February 3, 2011


As I sit here and try to think of how to sum up the last two weeks I spent in Thailand, I’ve concluded that I could write a book on my adventures there and still not be able to fully convey the amazingness of it all.  I spent two weeks with nine other incredible women in a city in northern Thailand called Chiang Mai.  We worked with an organization called ZOE, whose primary purpose is to rescue orphans and also to rescue children from human trafficking.  I couldn’t even begin to touch the surface of how amazing ZOE is. From the staff to the children who won my heart from the very first moment, they are people I will never EVER forget.  It was a supernatural experience.  [Side note: if you’re ever looking for an organization to support, ZOE is it! Check out their website at www.gozoe.org] The truth is, I thought I was going there to help them, but in all reality, they helped me more than they will ever know.  I was brought to tears at first site of the children. Their beautiful smiling faces, their contagious spirit of joy.  They touched my heart like nothing I’ve ever experienced.

And alongside the amazingness of ZOE, is the beautiful spirit of Thailand. Beautiful people. Beautiful land. They live so simply yet they live so full. They taught me how to be more generous. How to honor others. How to serve.  My heart feels so full from everything I’ve taken in.  I’ve spent the last few days I’ve been home trying to process it all, afraid to let anything go for fear I’ll forget the tenderness of my experience.  But I know I won’t. After a journey like this, I could never forget it.  I don’t have many photos from our time at the children’s home because they no longer let visitors share photos because of the safety of the children, but I still managed to take 1000+ photos from our time in the city, from our time in the hillside tribal village, from our free day where we rode elephants through the jungle.  Oh and did I mention that I got to teach a photo class to the kids at ZOE? Most of these kids had never even touched a camera before so to share my passion with them and see them get excited about it was incredible.  I don’t think I’ve ever packed so many adventures into two weeks!  And so, for fear of not covering every thought and every moment, I’ll let you get onto the photos.  Part one of them anyway 🙂 I hope these images touch your heart and convey even just a sliver of the beauty I experienced.

“My heart’s longings always urge me to undertake a journey to visit the country of a foreign people far across the sea.” –The Seafarer





  • mary February 3, 2011

    LOVE!!!! can’t wait to hear all about it! love the shot of your photo class kids 🙂

  • joshua February 3, 2011

    Wow! That looks like an amazing experience, Noelle. Pumped you got to go and be a part of it, even for a short while. I’ve been on similar trips in the past and you’re right, you go thinking “I’m going to help!” but in reality it’s us who end up being changed.


  • Carli Felix February 3, 2011

    Noelle, it looks like such a beautiful trip and you can tell by your words how much it touched your heart. I look forward to hearing all about!

  • Krystal February 3, 2011

    Noelle, These are absolutely beautiful! Full of LOVE, LIFE, COLOR.
    This is something I would absolutely love to get involved with.

    Thanks so much for sharing. I have went on a trip once myself, and the experience was way beyond any words I could use to describe what I learned.

    I’m looking forward to more photos of your trip!

    What a blessing it was for you to go and help others, and share your passion!

  • Shannon February 3, 2011

    Beautiful story and pictures! So happy you were able to have this experience! What a wonderful group, thanks to all involved for caring and giving of your love and time!

  • Tara Q February 3, 2011

    Amazing pics!!! Incredible!!!!! We can really share the experience and see the beauty of Thailand through your pics.

  • Michelle February 3, 2011

    Thank you for sharing such an amazing journey. I can not to hear more.

  • Ginger Brien February 3, 2011

    What beautiful and colorful photos. Thank-you for sharing the details from your trip. How Awesome!

  • Andrea February 3, 2011

    Noelle I am so glad you are home safe and sound! The pictures are just beautiful and I can not wait to hear of your travels. You are such an amazing woman and an inspiration for others. See you soon! Love, your friend:)

  • Stephanie February 3, 2011

    Wow, wow, wow. Beautiful. Inspiring. <3 you!

  • Teresa February 3, 2011

    Thank you so much for your inspiring words and photos! So glad you got to go! You are truly an inspiration to me!

  • Jen Cummins February 3, 2011

    So beautiful!

  • Jessica February 4, 2011

    Beautiful pictures Noelle. You are truly gifted and in your calling! Thanks for coming out to ZOE and for being such a blessing to all of us. We love you Miss Noelle!

  • Beth Morris February 5, 2011

    I absolutely love thee pictures! They are amazing!

  • Leslee February 8, 2011


  • Stacy Browning February 10, 2011

    Hey! I love the pictures! Looks like you had an amazing time. I am in love with the little baby girl with one pink flipflop on the wrong foot.. oh my goodness.. so sweet

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