Yesterday we had a fun day to rest and relax. We rode elephants and rafted down a river in the mountains, ate in a Thai restaurant, and explored the night market. Midway through the afternoon, the guys split off from the girls to go with Ron and minister to a group of young men in the Thai military.
Before we rode the elephants, we went to look at a mother elephant with her newborn baby. She was very friendly, but her baby was still very shy.
The elephant ride was really fun, but going down those hills was pretty scary!
After the elephant ride, we rode down a river on a long bamboo raft. We sat down (as water splashed up from between the bamboo poles, of course) and enjoyed the scenery as our guide stood at the front and pushed us along with a long bamboo pole. The ride was very relaxing and the foliage on the riverbanks was gorgeous.
After lunch, the group split off. The guys went with Ron to lead a Bible study with about 30 cadets and a few officers in the Thai military while the girls went to see a temple and explore the city.
The temple was very big and ornate, but spiritually dark. I managed to make it inside but could only stay for a few minutes before I had to leave because I wanted to cry so much. It was an eye opening experience for all of us; so many people worship in that building thinking if they a good enough, the Buddha can save them. It was heartbreaking.
After the temple, us girls had our feet cleaned by those tiny fish that eat dead skin and drove around to see the old city.
After the guys were done leading their Bible study, we met up at a Thai restaurant on the river for dinner.
Lizzy got to launch a sky lantern into the air.
She was pretty excited about it.
After we finished dinner, we all went to the night market to find souvenirs. The streets were filled with stars selling all kinds of different things from tapestries to clothes to handmade crafts to food.
Today we will lead a Bible study with the older children and staff in the orphanage, help with chores, and get ready to leave.