My first stop after leaving Thailand was Langkawi, an island off the coast of peninsular Malaysia. It’s got all the island stuff you’d expect from an island in Southeast Asia. But since I was only there for a day, I didn’t spend much time on the beach. The Langkawi cable car takes you to the top of Gunung Machinchang, the second highest peak in Langkawi. … Continue reading Always climb to the top
Co-written by Nina has we enjoy a mid afternoon glass of wine in a cutesy cafe. Visit any tourist attraction in Southeast Asia and you’ll notice one common factor: it’s all about the photo op. You’ve gotta have the right lighting, the right pose, the right smile (or duck face), and the right outfit. Usually it’s a boy friend or husband taking pics of his … Continue reading The most Asian thing we’ve ever done
I’ve been to 7 countries since leaving New York almost a year ago. But, Thailand has been my home. Really Chiang Mai has been home, even though the only full month I spent in the city was November. Actually, I camped overnight at Doi Inthanon. So technically, I never spent a full month in Chiang Mai. That, together with the fact that I’ve mostly stayed … Continue reading Goodbye Thailand!
Sawadee pee mai! (That’s Happy New Year in Thai.) Songkran is the celebration of the new year in Thailand. The year is 2560 BE, Buddhist Era. Thai people spend time with family, visit local temples, and offer food to Buddhist monks. People pour water on Buddha statues, representing purification and the washing away of your sins and bad luck. To show respect, young people also … Continue reading Songkran!
If you had asked me a year ago, never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I’d be spending so much quality time with elephants. I’ve spent a total of 6 weeks at Elephant Nature Park so far, and 2 weeks at Elephants World. That’s 8 weeks helping to care for, and bond with the elephants who call these sanctuaries home. I’ve always been … Continue reading Elephants are Still Awesome
I’m on the island of Koh Tao for 3 weeks. We’re learning about marine conservation and coral reefs. More on that later. Today was my first snorkel. After learning a bit about what we’d be seeing, we grabbed our gear and got on the boat. Gear included: wet suit, snorkel mask and tube thingy, fins, fish and coral id sheets, and sheet for recording what … Continue reading First Snorkel
“Our ocean, our responsibility.” My adventures in veterinary medicine continue with 3 weeks on Koh Tao (“Turtle Island”). We’ve partnered with the New Heaven Dive Shop and their reef conservation experts to learn about marine wildlife and conservation. Unfortunately Koh Tao’s namesake, the sea turtle, is endangered and can be a rare sighting. People come from all over the world to dive in Koh Tao. … Continue reading Turtle Island
The students got to swim with two sea turtles and watched them make out. I missed it. But, I got my turtle time when we went to Phuket. The Phuket Aquarium is home to a sea turtle nursery and rehab program run by the Thai government. Day one we checked out the nursery. Those are some beautiful, healthy looking turtles. They’re being raised big and … Continue reading Sea Turtles!
I went to Laos, with the students I’m working with, to get a new Thai visa that would let me stay in Thailand ’til the spring. Laos is my 21st country. Only 170 ish to go (depending on which official list you’re looking at)! 21 countries is no small feat. And some of those I visited more than once. From Chiang Mai we flew to … Continue reading Another Visa Run, Another New Country
I entered a contest called Around the World in 80 Pages, hosted by Navigator Paper. They chose my story as a finalist! 80 finalists were chosen out of over 1300 entries. My story is going to be published in a book, and I can still win a prize. Here’s the story I submitted, about the time I bought cookies from a convent of cloistered nuns … Continue reading Secret Cookie Selling Nuns
I meant to write this when my students left at the end of January. Then I broke my foot and got distracted. For 2 weeks in January I was the trip leader for another student group. Unlike over the summer, this group was pre-vet. All of the students want to go to veterinary school someday. You’d be correct in thinking I know nothing about veterinary … Continue reading Two Weeks Learning to be a Vet
There’s a first time for everything I guess. Aside from a pinky toe, which I don’t really think counts, I’ve never broken a bone. Now I have a broken foot, and my first ever cast and crutches. After a great time tubing on a river, the klutz that I am slipped on the river bank. I thought I just rolled my ankle like I’ve done dozens of … Continue reading I broke my first bone and got my first cast!