Today I wasn’t feeling well. I woke up last night around midnight and wasn’t able to fall back asleep until 5 AM. My stomach is hurting and I feel nauseated. I ate some chicken in town yesterday and I think it didn’t sit well with me. I’m hoping this will pass quickly. I am amazed by how difficult it is to make it through the heat of the day here. The heat is relentless and completely takes the life out of you. It feels like every day becomes increasingly more difficult to withstand. Today was day 2 of the Songkran festival and we went back into town. I wish we could go earlier during the heat of the day so we could cool off but the man who owns the truck can’t go until later. Part of the tradition is to get blessed by a monk or an elder. We went to an elder’s home that was the uncle of one of the men here on the farm. He and his wife greeted us warmly and even though they spoke not even a word of English, you could feel their kindness and generosity. Although we were soaking wet they insisted that we come inside and join them in their home. They brought us a dessert that is wrapped in a bamboo leaf. When you open it up it’s basically a white sticky ball with brown sugary coconut in the middle. It was very sweet and tasty and I ate three of them. “Alloy” means “delicious” in Thai and the elder’s wife was pleased to hear me use a Thai word and told me to come again. The elder blessed us by tying a white piece of string to our wrists and saying a prayer over us. One of the girls translated him for me and he said something along the lines of wishing me a long life and health. It was very sweet and I appreciated his blessing. Even though I couldn’t understand what the man was saying, I watched him bless the others and afterwards carry on with conversation. He was so soft spoken and kind, he was very old but he seemed so at peace. It was really beautiful, I feel so fortunate to get to experience those sorts of things. That’s definitely something you can’t get if you just stay in a hotel or hostel. Once we left we stopped in town to get soup. We were all cold and shivering from being drenched and from the wind blowing on us while driving in the back of the truck. I learned how to say “no more water” in Thai and we were all laughing as I repeated it over and over. I really enjoy riding in the back of the truck; it’s just so freeing. I’m glad that the evenings here make up for the heat of the day, because I really am getting to the point where I feel ready to be home. But I am so happy to have experienced such wonderful culture, I just have to be strong and make it through for another couple of weeks.