PSU THAI SUMMER CULTURAL CAMP 2017
“THE BEST TIME OF THE YEAR”
Being able to participate in the PSU Thai summer cultural camp 2017 was an eye-opening experience. I am glad that I got the opportunity to participate and meet the other 51 participants from different parts of the globe like Cambodia, China, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Myanmar, Oman, Singapore, Taiwan, UK, USA and Vietnam. I would highly recommend anyone to join this program, as it is just “life-changing.”
The duration of the program was three weeks long. At first, it seemed like the camp would last forever and the days would be long, but next thing I knew, time flew by so fast and it was time to leave behind the beautiful moments and friends. Even though the camp was only three weeks, it was filled with challenging, but yet exciting, events and activities.
The first week of the camp kicked off with group activities. This consisted of learning about and practicing Thai language, Thai cooking, Thai boxing, Thai traditional medicine, Thai music and Thai dance. These activities were remarkably challenging; however, the beautiful aspect of this week was that people came across cultural exchange, predominantly cultural shock for some people. Despite our different cultures, religions, and beliefs, the camp had a mutual respect for one another and everyone within the camp acted as if they were one big family. Learning about Thai culture was extremely mind-refreshing because it gave participants a different perspective of undertaking everyday tasks. Everyone enjoyed making some delicious Thai food such as tom yum kung soup and a Thai dessert called bua-loy. The food turned out phenomenal!
The second week of the cultural camp was filled with thrilling and exhilarating events such as a 4-day trip to Phuket, the “Pearl of the Andaman Sea”. In Phuket, we visited the Chill-wa night market, Nai Harn Beach and the old town. We also got the option to go snorkeling at the beautiful Coral Island and Racha Islands. In addition, we visited the famous Wat Chalong and went to Laem Promthep Cape to watch the sunset. Many unforgettable memories were shared amongst the group as we got to know one another more. This would not have been possible without the help of the Thai buddies, who supported the participants all the way through this cultural camp. The visit to Ton Nga Chang Waterfall was another unforgettable moment during the week because we got to play and splash around in the water and even climb a rope to get to another level of the waterfall. The view was unimaginable.
Finally, we arrive at week three, and its main event being performance day. It is the last day where the groups get to be together and watch each other do a performance that represents their own culture. On the day of the event, everyone had a great performance, including the Thai buddies who had a phenomenal dance performance. Looking back at the time spent with the strangers that I now call my friends, I only wish that the camp lasted longer so that I couldn’t depart from the new friendships that were made. Overall, I am very grateful to be a part of such a fantastic camp where the memories and friendship had such a great impact and will last forever in my life.
Angie Phetbenjakul, USA
Dilpeche Mahesh, UK