Help Me Volunteer In Thailand And Laos

Friday, March 9, 2012


The afternoon I arrived in Chiang Mai, absolutely exhausted from a 24-hour travel period, I had time to myself before meeting the rest of the Volunteer Positive group for our first dinner together. In a bit of a daze and reluctant to stray too far from the guest house/hotel for fear of being lost in the metropolis that is Chiang Mai, (ha, ha), I decided to take a little walk. I figured my best bet was sticking to the main roads and relying on my experience with using visual markers as my guide. The place I finally ended up at was Wat Intakhin, or Wat Sadue Muang depending on who you ask. This relatively unassuming Wat that stands just to the left of the “Three Kings” sculpture was the first Temple I saw while in Chiang Mai. I didn’t go in, just took a peak through the open front doors, looked in through a side window and eventually discovered the beautifully wrapped Stupa that eventually became this linocut.

In retrospect I realize how silly I was being. This particular Wat is comparable in distance from the hotel as a 4-block walk in NYC, yet at the time, on my first day, it felt like a 30 mile walk into the unknown of a foreign land.

It became a spot I would see or walk by almost daily during the rest of my 3.5 weeks in Chiang Mai, so it has a special spot in my heart. I started out on this journey rather hesitant and fearful of the unexpected and ended up eventually discovering so much more about Chiang Mai and my self. I ended up spending my entire last week hanging out in a number of the 80 Temples that dot the city like Starbucks dots NYC. I became adventurous in my exploration, I even learned the proper way to enter a temple and prostrate to Buddha. I walked around the city like I would walk around NYC and documented my journey through 100’s of photo’s as well as sketches on postcards and finally linoleum.

So, to Wat Intakhin and the gentleman who sat down next to me for a good 1/2 hour the afternoon I was drawing this particular linoleum, I say, “Thank you. You will always have a special place in my heart. Despite the fact that you and I could not communicate verbally, your kindness was obvious and indicative of Chiang Mai. I will always be grateful.“

No comments: