Liverpool

Our trip to Liverpool was on Feb 2nd. It snowed the day before in York and the next day we had remnants that made for a beautiful journey on the bus. Everyone was asked to be at Uni at 8.00 am and it took us around two and half hours to get to Liverpool.

Our first stop was the Liverpool Cathedral

Such a stunning building. It was spacious with great attention to detail, beautiful stained glass and a very peaceful atmosphere inside.

Next we had about 2 hours for ourselves which we took to walk around a little and have some lunch. We went to a burger place and enjoyed some Chinese New Year celebrations on the street.

After that we were on to the main event; The Beatles museum (any Beatles fans?) :

Aptly called The Beatles Story, it’s designed in a great storytelling-as-you-walk way where we got headphones and mini devices (remember walkie talkies? They resembled them a little. Nostalgia: check.) and got to hear different clips with every room we entered into.

This is how the studio looked when the members would record an album. It’s amazing how such a small space can produce great works of art which topped charts for months!

This is the stage in the cafe the band played in for the last time before they exploded into a worldwide phenomena; the picture above to the right is how the tickets looked like. It immediately makes you think of the memories the people who attended it must have..

THE yellow submarine, guys! 🙂

John Lennon’s “White Room” where he wrote Imagine and other songs. Gorgeous crisp white!

And that was it! A short but sweet trip. My friend and I took some time in between events to rush and see the Titanic memorial and the Yoko Ono section in Liverpool’s museum, but by that point it was so cold my phone decided to conserve battery and switch off. iPhones! Haha.. I managed to switch it back on in the bus just in time to get this picture on the way back to York 🙂

The tour guides were amazing and we wouldn’t have been able to organise such a trip without them; I feel grateful that the experience has been nothing short of great.

Mafaz x

Student Union activities

For the past month or so now, the Student Union here at York St John has been taking care of us in the best way possible. Mingling events, quizzes, food hospitality, trips to other parts of England, you name it. I’ll put some of the events here that took place over the past few weeks. I love going to the Student Union cafe because it’s always fun.

To start with, we had a welcome party for all the international students at the end of the Introduction week. We had dinner together and got to know each other more.

There are students from so many places in the world it’s amazing. We played Bingo and the mission was to find people in the room who fit the descriptions we had on our papers, and we couldn’t repeat a name twice. Really got us to chat to each other!

During the night we also pinned our names to where we came from, on a world map. Hello, Sweden! 🙂

Then we were quizzed on everything British, with a  pretty good prize; tickets to a trip to Liverpool the Student Union was arranging. Pleased to announce, my team won 🙂 (post about the trip here).

On  feb 4th we celebrated Chinese new year with a quiz about Chinese traditions and a lantern-making activity

I had to leave early so I didn’t get to finish my lantern, but wish I had.

Then just couple of days ago we had a Viking event because it is Viking week at the time of me writing this. We had pizza (doesn’t fit the theme but I think the Vikings missed out) then watched a video about Ragnarok and what it is in Norse mythology (if you haven’t heard of it you can watch the documentary Thor: Ragnarok by Marvel Studios. Not too dissimilar 🙂 ).

Then we got to make our own Viking shields; we felt like small kids painting again and it kept us very present. York was populated by the Vikings around 1400 and the city still carries traces to this day, so it was very fitting to celebrate this week.

Next up, Liverpool!

Mafaz x

 

 

 

Hello from York!

Hello everyone, welcome to my first post 🙂 my name is Mafaz; I study English Studies at Malmö University and currently in York, England for the first semester of my two semesters with elective courses. Has anyone been to York before? I’m studying at York St John’s University or, as it’s been dubbed, Hogwarts.

On the first day I got to meet new friends from many countries who were also here for the semester, and we had a mini tour of our own around campus. The university is big! And really beautiful. These are some pictures that I took.

This one is from one of the accommodation buildings, but how nice is the greenery?

Some of us had been to York before but others not. I had absolutely no expectations; I hadn’t heard much about the city, which actually worked in my favor because I felt very present when I arrived as I was seeing something completely new. Official arrival date was 24th January and the first week was all about helping us get settled. We had a 2-hour walking tour that was really enjoyable. We got to know the city and wrote down some tips for places to check out and eat at. Walking around the city made me feel like I was transferred back to the 1400s, very unique.

Apparently this place has one of the best afternoon tea options; I have it on my list of places to visit; I’ll let you know how it goes!

This is one of my personal favourite places in the city, The Shambles street. It deserves a dedicated post, but note the “shop that must not be named” logo. The street is the inspiration behind Diagon Alley and how it looked in Harry Potter. Actually this little street alone has around 4 Harry Potter-themed shops. Pretty cool, right? 🙂

This is where you can start a city-walls walk, we simply passed by it but definitely one to check out, maybe around Spring when the weather is slightly gentler!

The tour ended near the York Minster, one of the most beautiful buildings in the city (and there are a lot).

The details are mesmerizing!

After that we went home and got ready for another day. The Student Union team hosts many events and consists of a bunch of lovely people. The next post will be about some of those events they organised for us as newbies 🙂 Have a lovely time until then!

Mafaz x

 

 

INU Summer School – Hiroshima 2018


Cecilia, Yara, Greta and Eman

29th of July 4 amazing girls, Cecilia, Yara, Greta and Eman, packed their backpacks and started their adventurous trip to Japan. This experience has been very enlightening, the lessons you are about to learn will stay with you for the rest of your life!

To start with, the espresso house in the center of Malmo became our meeting point where we first hugged each other and started to plan the trip. There was no doubt that we were very excited to be chosen for this amazing opportunity, but we also had many practicalities to deal with such as flight tickets, accommodation, the amount of cash, clothing etc.  


Eman, Greta and Yara outside an arcade in Tokyo

We were very lucky to be covered with travel insurance by the Malmö University. However, the insurance covered only our stay in Hiroshima, where the summer school is held. The rest of the time that we were traveling, we had to provide our own insurance.

Even though the Summer school in Hiroshima is an amazing experience in itself, we highly recommend that students experience more of Japan on their own. Since the programme of the summer school is so tight it is not possible to experience other cities in Japan during this time. Therefore, traveling around in Japan either before or after the summer school in Hiroshima gives one a great opportunity to experience other cities in Japan. We started off our adventure by traveling to the beautiful city Tokyo, which is a must if you want to get a proper Japan experience. Both Greta and Cecilia also travelled after the summer school and visited Kyoto where shrines and temples are everywhere to be found.


The four of us having sushi at the Tsukijis fish market. A must if you enjoy a really good sushi!

To travel to Tokyo was extremely easy. The metro system is very well organized. For example, each station name was written in Japanese and under it, an English version was always provided. In most of the stations, we could easily find an information center where people spoke good English. Plus they always provided us with English maps and good directions, sometimes even an advice of where to eat or see. Besides it, the possibility to connect to the free wifi is amazing in Japan. Many places have free wifi and some spots in the streets have access to the internet. At the same time, the Japanese are extremely friendly people and they always helped to find our ways. To be honest, younger people spoke better English and they were a bit more open to stop and talk with us. However, we also had many situations where body language became our tool to communicate with locals.


You haven’t experienced Tokyo unless you’ve done karaoke in costumes

The Summer school in Hiroshima consists of a busy schedule where you get to learn and have fun at the same time. First two days we got to spend it with our country groups, the groups that we had been assigned to represent the countries in the upcoming role play. In these groups, we were a mix of Japanese and international students. We got to know each other and do many fun activities such as visiting the breathtaking Island of Miyajima.
The following day was more emotional because it’s the day where we get to attend the peace memorial ceremony and to remember the time of the Hiroshima bombing that happened on the 6th of August. The ceremony was accompanied with a tour of Hiroshima’s museum, and even the pleasure of listening to an atomic bomb survivor. Rest of our days were spent in Hiroshima university filled with workshops and seminars where we got to experience how the United Nations work and how it’s like to be a part of the General Assembly. Our advice is to enjoy your time, the seminars are important but try to find time to have fun and go out with your newly found friends.


Hiroshima


All the participants at INU summer school with the amazing Ms. Keiko Ogura

Working and eating with our country groups!


In preparation for the UN role play, meetings were held to make allies and secret plans

It is quite important to know that Japan, especially Tokyo is a place with a high amount of tourist and therefore it is important to book the place to stay in ahead. Hostels are a great way of saving money and meeting locals. Furthermore, the hostel that we stayed in had a high standard (assuming that it is this way in all of Tokyo/Japan) Also, during the summer Japan is extremely hot and humid meaning that thin layers of cloth, a hat or ever and sunscreen are recommended. Since it is so hot outside there is always air condition inside and a light jacket is a great idea.


Last photo of all participants at 2018 INU summer school in Hiroshima

To be part of the summer school in Hiroshima was an experience you get once in a lifetime, The people you meet and the things you get to experience will change your view on the world. We are forever thankful for Malmö University for giving us the chance to be a part of this great adventure.

Thanks for reading and taking part in our journey!
Eman, Greta, Yara and Cecilia

The big city life, exploring caves, discussing politics and more – live from JMU

Soon my last week at James Madison University begins. It will be tough to say goodbye to all the friendly people I’ve met here and lived so close to. But before we go our separate ways, we have one more week of projects, lectures and excursions left.

Last weekend was a fun one, when we all spent two days in Washington D.C. We had a guided tour around the big monuments in the National Mall and then visited museums around the area. Most museums in central D.C. are free to enter, so you can bounce around quickly from one to the other. I can’t put into words how much fun it is to have so many great museums lined up one after the other! Later in the night, I met an old friend who lives just outside the city, and we biked around and saw the monuments again but this time lit up against the night sky.

My favorite monument was without a doubt the Vietnam veterans memorial. When you approach, it looks like just a large black stone sculpture. When you start to get closer, you see the thousands of names engraved into the wall showing the American casualties. The memorial was designed by a young college student, and I think the concept it interesting. Instead of listing the names in alphabetical order, they are written according to the date the soldiers were killed or reported missing. It makes for more of a narrative display, compared to what would have looked like a phone book of dead soldiers if the names were shown alphabetically.

Later in the week we visited the amazing Shenandoah Caverns. They were very beautiful! The strange shapes created by minerals traveling with water has been featured in the National Geographic, and it’s not hard to see why. See for yourself in the pictures below!

We were invited to a panel discussion where four people born in the US answered questions about North American life, culture and politics from their personal perspective. It was interesting to hear their different points of view. Something that really got me thinking was when one of the participants said that “local-level politics are where the real meaningful decisions are made”, which should be a reason for people to get involved in what’s happening in their local communities. A problem in the US today is that fewer people go to vote, and focus on the local level seemed to me like a good attitude to have when fighting that problem.

As I’m writing this we have just come back from a very rainy trip to King’s Dominion, a big amusement park about two hours away from the university. It was without a doubt the wildest rides I’ve ever been on. Now it’s time to relax and have a warming cup of mate!

Thanks for reading.

Jakob

Playing with children, camping and studying – first week at JMU

I have now spent just over a week at the James Madison University here in Harrisonburg, Virginia. It has been some very busy days, and I have been sleeping like a baby every night. In this post I will mention a few moments that have stuck with me!

After a few days of settling in, being toured around campus and stocking up on necessities at a huge supermarket, the group went for the first excursion: the Boys and Girls club of America. It’s a daycare for kids all ages, located in central Harrisonburg. Seeing this place compared to a daycare in Sweden was a big contrast. Instead of small groups of children, divided by age, all the kids share a big building with several classrooms, a gym and a small baseball field in the outside yard.

It was very impressive how just a few caretakers could handle almost 60 energetic children running around. However, I think it may be almost impossible to give enough individual attention to the kids. I remember having a personal relationship with teachers at my daycare as a kid, and this experience made me appreciate that more.

The next day, we packed up to go camping at the picturesque Sherando Lake. So far, this was without a doubt the highlight for me! I have always liked being close to nature and the area we stayed in was very beautiful. Our campsite was close to a few different hiking paths, a lake where other campers would fish in the early morning and not far away from another lake where we would go for a swim.

Everybody were in a constant good mood and the trip was a great way to relax. Since I arrived to the US there had been a lot of new impressions, so having some peace and quiet in a pretty forest was perfect. There were even some members of the group who had never camped before, which in a way let me experience camping for the first time again! When I asked another member of the group what his favorite thing about this camping trip was, his answer was the modern amenities that was available at the campsite, like grills for a barbecue, many water taps and even an amphitheater for outdoors movie nights.

In addition to leaving campus for different activities, we’ve had classes with the professors of the Center for Global Engagement. It has been interesting lectures, seminars and workshops on subjects such as diversity, global citizenship and leadership.

Every day we exchange enlightening stories from our respective countries of origin, and they can often be surprising – like how children in Taiwanese school will be taught positive values while in the US the norm is that school “stays out of the raising of children”.

Last but not least, I have to make a shout-out to my classmates from Argentina who always has a cup of the herbal tea mate available to keep you alert and in a good mood!

Until next time,

Jakob

Three tips for taking photos worth keeping

In a few days, I will be traveling to Harrisonburg, USA, to attend the Cross Cultural Summer Program on Leadership and Global Engagement at James Madison University. It’s going to be a jam packed month of different activities and excursions around the university and the American capital city of Washington D.C. It will be a month with a lot of experiences to remember.

The singer and actress Rickie Lee Jones said that ”you never know when you’re making a memory”.  And while that’s true, there’s a way to get around the weak points of the human memory: cameras. They give you the ability to choose your memories, in a way. The modern digital camera can store hundreds or even thousands of snapshots on a single memory card. But if you are anything like me, there’s a lot of pictures from some vacation lying unobserved on a hard disk somewhere. These digital memories won’t do you any good like that.

I will share three things that help me to take better pictures. What someone likes in a picture is of course really subjective, and these tips are really situational, but maybe these tips will work for you like they do for me.

  1. Get close!

When you’re about to shoot some old monument, most people would probably take a step back and try to fit the whole thing in the frame. This works for many occasions, but can also lead to boring postcard-style photos. Thousands of tourists have probably already taken the exact same photo as you are lining up right now. Instead, crop your image boldly. Find the small detail that catches your eye. It might make for a unique photo and will usually not feature any other tourists in the image, which is usually a plus. This tip works really well for photographing people too. Getting up close usually leads to more personal, fun and playful pictures.

  1. Be quick!

Keep your camera close, and draw it quick. For digital cameras, don’t be afraid to snap a few quick shots in a row to capture something happening in the moment. While carefully composed pictures are not necessarily bad, I find that my favorite shots are the ‘in-the-moment’ pictures, often with someone who has not yet realized I am taking their photo. It’s better to ask for permission after rather than before shooting the picture. And don’t skip cleaning up your camera reel by the end of the day, it’s the best time to edit out the boring pictures.

  1. Tell a story.

Humans love narratives. If you are ever going to show your vacation shots to a friend or relative, make it into a journey that is worth listening to. Landscape pictures are pretty hard to make very interesting, but can work as an establishing shot for the location that you arrived to. Then, follows a portrait of a local that gave you directions. Maybe you can get a picture that says something about the personality of your traveling buddies. Thinking about what a picture is saying can be a great way to make the images come to life, and help you remember all the things that you were thinking about when you were taking them.

busy days, or rather, weeks

I realise it has been ages since I last updated. And a lot have happened since then. I have been busy with not only school, which to be honest isn’t that hard here in Thailand, but also with travelling. This blog post might be quite lengthy in the regards that it has been a while since last update.

Let’s start talking about the school, Rangsit University, here I am reading 5 courses all in the spectrum of communication arts, not really the same line of subject as I study at Malmö, which are linguistics and literature, but rather courses regarding the field of mass communications. If that makes sense. Then I also have a class in Thai language, as I am indeed in Thailand and knowing some local lingo really helps you out. Three of these courses the level is ridiculous low! Like I could compare it as first year in upper secondary school, if even that. The “lectures” last for about an hour out of the scheduled three hour block. The teacher read from a printed out power point and give tiny extra explanation to those. And that’s it. For the midterm in one of these courses, Introduction to Mass Communication, contained 4 basic questions that took me 10 minutes to answer and for the other course we were to have a presentation about the elements of journalism. So I had prepared a power point, being ready to present in front of the class, something I am always dreading. Came to class and turned out I just had to sit in front the teacher and read straight from my notes. Although I like this professor, he is this old Thai man, who used to be a journalist, whom have terrible English, but always wants to talk to me about Sweden. Last week he asked me where I was from, and I said “Oh you probably don’t know, but a small town called Timrå, just north of Sundsvall” whereas he replied with his broken English, “I’ve been there, when I was young and handsome! Haha, and ice hockey!” He is so nice and fun. But now I’m getting side tracked.

Then there is a photography class, which I enjoy, and where we every week get a homework to take some specific photos. It’s an easy going and fun course. Then the last course is Principles of Public Relations, a course I didn’t think I would find that interesting, but my course coordinator here, Dr Ten, really recommended it since they have invited a guest professor for this term, so I choose that one as well. And I must say, I do not regret it at all. It is by far the best and most interesting course! The guest professor is an Australian woman (oh how I have missed that accent) whom been teaching all over the world, as well as working in PR for years. She’s so engaging, passionate and so present. Probably one of the best teachers I’ve had. Finally a course that hold the standard of higher education. After have gone half of this course, it has gotten me really interested in working within PR, something I’ve never thought of before.

Now let’s move on to travelling and what I have been up to when I’ve had time off.

Firstly I went on a trip with the Rangsit international collage department, called the local wisdom trip. Basically most of the exchanges students this term along with some Thai students that’s part of the buddy program came along. We took the university bus early in the morning for about 3 hours out to nowhere, thanking back now, I sadly can’t remember the name of the place. Here we started by getting in small boats along the river, where we were to plant some mango tree in the mud. And not mud like on the ground on a rainy day, but like mud so deep it reached my upper thigh, almost my hips at some places. That was fun and terrifying. Me with my bad balance I almost fell down so many times, but was able to stay up with the help of branches and other steady people’s hands. One guy in our boat filmed this experience, so will try to insert his video if you’d like to have a look. Then we got in to the boats again and drove from the river out to the open but calm sea. We stopped by an open house out in the middle of the sea for lunch. After lunch it was time for some water sports, such as kayaking, swimming or doughnut after a jetski. I did the two latter combined with some tanning on the deck. The doughnut though, so much fun! My partner even fell in the water and had to climb up again which isn’t the easiest thing to do when wet. After a few hours we went back to the mainland, for some more water games, this time in a small water adventure park. Totally spent we went back around dinnertime, but due to the heavy traffic that Bangkok is mournfully blessed with it took longer than it should.

Next trip was to an Island owned by the Thai Navy called Samea San Island, and where you can’t get to unless you have a Thai person driving you. I went with Theresa and her Thai buddy Mellie and her friends. We drove there early in the morning and when arriving, it was like paradise! White fine sand beaches with crystal clear water. And barely any tourists, like seriously Theresa and I were the only non-Thai people there, ha-ha! In the evening and back on mainland we went to a night market and had a few beers at a traditional Thai bar. The next day we went to another navy owned beach, but this one much more popular with the tourists. As usual I got burned, even though my devoted use of SPF 50+. There is no escaping it for me, those damn red pigments I was blessed with.

The weekend after that Pattaya was on the schedual, and for the sole purpose of the Maya Music Festival. Pattaya being famous as Thailand’s sex trade city, isn’t really something for us, and us being me and four Finnish girls, but who can resist a good house music festival, with a sick line-up only 3 hours away eh? So we had rented this apartment away from downtown Pattaya in the more calm and family friendly Jomten beach (I think it was called). The festival was amazing! Can’t wait for Summerburst this summer in Stockholm to experience the feeling again. Next two days was just spent relaxing by the pool and a brief outing to Pattaya centre for a quick look and a well needed greasy pizza.

Next stop, Ayutthaya, the previous capital of Thailand. A city filled with old and broken, but amazing and majestic architecture. Me, two Finnish girls, Riina and Laura, along with Riinas brother that was here for a visit, rented a tuk tuk with the driver to drive us around to all the old temples and sites that needed to be seen. It all took 4 hours and was amazing, so much history in this place. If ever in Bangkok, I truly recommend going there as it’s only about an hour away.

The day after that I went to Hua Hin by myself to get some relaxing by the sea. Here I didn’t do much then enjoying the sun and sea. One evening I went to a night market and bough some bargains and had a glass of wine at a Swedish bar. My first time speaking Swedish face to face to someone since arriving to Thailand.
Went back to Bangkok and spend most of the weekend in downtown Bangkok along with Riina, her brother, Laura and her friend who was here for a visit too. We among some things went to the JJ market, the biggest one in Thailand, picked up some clothes and a small handbag. We also visited Khaosan Road, a must for tourists for a massive dinner along with some cooling cocktails. We also visited the famous rooftop bar located on the 64th floor in the Leuba hotel. This rooftop being famous from Hangover part 2. The view was nice and all, but the drinks were ridiculous overpriced. A simple Whiskey Sour costed almost 200 Swedish kronor! Which everywhere else in Thailand would be like not even 50 kronor. And there were nowhere to sit, no chairs nor any tables. So we took some photos, drank our cocktail and left.

Next trip was the one I’ve been looking forward to ever since I found out I could actually re-enter Thailand on my single entry visa, by simply applying for a re-entry stamp. Hong Kong! With my love for big cities, this was so exciting. And I can safely say I love this city and will try to return sometime in the future to explore more of the city. We had a bit of unlucky with the weather, it was foggy (which to be fair HK is famous for) a bit rainy and for us cold with mare 15 to 19 degrees, and coming from 36 degrees, brrr cold! Every day we were out walking and exploring for 12-14 hours. Since it was so foggy, we couldn’t go up to Victoria Peak, which is a park up in the mountain that is supposed to offer an amazing view of the city. We went to a museum, ate Chinese food, did some shopping (hello new converse shoes for more than half the price in Sweden!), went to an Irish pub and was caught in a swarm of drunk British guys when they found out we were Nordic. Stumbled on a show of traditional Chinese dance. Not to forget to mention, everyone spoke English, and good English, which was nice for a change! But yeah, 3 days was not enough for exploring Hong Kong.

Moving on to less interesting subject of weather. It is starting to get hotter and hotter now. And I am not liking it. Today we had 38 degrees in the SHADOW, which in the sun feels like 45, with a humidity of 60%. Five minutes out and I am sweating. Gross. And hotter it’s going to get next month. Would it have been the dry heat that I had in Australia it would have been fine. It is the humid and sticky air that’s killing me. I was sitting outside of the international service centre today, and on one of the tv’s on the wall a video from a Thai girl’s exchange in Sweden started showing (they show videos of places to get more people to go on an exchange) and there were a bunch of photos of snow and autumn, it made me really miss Sweden and to be able to dress in layers, cosy jumpers, coats and big scarfs. I am having a great time here, but yeah wouldn’t mind going back just for the cold!

That’s all for me this time. Have a good day wherever you are,
Sara

Amazing weekend with elephants

This weekend Theresa, Migle and I went to Elephantsworld in Kanchanaburi. http://www.elephantsworld.org/ here is the website if you want to have some more information. But basically this is a place where we, the people, work for the elephants instead of the other way around, which sadly is happening a lot in Thailand. We chose to do the overnight program.

Theresa, Migle and I

Theresa, Migle and I


Most of the elephants here have been rescued from logging, where they are dragging tons of logs to the woods, and trekking camps, which is the tourist attraction of riding elephants. However trekking is taking a big toll on elephants. Their backs can only carry 100 kg, and only the seats weights 50 kg. So imagine putting two full grown persons on those seats… not good nor healthy for the elephant. In these logging and trekking camps the elephants are also underfed. An elephants needs to daily eat 10 percent of their body weight. So a full grown elephant needs around 400 kg food, per day.

On Friday afternoon we left Rangsit campus to go to Kanchanaburi. As we left in the peak hour of traffic jams the journey took a bit longer than it should. All in all it took us 4 hours, when it should have taken around 2,5 hours. We checked into our hotel for the night and went out for some late evening food.
On Saturday evening an open back truck picked us up and our 45 minute journey to the countryside began. The first thing we see when entering the gate are huge elephants walking with their mahouts. Amazing.

First elephant we saw

First elephant we saw


First thing we got to do was feeding the elephants some corn, pumpkins, bananas and watermelons. We gave it them from our hands straight to their trunks or even their mouths. Pretty cool to be so close to them. After feeding we took them down to the river where they drank and some of them went into the river. After that it was time to cook some more food. We were split up to smaller groups and our group made sticky rice and pumpkin for the two oldest who no longer has any teeth. The oldest one is 80 years! When that was done it was time for our lunch. Lots of gorgeous Thai food to choose from as they had a smaller buffet style serving.
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After lunch we watched the elephants cooling down in the mud. They have two elephant kids who were very playful and clumsy, one of them pushed the other one down in the mud pool and he had then later problem getting out of it and kept on sliding down again. Adorable.
Then we went back to finish making the food, this time adding pellets and some fibres and vitamins and rolling it into balls. And lastly feeding the two elephants that had been standing outside of the hut cheekily trying to get into under the roof to have a piece of the food. Once again we fed them straight from our hands to them.

Now it was finally time to bathe the elephants! Down the river we went together with the elephants and scrubbed and washing them. Water was thrown here and there and we were all soaked after that bath. After this the one day visitors leave. We were offered to follow some of the mahouts to go with them and their elephants to the bottom of the mountain where they sleep during the night. So we left and walked them there. Back again we checked into our bungalow we were to stay at. It was located with a view of the river with a porch going around half of the bungalow. The rest of the evening we took it easy with some dinner and a beer and had a semi early night.

View from our porch

View from our porch


Day two we got to decide ourself what we wanted to do. So after breakfast we started with some feeding of the elephants out in the open and then took 3 elephants down to another part of the river away from today’s new visitors. We fed them some more and then taking them down in the river and had a bath with them. So nice being only 5 plus 4 workers with them. You could really get up close with them without a lot of people flocking them, so nice.
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After an hour or so we joined the others to the other part of the river and had a bath with those elephants.
After lunch we had booked us into floating. Which meant we were to be floating down the river in the stream for an hour. We jumped on to the back of a truck and went further up the road. We were told to put on the life vests as diapers if we wanted a nicer floating, which of course I wanted so despite feeling silly doing so it was on and we went into the river. And wow, such a relaxing and cool experience. We floated down the river and had a nice time. And I got to say we chose the right day to do so as the temperature was up to 38 degrees! An hour later we arrived to the river opening where the elephants were about to go down again. As it wasn’t that much time until we were to leave we went up and had a shower and change into dry and clean clothes. And that was how we ended our amazing time at elephant world. If anyone is going to Thailand then it is defiantly taking a trip out there!

Have a nice day,
Sara
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Biggest Buddah I’ve ever seen

Yet again some time has passed. And a lot have happened. Hence why I haven’t uploaded in a while.
I started off with once again spending the weekend in Bangkok. The city is starting to grow on me. There is quite a lot to explore, which I like.
On Thursday last week, I went out exploring with two girls, Theresa and Migle, who are also studying here at Rangsit. We visited the temple Wat Pho, where the famous reclining Buddah is. It was so much grander than I had first thought. We had an amazing dinner by the river with a view of another temple in sunset. Bangkok is truly beautiful in sunset. Then we went to one of the popular areas called Sukumvit for drinks, where we met up with some other exchange students from Netherlands.

enterence to the reclining buddah

enterence to the reclining buddah

reclining buddah

reclining buddah

wat pho

wat pho

dinner view

dinner view

The Saturday was spent at the Chatuchak weekend market with four finnish girls from Wasa. Surprisingly enough I didn’t shop that much, just a small bag, fresh coconut ice-cream and food. But the market is huge, we walked around for four hours and still didn’t see it all! They went back home and I went to my hotel for the night that was located at the 30th floor which, granted, had a spectacular view. I went for an evening swim and had some street food for dinner. A fun fact is that it turned out that the manager of the hotel is a friend of a friend I met when I lived in Australia, such a small world!

view from my hotelroom

view from my hotelroom

On Sunday a weathercock occurred, the temperature had dropped down to 22 degrees which felt so cold after being used to the daily 35 degrees. Despise the “cold” weather, me and the Wasa girls went to a small waterpark located above a shopping mall for some fun. After a few hours there we explored Khoasan Road for a Sunday sesh.

This week all my lessons have been as scheduled and finally there is some structure. So far I like my class of PR, which has an Australian professor, and my photography class the most. But I reckon these few months are going to go so fast. The first midterm exam will be in 2 weeks, whaaat!

This weekend was spent with elephants, but that will be in another post!
So I will see you soon again,
Sara