Greetings from Thailand!

I’ve been in Thailand for almost a week now, but it feels like a month! The many experiences I have had in the last couple of days have certainly made it feel like time has flown by so quickly.

I will be making two blog posts per week as part of a requirement from my scholarship… so, expect another soon! Currently, I am studying abroad through the Hmong Culture and Language Immersion program with the University of Minnesota in partnership with ISDSI (International Sustainable Development Studies Institute) led by Professor Bee Vang-Moua. Besides myself, there are six other girls.

I set forth on my journey to Thailand on June 28th. My last meal in the states was McDs breakfast consisting of: Hot Cakes, a sausage burrito, a yogurt parfait and orange juice. It did not taste as good as I wanted it to because I was feeling very nauseous from some antibiotics and nasal congestion medicine that I had taken an hour prior on an empty stomach. I also think I was feeling pre-nervousness about a 17 hour flight!

The flight, however, was not entirely too bad. We flew at night going forward in time and so we all mostly slept on the flight. When we landed in Korea, where we had an hour layover, we only had this much time to make it through customs and run halfway across the airport. We barely made it just in time for our flight before take off. The airplane food in a gist was actually quite tasty and I am already looking forward to my flight back.

I’ve had a lot of learning experiences in the almost full week that I have been here visiting Thailand. I’m still processing the information that I’ve learned since Monday about the Hmong in Thailand beginning from pre-colonial times, through the Cold War era, and as they have assimilated and still are in the last 40+ years since.

A lot of the information that I have had the privilege to learn goes far beyond the usual example many Hmong people in the States use of “crossing the Mekong river” as many younger generations try to summarize on their parent’s or grandparent’s journey/behalf. I’m overwhelmed by the new knowledge that I have gained, however, am looking forward to share what I have learned about the Hmoob Thaib.

Will be back to write more soon with pictures!

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