Larissa Vogl participated in the project “Dek Ram Inter Paan-Din”
For me as a German Student the whole trip was just amazing. I’m really interested in Buddhism’s and that’s why it was a great opportunity to join the trip. From the beginning up on everything was planned perfectly. We had small busses with enough space per person. We did enough breaks. Our first stop was at a temple near Chiang Mai. One of the oldest temples.
Then we moved on to the Dhamma center. It is up on a mountain close to Pai. One Australian guy welcomed us friendly and decided that we should mix up the female dorms. I was with two really nice Thai girls in one small house made out of wood. The staff from the Rhamkhamhaeng offered us a shirt for everyday so we had a good group feeling. We started to plant vegetables in a garden near the spirit house.
Everybody worked hard to make it as good as possible. Then we walked around the area looked at the whole place. After Lunch we were driven to border between Myanmar and Thailand. The Australian guy walked a lot about the history and the situation in the present. Very interesting. In the afternoon we started to build the mud brick house. We did clay on our own. Everybody was enthusiastic. We could do it with hands and feet’s. After dinner we prayed with the monks. Really interesting but I couldn’t understand Pali even I don’t understand Thai.
The next morning we wake up at 5 am. Get dressed in the praying suite and directly to the temple. We prayed maybe for one hour and then started with a monk walk. A monk told us what to do and everybody did it. Then we played a cool game designed by the staff from IIS. We were divided into three groups and we had so search some paper with hints on it. At least we had to answer a few questions and the winning team could ride on elephants.
After lunch we returned with building the mud house. We painted the windows and doors and plastered the façade. We also were allowed to paint the door inside with everything we wanted to. So we decided to write the name of the universities. That was pretty much fun. Some people went swimming with the monks after that. Then we had dinner and we prayed again. At the same time there was a group of Australian pupils and we had the chance to send a light in form of a lantern in to the sky. That looked amazing. Everybody did a wish.
The last day we had a ceremony with the head monk. He prayed for us and we were connected with a wood symbol. Very interesting. Now we are all blessed by the monk. He gave us a bracelet.
Then we moved over to Chiang Mai. We slept at the university. It was really big and beautiful. At dinner time we joined a restaurant and had the chance to watch a traditional northern dance show. The northern food was really good.
The whole trip will be in my mind forever. Thanks for the chance and everything IIS did for us exchange students to join.