We ended our last day in Bangkok with a presentation to our hospital about our experiences in Thailand. We talked about the prominent healthcare issues that we saw such as poor dental health, obesity, diabetes, stroke, and motorcycle accidents. We thanked our worksite for being so generous and taking care us throughout our entire trip. Our worksite gave us a true, authentic Thai experience that many people do not get when they travel to Bangkok. We learned a great deal about their culture and healthcare system. It was a pleasure to learn about the pros and cons about their healthcare system and compare it to how the US healthcare system operates. As the trip comes to an end, I am eternally grateful for having the opportunity to travel to another country that I never thought I would travel to before. I made a decision to do something out of my comfort zone, and it became one of the best experiences in my entire life! Thank you to Bangragum health promotion hospital, Nat, Pimsuda, Dr. Robson, and my classmates for making this program such an amazing experience. This trip was truly a humbling and touching experience because we interacted with so many people who were willing to teach us about their culture with so much pride. The pride that the Thai people possess for their culture and history is infectious. We met people who lived in very rural and poor places, but still managed to keep a smile on their face, and because of this, Thailand truly lives up to its nickname, “Land of Smiles.” I am going to try to adopt the Thai lifestyle by going with the flow more, to not stress about the little things, and most importantly, to be grateful for all of the things that I have in my life.
Rutgers-Human Health and the Metropolis: Tensions and Transformations in Southeast Asia
Our worksite gave us a traditional Thai farewell by making us a bunch of signature Thai dishes. One of the employees stayed up until 2 AM cooking us all the food, and all her hard worked showed. The display and plating of the food was beautiful, and the food tasted delicious. The employees taught us how to make papaya salad, and a Thai omelet. The meal was such a sweet gesture to say goodbye, that majority of us were overwhelmed with the clinics generosity.
We headed to the Grand palace after lunch, but got caught in a bad storm. Though it stormed, it could not ruin the beauty of the Grand Palace. The palace was covered with gold, bright hues, and ornate details that stunned the visitors. The palace was packed with visitors trying to capture photos of the palace’s beauty. We ended our night with a wonderful dinner cruise along the river. It was pretty cool to eat dinner while passing by all the monuments and temples in Bangkok.
We returned back to the school to teach the students English. This is the first time that the students are hearing English with an American accent. We were told that many of the teachers cannot properly pronounce some of the words, so sometimes the kids learn the wrong pronunciation. Also, the children learn English from a British textbook which also has different words and pronunciation than Americans. I was surprised about how well the students knew their English. A lot of the students were nervous to talk to us and participate, but with time, they grew to talk to us and had a lot of fun learning some new words. Our lesson covered numbers, body parts, colors, and animals! After our lesson, we ate lunch with the students and said our goodbyes. I taught some of the students a hand game I used to play with my friends in elementary school called “slide.” It is not an easy game to learn, but they caught on after some practice and enjoyed it!
We also visited a rice noodle factory and were able to see how the rice noodles were made and packaged. The factory was insanely hot, and also smelled really bad. The conditions of the factory almost made me forget how delicious the noodles are.