Sawaddee krap — palms folded in a lotus shape the official greeting of South East Asian — soon enough we will all travel together this summer in the Land of Smiles Thailand.
I’m so thrilled to embark this trip with you all as one of your instructor member along with Pi Ramphai and Pi Greg.
I’m Somsanid Inthongsai (Som) the instructor from Lao PDR, I’ve been involved with Dragons since 2010, South east Asia (SEA) mainland has been a huge home, since I’ve been mostly on the road leading trip with Dragons for at least the last 5 years, I’ve led Mekong semester where there are Cambodia, Laos, China combined, also Myanmar, Laos, summer programs and now Thailand summer is a first time but I countlessly visited Thailand where I most admired its natural and cultural authenticity, kind and friendly people.
Before Dragons, I worked with NGOs, private schools and companies etc, as a freelancer in the field of English teaching, translation, interpretation/program liaison between the international NGO projects with the Lao government. And I also was a wilderness trekking guide when I was in a College.
When I was young around 16, I started to work my first job at after highschool years. To earn and pay my college, following my father into the wild, and join the topographic surveyor team. In the jungle where I learned the most to be self reliance and living life far away from human civilization, so risky due to the UXOs (unexploded ordnance) and wild animals attack. There isn’t a use of money or cellphone at all, But there I found grounded peace, present moment and love of nature, everyday waking up by the wild roosters and gibbons near the creek, starring at the peak of a gorgeous mountains with a tiredly smile, knowing that we will climb them. Eating some unfamiliar food when we ran out of the supplies, the Python, Kingcobra, lizards ect. Most of them don’t taste like chicken as people said but nothing to compare to, and I was allergic to cobra anyway but managed to survived later on lol! Sleeping under the millions of stars in a little self-made bamboo hut, listening to the crickets and the creek flow was the most beautiful nature chant I’ve ever heard. Next few days we encountered a mama bear because some of us picked a little creature and thought it was a ginny pig, we returned it later, one of our friends made a fire and we passed it 20mn later a huge explosion noise occur, it was from the uxo but no one was injured, the story could’ve been different if any of us was closed. We survived and feeling swollen with pride of how much we achieved from 3 months experience in the deep jungle.
Thus, I most valued experience that made me feel challenged, because I know it would give me something to worth my life when thinking back. So I’d like to encourage us all to embrace this experience, with positive intention, step out of your comfort zone, be ready to engage with new culture, witness the natural beauty and adventure. Becoming a global citizens with open minded to embody a new experience and knowledge and cultivate wisdom.
On another note I was also a Buddhist monk for short period of time but a lay Buddhist for life, and love sharing and discuss about Buddhism and life in general, and you are more than welcome to participate morning or sunset meditation session when we have a chance on course.
English is my third language it might confuse you sometime, my mother tongue is Lao, second is Thai and Khmer (Cambodian language) and Chinese are survival.
Can’t wait for the full circle!