A delight for all my senses and a warmth for the soul is the way I describe my immersion trip to Thailand with The Chance Foundation.
The Thai people are gracious and I felt welcomed wherever I went. Chiang Rai came alive with its Saturday Walking Street market full of vendors with their offerings of jewelry, spices, crafts and street food. Utilizing this small city as our base, we ventured to the Akha hill tribe village where we experienced a day of learning hands on about their culture. In addition to being taught their weaving techniques, we were treated to a delicious lunch cooked for us inside bamboo. Of course, the treetop vistas of the beautiful hill country were as stunning as the food was delectable.
Spending a few days helping out in the newly established Chance Foundation dog shelter was fun and rewarding. I was able to take some rambunctious dogs for walks and also got to ride along on a trip to the local vet. It was great to see firsthand the impact the shelter is having on the dogs in Chiang Rai. Along with participating in volunteer work, I also stretched my muscles on a fabulous hike to a surging waterfall.
A visit to the elephant sanctuary proved to be really informative and it was exhilarating to hoist banana tree branches up to be grabbed by elephant trunks! After a long day of sightseeing or volunteering we thoroughly enjoyed some of the best Thai cuisine ever and did relax with Thai massages. By the end of our visit, I felt quite a nice bond with everyone in our group. We enjoyed ourselves and also felt we made a contribution to helping others.
(Blog by Susan Carey, who attended our 2019 Immersion Trip)