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Homestays in Mae Rim- by Ana Basaldua

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 Ana and Elena with their homestay moms

Ana and Elena with their homestay moms

Last week the Hathai Cohort met our homestay families. We were all really nervous at first but ended up sharing the best moments with some of the kindest people. I had a mom and an older brother. The first day I met my mom, she took me on walk and held my hand as she showed me off to all her neighbors. She’s so sweet! She fed me insane amounts of bomb-ass food and would then walk me over to her friend’s house, who would then feed me some more bomb-ass food. I kept saying “eem, eem, eem” (which means “I’m full” in Thai) but still continued to receive more plates of food. The good thing is that Thai food is really healthy. My host brother was cool, he always went on snack runs and came home with chips and cookies for me.

 

 Hathai cohort dressed to the nines in traditional northern Thai attire

Hathai cohort dressed to the nines in traditional northern Thai attire

Our cohort and I received bikes so that we’d be able to bike to and from our Thai language school. I picked out the pink one.  School was in the same village that we lived in. ‘Twas great. At school, we learned Thai language and how to cook fried rice, kaoo soi, mango sticky rice, lapb and papaya salad. We were also learning a traditional northern fingernail dance and a sword dance which we were all really terrible at but perfected towards the end. I loved school. Learning had never been this fun and productive. At this point our cohort was becoming closer. During our lunch break my girlfriends and I would bike to the same stand every day. It was run by 2 cute boys who sold the best iced cocoa. We didn’t know which of the two was better, the ice coco or the boys. Lol. We ended the week by having a goodbye ceremony at school with our teachers and families. It was “SUAY” (beautiful). Our parents gave us a blessing by tying a bracelet around our wrist. The boys in our cohort performed the sword dance and the girls in our cohort performed the fingernail dance while wearing super long boujee fingernails. Our mommies joined us girls in our dance. Eventually students, teachers, parents, and siblings were all dancing the night away. We all enjoyed every minute of it and were so thankful for everything our homestay families did for us.

 Cynthia, Ana, and Lena holding Loi Kratong lantern boats at the village farewell gathering.

Cynthia, Ana, and Lena holding Loi Kratong lantern boats at the village farewell gathering.

 Hathai boys show off their sword dance moves

Hathai boys show off their sword dance moves

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