The worldwide Augustana College experience

Thai Boxing

Hey all!

Don’t have much time to write, I am making apple crisp for everybody here and I have to finish this blog before it is done baking!

The last few days have been really good.  Thanks to some wise advice from my daddy, I am trying to make the most of my last week here.  The other two volunteers are gone from my school, so I am the only one there now.  It has been a little lonely, but the kids are great as always.  Yesterday, I went with Chuwanna, the principle, and another teacher to pick out flowers for some big event that the school is having.  Thai women are hilarious, especially opinionated ones like these ladies.  They are always talking and I don’t understand a word they’re saying, so I just have to sit and imagine what on earth they could possibly be talking about.

Last night, Maggie and I took the two new girls in the house out shopping which was a lot of fun.  It’s cool to be the “experienced ones” now and get to show the new volunteers the ropes.  We showed them how to use the sky train and bargain for things at the market.  I’m a pro now!

Tonight, Maggie and I went to Lumphini to see real Thai boxing!  A few weeks ago, we went to see a boxing school where they were training the kids in Thai boxing (called Muay Thai here).  For not really being a fan of people beating each other up, I really enjoyed myself.  It was amazing to me how much respect the boxers have for each other and for their sport.  First of all, there is a little band that plays during the match which consists of some kind of reed instrument, some kind of drum, and finger cymbals.  (The reed player circular breathes the whole time which is so cool!)  Before each match, the boxers do a kind of warm-up which is really more like a dance.  Then there’s the betting.  The Thai men that sit in the second and third class seats are constantly making bets on the outcome of the fight while also watching and cheering on the fighters. Watching all of that happen is really a show in itself.  The fighting is really the least exciting of the things going on.

After the boxing was over, we went to the nearby market and I bought a new suitcase to bring all my souvenirs home.

Only two more days at the school… I don’t want to think about it yet : (

See you all soon!

-Katrina

3 Responses to “Thai Boxing”

  1. Hi Katrina!!!!

    I feel so behind! I was going to go back and comment on your past posts, but I figured it would be easier for you to read if I just included everything in one note. Therefore (starting with the most un-recent)…

    1. Budda experience: Lighting the wrong end of the incense is not that bad– you could have lit the building on fire or something. :-) It sounds like you are doing a really good job of jumping into their culture. It must be really interesting to learn about their religion in such a hands-on setting.
    2. Transportation day: Riding in the tuk-tuk sounds amazing.
    3. Volunteering: Wow, what an incredible experience. It must be really fun to be in a setting where you can not only really help the kids, but also be treated like a celebrity. Sounds like a perfect combo! The school is really lucky to have someone like you who is so willing and eager to interact with the kids. I’m sure the teachers and administrators appreciate the penguin song, sign language, etc. just as much as the kids do. I love the pictures of you with the kids. You can tell that all of you are having a great time.
    4. More shoes? Seriously Katrina? :-)
    5. Riding on an elephant through the jungle just sounds like the kind of thing you should be doing in Thailand. I think that would be one of my favorite things if I were there.
    6. That stinks that you got pick-pocketed. Is that a problem in Thailand in general, or did you just have bad luck? When we were in Paris, there were signs everywhere saying “Beware of pick-pocketers”– is it the same sort of thing there?
    7. Again, it sounds like being with the kids is just an amazing opportunity! I can just picture you singing with them, hugging them, and laughing as they ask you for autographs. Teaching the kids will also be the perfect thing to talk about during interviews for jobs, essays for grad school, etc.
    8. What an exciting weekend! Riding on a banana boast and dancing with a fire-spinner– how can you beat that combination?
    Okay, with that, I think I am caught up to present. :-) The Thai boxing reminds me of when we went to a bull-fight in Spain– not the kind of thing I’d usually get into, but a really fun cultural experience.

  2. Do they grow apples there, or are they shipped in? I was thinking that was a fruit in cooler climates. Loved hearing from you this weekend. It was what I needed to help me through the last week. Looking forward to your safe return. Love, Mom

  3. I give you big props for mentioning circular breathing. You’ll be a music major yet!

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