Home Sweet Home

Posted by Loretta at 11:47 pm on Friday, January 20, 2012
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There’s so much I haven’t covered…and I guess that’s for a reason. I don’t want to spoil the experience for those considering studying in Thailand. Thailand is a place to have to visit and experience because it is hard to describe/explain. Four the past 4 months I reflected daily.I haven’t been blogging often because I wanted to fully immerse myself in the culture without losing focus. But now I’m available to answer all questions. On my journey I’ve learned so much about myself and ways of dealing with people different from me. I came back to America a different person; my views on life have change completely. I’m happy I had the opportunity…at first I was nervous to leave my comfort zone but I must admit the experience was worth it. I had the opportunity to visit countries surrounding Thailand … Cambodia and Myanmar known as Burma. I made some wonderful friends. My first time abroad made realize how much I love to travel…It’s my new passion :)

For those considering study abroad…Go for it what do you have to lose. Absolute nothing but there’s so much to learn ;)

* If you have question you would like to ask feel free to email me at N01473566@@hawkmail.newpaltz.edu

Special thanks to The Center for International Program, Carlton Rounds,  Clara Kelly- EOP advisor and Pamela Vivanco.

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Study Abroad and Make a Difference in Others Lives

Posted by Loretta at 1:41 pm on Friday, November 4, 2011
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I volunteer in two of the many placements in available through The International Partnership for Service Learning and Leadership program. My placements are The Healing Family Foundation and Kawila Anukul School. I have learned so much about children and adults with intellectual disabilities. At the Kawila Anukul School I teach Basic English to children with Autism and Down syndrome; and also work close with an occupational therapist to learn more about the disorders. At The Healing Family Foundation I teach Basic English and also engage in many art projects with the Artists. (The members of the organization are very talented and skilled, so they call themselves Artists). At first I was nervous about teaching English, I had no experience. Over time I realized that it didn’t matter and the students are eager learn any English and value your efforts for teaching them. Honestly, that is why I enjoy volunteering abroad. I’m making a difference in other lives 

The "Artist" taught me how to weave a scarf. They are very Talented

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Southern Thailand…Koh Chang

Posted by Loretta at 12:56 pm on Friday, November 4, 2011
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Well it is mid semester break… One week off what should I do? Explore Southern Thailand :) Check out the pics below

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Excursion to The Goldern Triangle

Posted by Loretta at 12:30 pm on Friday, November 4, 2011
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The Goldern Triangle use to be one of Asia’s Opium producing areas. It is called the Goldern triangle because it where three country border meet, but divided by the Mekong river. The countries are; Thailand, Burma and Laos. On this trip I visited the Hall of Opium which was created by the Royal family. It is a museum combines the history of opium and educates people on the dangers of illegal drugs. From there we visited the oldest Buddhist temple in the Northern region of Thailand. Overall the trip was great… Check out the pictures below

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Excursion to Mae Salong

Posted by Loretta at 11:51 am on Friday, November 4, 2011
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A few weeks ago the director of the Southeast Asian program at Payap University planned a trip to Mae Salong & Golden Triangle. The trip was quite an eye-opening experience. I was unsure if I wanted to blog about this experience. Decided I will because I felt it would be best to bring awareness to the social issues of Thailand and Burma. (Burma is one of Thailand’s bordering countries). We visited a few Organizations that strived to improve the lives of the Burmese people living along the Thai-Burma border. The organizations focused on Human Rights and Healthcare. With my own two eyes I saw children suffering from deadly illness and men with missing legs because they accidentally stepped on a land mind. The issues are as real as the eye can see and should not be ignored. The trip was emotionally exhausting. I’ve never been to close to death. By the end of the excursion to Mae Salong I had one question: How can we as students help better the lives of those less fortunate in Southeast Asia? Advice from a professor if interested in helping you can … educate yourself about the issues; write about the issues to raise awareness, Donate time and money. There are many ways you can help.

…Until next time

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Sticky Waterfall

Posted by Loretta at 6:32 am on Friday, October 14, 2011
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The waterfall is my favorite place go. It takes an hour from campus to get to Nam Tok (waterfall) Buatong. It is also known as the “sticky waterfall”, it is located in Chiang Mai’s National Park. This is not your typical waterfall. You can climb up, run down and splash around. I love this place. When I’m there I spend hours sitting reflecting on my experience studying abroad in Chiang Mai.

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Today makes 1 month in Thailand

Posted by Loretta at 1:30 pm on Sunday, September 18, 2011
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Today Sept.18th makes a month since I’ve been in Thailand. I can’t believe what I’ve experienced so far, words can’t explain.  After the 18 hour plane ride from NYC to Korea, then from Korea to Chiang Mai, I was greeted at the airport with Welcome to Thailand posters.  From the second I arrived I knew I made the right choice to study in Thailand.  That night the group of Thai studies students rode in a Songthaew (Red Truck Aka Taxi) from the airport to Payap University. We rode through the old city of Chiang Mai.   When I arrived to the International Dormitory (PHI) I was amazed, it was beautiful.  A group of Thai English major greeted us down stairs and we were assigned roommate. Most of us called it a night from that point … Exhausted from the long plane rides.

The first week was wonderful more Thai studies students arrived.  It was a diverse group of 22 college students from all over the US, Africa and Japan.  The Thai studies staff arranged tours for the group, so we had the opportunity to visit local markets, temples and historical sites. Throughout the week students ventured out to explore the city and try new foods. Chiang Mai is definitely a cosmopolitan city, but still maintains its traditional aspects.  There are street vendor everywhere selling traditional items and popular foods.  I was most amazed by how kind and helpful the local people. Although there was a language barrier they made us feel welcomed and were happy to share aspects of their culture with us.

Stay Tuned …

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The Million Dollar Question: WHY THAILAND?

Posted by Loretta at 2:36 pm on Tuesday, September 13, 2011
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I always had this strong desire to study abroad in an Asian country and experience another culture. I felt Thailand would be the best location because it is a region rich in cultural heritage. I had the opportunity to apply for a standard study abroad experience, but while studying overseas I want to volunteer in a country where I can experience poverty first hand. In Thailand I could learn more about Asian Culture particularly in Chiang Mai since it is a cosmopolitan city, but still maintains its traditional aspects. I felt the opportunity to study abroad would allow me to learn the history from the indigenous people.

The experience would become a part of me and I can share it with others. Instead of sharing what I have learned from a textbook, I can share information from personal experiences. Most importantly I wanted to completely immerse myself in Thai culture so I can have a better understanding of how people live in Southeast Asia. This would be my time learn more about the peoples’ opinions on gender, sexuality and religion, so I can understand what influences their way of life.

Overall this experience shows others that I am not afraid to take on new challenges and I am willing to embrace situations that are unfamiliar. This experience could prepare me for life and the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

~Stay Tuned for more about my experiences living, working, and studying abroad ~

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