First of all, I would like it to be known that Harry Potter 7 Part 2 comes out a full 24 hours earlier in Thailand than in the United States. The first showing is at 11:50 am on Thailand's July 14th which is just about midnight in the states on July 13th. Perfection. I'll try not to spoil it.
Second exciting thing, we're going on a homestay!!! We went to dinner last night with Dao Din, KKU's student activist group, and P'Govit, a mentor and NGO who works closely with CIEE invited another NGO and a Paw from a dam-affected community to eat with us as well. They told us about the dam project in the community and how they would like student's help in creating a research/ human rights report that they could present to the government. We're going to start building a relationship between this community and CIEE this semester and the interns are going to be the first to go! It's a forest community in the mountains (!!), so we're going to go hiking and pick vegetables, such as mushrooms, bamboo, cassava, and sugar cane. We'll do some sort of project with them after our visit which is exciting, since those will be conducted mainly by the students after the semester starts. I'm just excited to talk about dams again, and get back into the communities!
Speaking of students, we got the roster today! Something else exciting and also scary.
Speaking of scary, we got monsooned today - I don't really know how to describe the amount of rain that was falling. Maybe a bath tub per square inch per second. Maybe that's enough. Depending on how you fill your bathtub. A huge, full bathtub. (The bathtub is foreshadowing, fyi). Cait had dinner with Josh, so Anne, Becky, and I were on our own and stopped in one of the restaurants by our house for dinner as the rain poured and poured. We had Thai tutoring at 6, which is why we left the house at all, and didn't wait out the storm in the restaurant after eating. Our house, and the restaurant, is down a gradual, but extraordinarily long (miles) incline, so all the water from the university was barreling down the road that had maybe one or two grates for drainage. Not enough. Otherwise, there's a ditch on the side of the road that should act as a gutter. It should, when there's a normal amount of rain, which this was not. We walked out of the restaurant and the water was up to my mid-calf, almost my knee in some spots. You couldn't see the ground at all - it was a river picking up everything on the street along the way and we were walking against the current. I could have canoed more successfully. The tires of cars and motorcycles were covered, and we tried to hitchhike in someone's pick up truck because we looked like crazy farangs trying to wade our way through this nonsense. But no one looked as crazy as me when I took one step too far to the right and fell into the ditch and got completely submerged (see the bathtub thing?). I had no idea where I had gone for a second there - I felt like I had apparated - I wasn't quite so lucky. But, being me, I laughed as hard as I could, handed my bag with my (potentially waterlogged) laptop in it to Becky, thanked Anne for finding my flipflop, got up and continued the trek. Soon after, we flagged down a songtao to take us the rest of the way, since the puddle of rain water in my pants was getting pretty unpleasant. We made it to the office only 5-10 minutes late and learned some more Thai. Mai ben rai- that's what flood season's all about.