Saturday, November 8, 2008

Yes We Can

The conclusion of my time in Chang Mai will live in my heart forever. I took an amazing cooking class and ate the best thai food, and I made it myself. I went trekking in the mountains surrounding Chang Mai and swam in waterfalls and rode an elephant. I met people resisting the urge to join modern society and instead holding on to unique and beautiful cultural traditions and ways of life. I met amazing people both from Thailand, living abroad in Thailand and just visiting Thailand like me. In every country we visit, Mikaela and I have paused to marvel over the very fact that what we are expiriencing here in Southeast Asia will live deep within us for the rest of our lives. I just never thought I would be so truly moved by America while so far away from it. In a bar in Chang Mai, we watched the election with what felt like every American in the city. In that morning, we met far more Americans than we had in total since starting our trip. At 9 am, we all showed up to watch the election on CNN and were immediately greeted with good news. Obama was way up, and we were waiting to see how Ohio and Florida would unfold. As everyone is well aware, we won them. The whole bar errupted in cheers again and again all morning. We were shouting and laughing and drinking and crying and celebrating. As Obama addressed the crowd in his speech, I was embarssed to realize I was crying, until I noticed that there were very few dry faces making up the room. "We are Americans!" we kept telling each other. And I knew without question that I would remember clearly that final morning in Chang Mai.

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