16 May Bangkok Battle and other Adventures in Scavenger Hunting
After a lot of flights and airports, little sleep, and some major time changes, our group of nine amazing ladies has landed in Bangkok! Thailand has been quick to offer up all of its awesome sights, sounds, tastes and sometimes not-that-awesome smells. And let’s not forget the HEAT! Everyone is sweating, has learned/lived the term Swack (back sweat that is), and been introduced to a few SEA sweat survival techniques. Think of baby powder in every location possible, Royal D (a local electrolyte drink), and of course lots of water.
After a chaotic airport pick up day (mostly for our awesome TL’s) the team kicked off the first official day of summer with a delicious breakfast on the popular Rambuttri road. Lots of yummy fruit shakes, coffee with heaps of evaporated milk, and Pad Thai’s were consumed. Since the sun was already a-blazing after breakfast we headed to a small oasis in the heart of Khao San Road – the backpacking mecca of Bangkok – for our OG orientation break down! I won’t disclose too much but let’s just say Ryan had us all laughing with his ridiculous use of adjectives and toilet demonstrations. We love him.
The next day was an early start for our Honorary OG Scavenger Hunt. To mix it up a little this year we created some sweet competition between SEA Animal Conservation and SEA Discovery (who has also been hanging out in Bangkok these past few days). Team Discovery took the lead by a nit-noy (Thai for VERY small), with possible sabotage… something about two front sheets seems iffy to me. Regardless of the questionable win both SEA Animal Conservation teams had a wild day exploring the city, riding local river boat taxis and tuk-tuks, eating foreign fruits, learning the language, visiting the immense and beautiful reclining Buddha at Wat Pho, checking out all the wonderful Hello Kitty in Chinatown (Sarah might be obsessed), taste testing Chang, Leo and Singha (but not in the park as one group learned) and of course making friends with some locals. Team Chang and Team Tiger pulled out a tie and can look forward to some colourful, but practical prizes.
Today the two SEA teams are being graced with an awesome temple tour by Bangkok’s most sought after tour guide, Sidney Jhingran! Later this afternoon the OG mega team will part ways with our eleven heading north to Chang Rai and SEA Discovery off to Chang Mai.
Once in Chiang Rai we will be meeting with the Mirror Foundation, an NGO that works directly with ethnic minorities in the northern hills of Thailand. Mirror provides these communities with invaluable services such as documentation of citizenship otherwise ignored by governments, education, and capacity building like the construction of anything from water tanks to bathrooms. Mirror has been a solid partner of Operation Groundswell for the past four years, and both teams are excited for this summer’s stay in a new village. Transportation to the village is an intensely amazing 10KM uphill hike through the gorgeous Thai jungles. Once we reach the village we will immerse ourselves in the local customs, and of course get to work!
As we will be trekking into a remote area the team will be MIA for the next week (May 17th –May 22nd). However, once we return we can be contacted via cell phone at (+66)08-3115-0060.
If there is an emergency over the next week the Operation Groundswell head office can be reached at 1-888-422-0164. The head office can contact the Mirror Foundation who can then get into contact with us.
The girls (and Ryan) are stoked for the next adventure in store … of course there is that 14 hour night bus first! Got to love OG style!