals, stepped outside of comfort zones and overcame challenges, met and sometimes exceeded personal and program goals. Us OEs feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to support the students in their individual journeys and create and cultivate a community of gratitude for these past three months. Wishing our students a safe journey home and all the best for whats next. Time to get horizontal!