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