Monday, June 25, 2012

Zoe in Thailand

In one of the most exciting adventures of her life, our daughter Zoe is off to Thailand for a month. She is traveling with nine other students, heretofore unknown to her, as part of the Overland field studies program. She is not allowed to have an iPhone, iPod, iPad or any other form of electronics. ET will not be able to phone home.

Overland group arrives at Bangkok airport Sunday, June 25.  Zoe Peyronnin 5th from left in back row.

Zoe begins her remarkable journey in Bangkok, where she and her group are taught some of the local culture and language.  Bangkok is a bustling and energetic city which has many amazing sites and smells.

The group will head north to Chiang Mai, a top eco-tourism spot which is on the Burmese border.  Here she will care for elephants as part of a service program.   She will also learn about Thai culinary herbs and spices, tour a local markets and take cooking classes.  

A few days later the group will visit Sukhothai in north central Thailand.  This was Thailand's first capital and flourished in the 13th century--the "golden age" of Thai civilization.  Sukhothai, which means rising of happiness, has lots of historic ruins in the most classic of Thai style.

Zoe and her group then head to southern Thailand.  One stop will be Krabi, about 600 miles south of Bangkok.   The town sits on a river amidst dense mangroves, and north of town are the twin limestone massifs of Khao Khanap Nam that emerge from the water like breaching whales. The wonderful people are mainly Taoist-Confucianism and Muslim.

This trip will have an enormous impact on her life.  It is the longest period of time she has been away from home.   She will be traveling in a country 9-thousand miles away from her home that has a rich and culture and heritage.  More than 70 million people make up the diverse population of Thailand.   And she will make new friendships that will last a lifetime.

Overland group in Bangkok, Zoe is third from the left.
Still, it takes courage for a sixteen year old girl to leave the comfort and security of home for the unknown.  She has packed several items that are dearest to her, as well as a camera.  Zoe is an aspiring photographer and Thailand will be a spectacular place in which to shoot pictures.

Stay tuned to this space for periodic updates and a complete report upon Zoe's return! 

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