India can be a very overwhelming place. The noises, smells, sights, crowds, and even the flavors of food are very vivid and unique, and sometimes you just don’t quite know what to make of it. Trent and Josh go for a stroll on Park Street and describe what they see on the team’s first day in India.
On the ATW II trip, we are learning the foundation of eight total languages. Howard explains how learning languages has impacted this trip, particularly in Vietnam.
In Chiang Mai, Thailand, Rounders taught English classes at a local middle school. Students are often intrigued but shy around a group of more than thirty foreigners. In order to break down barriers with these students, we often play some small and large group games. Here, Ellie and Kristine lead us all in some icebreaking games.
The ATW II team moves around very rapidly and through many different countries. Sometimes, remembering the geography of where we are is the most difficult part of the trip. Nicole describes the significance of the Golden Triangle, the location where three Southeast Asian nations meet: Laos, Thailand, and Bohmar the Great (also known as Burma).
In Chiang Mai, Thailand, we thoroughly enjoyed the natural beauty of the country. On our first full day there, we hiked through a rainforest to reach a nearby waterfall. Zach Oedewaldt explains what we did once we got there.
Our service time in Chiang Mai, Thailand included aiding a local church and school with their building project. Promise Lutheran Church is partnering with local people to build dormitories for low-income students so that they can attend the schools in the city. The ATW II team brought both the resources and the laborers in order to complete the first stage of this building project. Robyn explains what we had done so far on that first day.
“Some of the most beautiful things you learn on the Around the World trip is that no matter where you go there is always a story to find. You can have a birthday in a different country or worship in the middle of nowhere. You can sail on a boat or ride a motorcycle to go to a secret destination were you will never go back again. The most beautiful thing is when you look back and all that matters is not where you went, but who did yo go with. That is one of the profound treasures of the trip”
Around the World I
Many adventures come up as we traverse the globe, and some of these are simply not possible in the States. For example, Howard and Josh drove their rented motorbikes around Cat Ba Island in Vietnam for the price of a sandwich.
Sometimes, life can feel like a television show. The Around-the-World Semester® is often a whirlwind of faces, places, and stories happening all around you. On certain days, things can get a little complicated. Lydia shows us that on days like that, even the little things can be dramatic.
From time to time, we try to sit down with our Rounders and catch up with how they are doing. However, because of the nature of our journey, these conversations often happen in places that are out of the ordinary. Here, I have a typical conversation with Kristine as we ride bicycles around an island paradise in Vietnam known as Cat Ba.