July 20, 2022
Hello and goodbye everyone!
Thanks for staying updated on the adventures of Thailand 2B. The past few days have been jam packed full of fun times: from rock climbing, to a night market, to a cooking class, a traditional dance performance and even a tour of the Grand Palace and the Emerald Buddha. We have enjoyed these days so much and cherished all of our last moments together. Goodbyes are always difficult, but they will be especially difficult for this amazing group. We have been so lucky to have such a wonderful girl squad and to have shared so many cool adventures together all over Thailand. I know this group will stay in touch and hopefully reunite in the future!! The girls are so excited to return home to share all of their pictures, stories, and gifts with y’all.
Signing off for the last time with so much love and gratitude,
The Thailand Twelve
-Brooke & Hailey
July 17, 2022
Hello from Thailand, specifically Mae On. On Monday, we left Chang Mai and headed forty-five minutes east to Mae On to start the service portion of our trip. As soon as we arrived the girls dropped off their bags and got to work. Luckily the first part of our service project was right across the street at a sustainable farm where the girls would learn about the practices of permaculture. We were welcomed by the owners of the land and were briefed by a video and translated explanation by our service leader named Pui, who would accompany us for the week. Then, we were given a tour of the property. The girls saw lots of animals including frogs, chickens, and ducks. Once we had familiarized ourselves with the lay of the land, the girls were challenged to find some local ingredients to prepare an authentic Thai omelet. They gathered what they could find, with the most important ingredient being the eggs from the chicken coop and put their cooking skills to the test. Some of the girls, specifically Reita, Charlotte, and Sara, stated they had experience in the kitchen and were ready to compete on this episode of Thailand’s iron chef. Others said their experience was limited but they were excited for the challenge, nonetheless. The cooking competition commenced, and the girls worked furiously to prepare the best plate. In the end, all of the omelets had their own specialty twist, but Charlotte and Brianna’s was voted as the winner by one of the ladies, who serve as our tasting judge. After preparing the omelets, we transitioned into lunch and the girls fueled up for the second half of the day. We spent the afternoon mixing compost. Once we had finished up all our duties, we walked back over to our accommodation, and the girls settled into their four guest houses. We allowed them some free time to catch up on some rest or reading, as both were needed. Dinner concluded the free time and was served in a gazebo near all the little houses where the girls stayed and consisted of more authentic Thai food. Eliza never shied away from trying all of the new food that was served to us. She would gladly take a bite and provide us with a thorough review. We had moonup and a few of us played a quick game of Heads-up, but most of us were tired after a long day of work and all the travel beforehand so we called it a night.
The next day the girls had an earlier breakfast so we could have an opportunity to walk through the local street market that started right outside of our accommodation. It was such an awesome experience that allowed to girls to understand how the local people bought what they needed each week. We saw lots of unique foods and handmade items for sale. Once we had walked up and down the market, we returned to the service project to continue working with permaculture. Today, the girls prepared mushroom planters from laundry baskets and hay that would later be planted. They also tended to other previously planted crops to make sure they were successfully growing. After lunch, the girls got down and dirty. They prepared an area to plant rice paddies by taking off their shoes and stepping in the mud. We played Cotton Eyed Joe and the Cupid Shuffle to produce the correct foot work. It didn’t take long before the area turned into a mud pit that the girls played in like pigs. Mud was flying everywhere. As soon as Hailey snapped a few pictures of the girls playing in the muddy mess, she was immediately covered in mud by all the girls and joined in on the fun. The girls had the best time being silly and giving each other mud masks. It started to rain so we quickly planted the rice and then washed off with a nearby house before taking an actual shower back in our rooms. Again, the girls spent the afternoon cleaning the mud out of their ears and clothes. We made a surprise visit to the coffee shop right outside of where we were staying and ordered mochas and caramel iced coffees. Little did we know we would be back the next morning and the next and the next…we quickly became their more consistent costumers. Dinner was served later that night and the girls gladly went straight to sleep.
Day 3 of service was our last day on the farm. We put all our new skills to the test and went on a scavenger hunt for ingredients, and then cheffed up a papaya salad and some egg boats. All of this was part of our lunch of course! After lunch, we made some more compost, and tried out a new tree planting technique. We even learned how to fix sick trees by using branches from healthy trees. I know I will be putting my new plant knowledge to use when I get home. I’ll also be making some butterfly pea tea with the dried leaves we got from the farm! That evening, we played a game of fishbowl that had everyone rolling on the floor laughing. There were songs brought up, animals mentioned, and jokes made. It was so much fun to reminisce on all of our adventures this far into the trip.
The next day we went into a small village not too far from where we had been staying. The moms took us in and showed us the ropes of traditional Thai womanhood. We learned the process of making clothes all the way from taking cotton off the seeds, winding it into string and then weaving it into cloth. Campbell and Ella were naturals at fluffing out the cotton. Elle and Callie spun the thread onto the bobbins with ease. Charlotte strung the string out into its proper pattern. We then walked over to the weaving apparatus and Eliza knew it was her time to shine. The girl was an absolute natural. If you had seen it, you would have thought she’d been doing it forever. After the clothing portion, we moved on to everyone’s favorite part of the day. We did some pattern sewing on little bags that we got to keep! Hannah’s artwork was a sight to behold. Reita couldn’t stop talking about how much she loved it for like a whole day afterwards. Lastly, we wove some small animals with bamboo leaves and made them into little lanyards. Full disclosure, the little Thai ladies did most of it for us! For our last day of service, we went to the Royal project. We got to learn all about the royal project and the ways that the king supports all the people of Thailand. It was really inspirational to see how they put emphasis on the environment and the community. Our way to help the community was to help clean up by picking up trash. We got gloves, put Sara on aux, and went to cleaning! With some epic tunes fueling our journey, we collected two bags of trash from the side of the dam. Callie also snapped some photos of us doing our good deeds with a nice view in the distance. We all felt really good about our contribution that day. As a cherry on top, we got to plant some baby trees and some seeds, that would be donated to the local community for free! Bri gave the ladies at the nursery a good laugh as we made our way out. When we got back, we prepped for our early morning departure, and then Reita led Elle, Bri and Brooke in a little yoga class. It was a great last day of our service section!! We are all super stoked for the upcoming Elephant activity and for an awesome last few days of the trip! Talk to you next time with the final details of our adventures.
Love, The Thailand Twelve
Surprise! The group wanted to send some thank-you’s to you all!
Eliza- thank you so much mom and dad for this trip. It was incredible and I can’t wait to tell u everything. Hugs and kisses see you soon!
Charlotte- thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to go on this trip! It has been the most incredible experience ever and i cant wait to share ur with u and show u all my pictures! i love you both so much, see you soon!
Brianna- thank you so much for this trip! I’ve had so much fun and I can’t wait to tell you about it. Love you!!
Campbell- thank you for this trip and opportunity it was so much fun!!
Reita- This trip has been the best! Thank you so much for the opportunity to go. I love ya’ll so much and can’t wait to see you.
Elle-Thank you so much for this amazing trip! I miss y’all so much and I can’t wait to see you
Callie- Thank y’all so much for this trip. It has been amazing. I cant wait to see y’all and tell all about it! Love love love y’all
Sara- Thank you for giving me the opportunity to go and do things that make me happy. I love you so much and can’t wait to see you and tell you all about my adventures!
Hannah- Thank You So Much for giving me the opportunity to go on this trip! It has been amazing! Cant wait to tell y’all all about it!
Ella- thank you mom and dad! It has been amazing and I can’t wait to show you all of the pictures I took. See you soon! Love you guys
July 11, 2022
OMG Guys you would be so proud of us. Our climbing section was incredible, everyone got up the wall. We walked through Railay to the beach where our routes were, set up our spot, and got pumped up. Listening to Eye of the Tiger gave us all in a confidence/ energy boost and a hype mindset!! It must have worked because right off the bat we had some crazy climbers on the team. Reita, Bri, and Campbell were showing us all how it’s done. Not all of us could go at the same time, but luckily, we had entertainment. Ella helped get some sick shots of the girls while they climbed. Hannah, Sara, and Callie took some acrobatics action shots and we all laughed at the shots-gone-wrong. We took one with the LOD disposable, hopefully it turns out cool! Our girl boss group climbed up until the minute it was time to go have lunch. For lunch, we walked all the way to the other side of the peninsula to a restaurant. After sweating a lot and working out hard, we we’re all super hungry. Luckily lunch was bussin’. We had a long lunch break so afterwards we walked down to the beach to relax off our food comas. Charlotte, Bri and Brooke went for a swim in their clothes to cool down. It was much needed!! Afterwards, Eliza and Reita joined them for a shell walk. We found lots of cool clam shells and “swirly-swirls”. On the way back to the group, everyone picked up some pieces of plastic that were on the beach in an effort to help clean it up. As leaders, we felt so proud to have a group of such thoughtful and kind girls. On the way back to our afternoon of climbing, we stopped to get ice cream and Gatorade aka the essentials!! In the afternoon, we went up through the cave and repelled down it. Everyone got a sweet picture in the cave with the beautiful scenery in the background. We left Railay with new confidence in our abilities and muscles. For dinner, we went to a tex-mex restaurant for some comfort food, and they gave us all sombreros to wear. It was hilarious and yummy. On the walk home, it rained quite a bit, but we put on some tunes and skipped, and it ended up being really fun. This group really has the ability to turn any situation into a good time!
The next day we woke up with sore muscles after having spent the day prior climbing. Brooke and Hailey, whose muscle (tank tops) appeared overnight were specifically sore after putting their strength to the test. We fueled up with a protein packed breakfast at the hostel to prepare for the day. Since we only had one more morning to climb, the girls took full advantage of what time they had left to improve their already impressive climbing skills. Brianna, Reita, and Eliza did a 90-foot climb which allowed them to have an amazing view of Railay. Brianna even wore the GoPro on her helmet to capture it. It was spectacular! Those who waited down below cheered on their fellow friends and snapped lots of pictures in between playing card games. After having satisfied their urge to climb, the girls packed up their gear and we headed to lunch. We had worked up an appetite! Having enjoyed yet another delicious lunch, we strategized for our afternoon of shopping. The girls had their souvenir lists ready and their comfortable walking shoes on in preparation for our undertaking. We knew it was going to be a full afternoon. Having scouted out the shops the day before, the girls had an idea of where they wanted to hit first. We hopped from store to store in search of pants, jewelry, elephant souvenirs, bags, and anything else the girls spotted along the way. You will have to ask about their luxury items they found- they were the big-ticket items. We took a brief break to fuel up with some ice cream and find shelter from the rain. Afterwards, we finished up our shopping spree and even picked out postcards to send home, so be on the lookout for one coming to a mailbox near you! Once the girls had checked off their lists, we treated ourselves to a delicious dinner that offered American food options. Anticipating a lot of Thai food coming up during our service section, it was nice to have a taste of home. Once we made our way back to the hostel, we immediately did a shopping haul where each person shared their purchases with the group. Charlotte’s haul featured a song that perfectly described her purchases. We danced and laughed! It was quite the entertainment seeing what all the girls found that afternoon. They are pro shoppers and are excited to give many gifts! Afterwards, we then headed to a nearby laundry mat to clean our clothes and write our previously purchased postcards home. We decided to moonup at the laundry mat and discussed our hopes, dreams, and plans for the future. These might be some of most goal oriented and motivated girls we have ever met! We have no doubt they will accomplish anything they set their mind to.
Although we were sad to leave the beach, the girls were excited for the second half of our Thailand adventures, in a whole new part of the country. Our excitement carried us all the way through the travel day, arriving safely in Chiang Mai. We hit up the Sunday night market for dinner and to try some treats. We dined on stir fry, crepes and smoothies while enjoying the local sights. It was so cool to see the streets so alive with culture, we all really appreciated being able to see it. Our next stop is our service section! Hopefully we will be able to immerse ourselves in the culture and learn lots of new things :).
Later skaters, The Thailand Twelve
Charlotte- Hey mom and dad miss you and I even miss grant too! 🙂
Reita- Love u mom and dad, don’t worry I haven’t spent all my money – yet 🙂
Campbell- Hey!! Having fun in Thailand Miss yall and can’t wait to share everything.
Callie- Hi mom, dad, reese, charlie and friends!!! Thailand is so beautiful and I love it here. We have been scuba diving and rock climbing and our headed to see elephants now. I miss yall and can’t wait to tell all about it!!!
Elle- Hey everyone! I miss yall so so much! This trip had been amazing and I’ve learned so much about myself and others! Can’t wait to see yall
Ella- Hey mom, dad, fam, and cami! I miss you guys so much and can’t wait to tell you guys all about the wonderful places we have been. I’m having the best time, can’t wait to see you soon!!
Eliza-Hi mom dad hays and kate! I miss you so much and can’t wait to tell you all about it!
Bri- Hey everyone! I’m having the best time here, and I’m so excited to tell you about it when I come home. Love you so much!!
Hannah- Hi mom and dad, allen and friends! I’m having lots of fun and can’t wait to tell yall all about it! Thailand is so beautiful. Miss and love yall so much!
Sara- Hi family, I’m having lots of fun and I can’t wait to show you all the pics I’ve taken and things I’ve bought. Miss you lots
July 8, 2022
Hello from Thailand! Boy, have we been busy!! After the girls arrived, we had a few hours to sleep before our flight out. Our flight and ferries went smoothly and we arrived in Koh Tao in the early afternoon. We were greeted by air-conditioned rooms, showers, beach air, and lots of good food to eat. We had a quick dinner and moonup, as everyone was super excited to finally enjoy a full night of sleep. Luckily, we had comfy beds to sleep in so we all hit the hay!
The next day we started the first day of scuba school. The girls spent the morning learning all about scuba diving in terms of the science behind it, as well as the safety. They were excellent students who eagerly participated in the preparation to put their skills to the test. After a morning spent in the classroom, the girls enjoyed a delicious lunch at their favorite new restaurant and then we headed to a nearby pool to practice all that they had learned in the classroom. The scuba instructors were very impressed by the girls’ ability to take what they learned just hours earlier and apply it in the pool. They were naturals! Even after dealing with some minor challenges with equalizing, the girls were able to successfully complete their first day. Our instructors even remarked that with 10 girls, the group finished their pool lessons much quicker than other smaller groups. Obviously, that’s because we’re the best! We spent the evening getting to know each other more and then had a relaxing night in preparation for the next day.
In true Fourth of July fashion, the girls woke up to an alarm of “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus. They were then able to pick out a festive Fourth of July accessory from an array of bandanas, sunglasses, beads, and a tiny cowboy hat. After breakfast, we had a photo shoot on the beach as we were all decked out in red, white, and blue. Impressively, the girls managed to make a perfect human pyramid. The picture of their amazing feat should be coming to you soon. Eliza and Campbell also attempted a cute picture on a swing that very quickly turned into disaster and laughter. The girls then headed over again to the dive shop for their second day of scuba school. After finishing up the remainder of the material, the girls were eager to take their exam. Naturally, they all passed and were able to spend the rest of the day celebrating worry-free. After fueling up with another tasty lunch, the girls took on the ocean for the first time. They practiced the skills they had previously learned the day before in the pool, but this time in the ocean. Campbell, who was already certified, got to go on some fun dives! The girls also were introduced to none other than Terry Twittermore, the famous parrot of the island, who, not to mention, has his own Instagram. Charlotte grew to become a quick friend and favorite of Terry, who decided to make a nest on her head. Terry also agreed to flash a friendly smile for the camera while all the girls took turns taking their picture with him. After an afternoon spent both on and in the water, the girls pampered themselves that night with fairy hair that Callie so kindly offered to share. We listened to music that our LODs Hannah and Sara handpicked in honor of the fourth. After everyone’s heads were full of sparkles, we said our good nights and cheers to another successful day on Koh Tao.
Since the girls took their scuba exam early, they had the next morning free to sleep in. We all enjoyed a slow start with a later breakfast, and the girls elected to continue their restful morning with a well-deserved Thai massage. All the girls agreed that they felt both well-rested and well stretched after. It was quite the experience. After lunch, the girls were able to take on the ocean yet again for their first full group fun dives, without having to practice any skills. Per usual, after a long day of scuba diving, the girls went to bed early and caught up on their sleep. This was pretty much the last day adjusting to the time change and preparing for an early start the next day. We began the next day with a particularly early wake-up for our morning dive. The girls rose before the sun and then headed to the scuba shop to start their day. We spent the morning on the water doing fun dives where the girls were able to test their buoyancy abilities and swim through caves. Reita and Charlotte saw a huge pufferfish. Girls that were in Hailey’s group saw some stingrays. Given that it was their last day of diving, the girls soaked up every second. At lunch, the girls logged their dives and said both thank you and goodbye to their scuba instructors. After satisfying their scuba skills, the girls enjoyed some sun and sand on the beach. We listened to music, read books, and even rented some paddle boards for the rest of the afternoon. Sara was a natural even though she had never done it before. Hannah and Callie tested out some ideas they had for aesthetic pictures. We all agreed it was the best way to spend the last day on the island. We concluded the day with one last dinner and a final moonup on the beach. Brianna asked the important questions at dinner about the difference between red and green tomatoes. Her findings were groundbreaking and kept us all entertained. Our group was becoming closer by the minute and although we were sad to say goodbye to Koh Tao, everyone was excited about what was to come.
Today was our second travel day. We left Koh Tao to venture to Krabi where we will spend two days rock climbing and repelling. Rita and Charlotte taught Elle, Ella, Brooke and Hailey on the ferry how to play a fun game called scribble. Our resulting doodles featured a lady with awesome hair, a guy river tubing, and a giraffe human hybrid that nearly made me pee my pants laughing. I’ve been introduced to a lot of games in my life but this definitely has to be one of my favorites. The groups great attitude, fun games, books, and storytelling made the time pass quickly, and in the blink of an eye we had arrived. We had a brief safety meeting with Ken, the guy in charge of our rock climbing tomorrow, and went out in search of pizza. We went to a place Ken had suggested to us last session. I know when you think of Thailand, you probably don’t expect pizza to be a specialty, but this place has the most delicious pizza in the world. We ate our hearts out and returned to our new lodging to moon up. Tonight’s moonup was wonderful, a perfect example of the atmosphere of love and community that these trips have the power to create. Our group is coming together beautifully! We’re so excited to rock climb tomorrow and explore Krabi! Can’t wait to tell you all about it.
Until Next Time,
Brooke + Hailey
The Thailand Twelve
July 1, 2022
Hello Thailand Families!
We just heard from our leaders that the group has landed safely in Bangkok. The trip is off to a great start, and we cannot wait to hear more stories from their adventure.
Please remember our leaders and students will be unplugged during their trips but we will be posting up to three trip updates throughout the next couple of weeks! This will allow you to follow along with the trip and the students will also give a special shout out mid-way through! You can also follow us on Instagram, @moondanceadventures, to see more of what we are up to this summer!