Hi readers! Week one is over and there is so much to unpack! On our fourth day in Salaya, we took a boat ride across the Salaya river to a plethora local farms on a boat. Patty, a dietetic student, like myself, from Mahidol University gave us a tour of each farm, including a lotus farm, gac fruit farm, rice patty, and orchid farm. The views of each farm were captivating and the ride was peaceful. At each site, we learned more about Thailand’s agricultural practices, food handling/safety, sustainability and lifestyle. Since, we are here to study sustainablity, I found it incredibly impressive that the farmers used coconut husks as a potting media for the orchids. We also had the chance to make rice snackers from the rice grown in the rice patties. They were so tasty-I went back for more! During the visit, we learned that rice is not only the main staple corn, but the most exported. My favorite part of this day was the tractor ride to these rice patties. It was strange exhilarating ride to experience in a sleepy orchard, and to end the visit we enjoyed some of the fresh local produce grown in these farms.
The next day, we drove west to Kachanaburi, three hours from Salaya. We were pleasantly greeted by the staff, and received a ‘certificate of participation’ in performing cultural and agricultural activities in Thailand. We felt very welcome by everyone! Shortly after we were given a tour of the campus, and the geological museum by one of the Professors at MUKA, who was very kind and witty! The next day, was even more enjoyable than the first. The food science department at the university organized a food lab to make rice noodles from scratch. In additon to eating rice noodles in many Thai dishes, it was a blast to make it ourselves…well almost ourselves. The teaching assistants gave us a helping hand in place our rice sheets into the steamer carefully. We had the chance to make our own broth and cook the noodles. The results were delicious!
Later in the afternoon, we paid a visit to Malika City! It’s a living museum where we got to interact with villagers and dress as one. From visiting rice patties to make rice noodles, I milled rice at the production house too. Needless to say, it was a workout! At night we experienced an entertainment of traditional Tha dances, soothing music, and an appetizing meal . Today’s day was culturally and academically enriching. Can’t wait to see what happens next week!