April 2017 : Charger
May, 15 2017
Second month in Thailand. Next month of novelties. So different then March. So spellbinding.
At the beginning all of our five were moved to real paradise on earth (later with time four other French volunteers joined us, bringing some fresh air and staying with us till the end of the month). Our new home was Chestnut Hill in Phatong village close to Thun Lung (Songkhla province). Peacefully located, tucked away up in the hills eco resort, run by Krishnamurti Foundation - organization inspired by teaching of J. Krishnamurti. Full of nature with beautiful landscapes, water running in the stream, cicadas crying, birds singing, little insects crawling around and even some snakes crossing paths. Idyllic spot where free time was filled with jungle trekking to the waterfall, soaking in the pools, meditating, reading books, learning and talking about meaning and quality of live. Remote location just helped to rest in natural peace. Actually it wasn’t that planned to go to there and just a lucky coincidence send us to the middle of a jungle.
Our duties were teaching English in nearby school and cutting grass in ecological garden run by the foundation, also doing some small works for the resort as sweeping leaves. At the end of staying there we also arranged Krishnamurti library and set up playground for local children. However it seemed like not exactly everything was prepared and planned well before, but it also gave us opportunity to develop adaptation and creativity skills. Maybe it wasn’t the best place to do hard and agreement tasks but for sure, at least for me it gave chance to take a look inside and chill a bit in so agreeable conditions.
But jungle experience wasn’t the only one that marked last month. All week between April 10th and 16th we spend in temple Wat Khlong Hae in Hat Yai. The main reason for that was celebration of Thai New Year – Songkran (funny fact – if there´s date “best before” on food here, saying that it should be eaten this year, it marks year 2560). For all week we were living between monks and local people coming to the temple, helping them in setting up the ceremony of that festival. Later we had a great honor to take part in that traditional event, all of us dressed in traditional costumes, eating traditional meals with locals, watching amazing shows. We also had chance to take part in ritual most iconic for that Holiday which is pouring on Buddha statues.
On the other hand, modern Songkran festival is not only distinguished Buddhist ritual but also more secular water battle on streets of the city. It was super fun and great experience to spend free time in downtown Hat Yai, shooting people from water gun and being splashed with huge baskets full of extremely cold water.
Worlds of monks in the temple pouring Budha statues and people on streets showering themselves with hectoliters of water seem to be totally different. Staying in peaceful jungle, closer to nature was so contrasting with hustle and bustle of metropolis. But all of those experience and activities were so absorbing and different that April went by like a scalted cat.