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Brie Mullins – Thailand

สวัสดี! Hello! My name is Brie Mullins and I’ll be going to Thailand for the 2017-2018 school year. I’m currently a senior at West Jefferson High School and grateful member of the generous Columbus Rotary who was kind enough to sponsor me. For ten months I will be a proud representative in District 3340 located in the east of Thailand. I’m not fluent in Thai but I’m taking steps everyday to ensure I’ll be able to soak up as much culture as possible by learning what language I can before I leave for this adventure. In my small hometown of West Jefferson I participate mainly in the arts. Throughout my highschool career I’ve squeezed as many fine arts classes into my schedule as possible, participated in the theater program, volunteered to help for the arts council, as well as being a member of every band my school has to offer. I am excited beyond words to experience the culture of Thailand and to see how I will grow creatively and as a person during this exchange. I’m positive I will learn priceless lessons while abroad and I have only Rotary to thank for this wonderful opportunity!

 

 

October 1, 2017

I’ve now been in Thailand for a month and a half! September started with my host father’s birthday and, goodness, what a party we threw. There were so many people! My host mom, sister, and I cooked all day to prepare for everyone. At one point the entire house and their motorcycle shop below was overcome by the smell of food and at that point my job was to keep the dogs from eating all of our hard work. After the sun went down and the weather cooled, the people started to pile in. All the employees and their families as well as friends, relatives, and rotarians came. Karaoke ensued and everyone was either dancing or singing. After everyone had danced and eaten dessert, my host father went to the front to present scholarships to the children of his employees. It was so cute to see these little kids with clumsy hands run back to their parents with the envelopes my host father gave them.

At school, everything has been very serious because this was the last month before the semester ended. I was happy to help my classmates for their english exams and to watch as they prepared for their chinese and japanese exams. I haven’t learn much in the foreign language classes because everyone is preparing for the exams but next semester I hope to be able to actually study in those classes.

After school I go to a Thai class with two other exchange students, a girl from Brazil and a boy from Taiwan. We’ve made it our mission to try and find different cafes to go to before class when we’re together. My favorite find was this cat cafe and our weirdest one was this place that served fruit teas with cheese on top. Cheese. Sour cheese. I think I might have enjoyed if it wasn’t 90 degrees everyday where I live but it’s an experience I don’t regret.

Now that school has ended for me, I was lucky enough to be able to travel to a couple of other provinces. I headed north to Amnat Chareon for a couple of days where I got to take a few Thai Boxing lessons and live inside of a primary school for Thai kids ( which was great because my thai isn’t even as good as theirs)  I’m currently enjoying the small city of Mukdahan on the border of Laos. I’m very thankful to have all these generous hosts and for allowing me this opportunity!

the beautiful sunset right before the party began

The packed house at my host father’s birthday.

All the kids with their parents that my host father gave scholarships to

The helpful guy in front of the cheese-tea place who recommended his favorite concoction to us; peach & white cheddar.

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