Vanessa Mayer
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Vanessa Mayer came from Fachhochschule Aschaffenburg, Germany. She participated in the the community and sustainable development project entitiled the Building Earthen House Project at Chiang Mai 2015.

My experience at the Building Earthen House Project at Chiang Mai 2015.

We had to drive 840 kilometers to arrive at the Plekwiwek Dhamma Centre, Wiang Heang District, Chiang Mai Provice.

Our journey started on the 28 April 15, 11.30 p.m. at the meeting point at the King Ramkamhaeng Monument the Great, Ramkamhaeng University. After a lot of breaks we got down well at about 18.00 p.m. We had spent there three nights and learned more about the daily routine of the Monks. Our days began in the morning at 5.00 a.m. and we participated on the Morning Chant with Buddhists Monks and Novices. Thereafter we had to walk back and forth of a Buddhist priest. Afterwards the breakfast has taken place at 7.30 a.m.

During the day we have done many interesting things, such as farming, learn about people´s way of life around the border between Thailand and Myanmar, learn how to build the Earthen House and so on.

For me as a Christian, everything at the Dhamma Centra was a great experience. It was very interesting to learn so much about the Buddhism and the Monks and Novices way of life. For me it would be impossible to learn almost three hundret rules. Most of all I was surprising that the Monks are allowed to take their last meal at 12.00 p.m. I have great respect for their perseverance and I admire their way of life. I think I speak for all of us that it was very hard for us rising early to participate in the daily chanting and meditation ceremony. We learn so much not only about their life, but also about ourselves.

After the life-prolonging ceremony on the 1 Mai 15 we left from Plekwiwek Dhamma Centre and drove to Chiang Mai. On the way we visited King Naresuan The Great Pagoda and Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. We arrived at the 700th Anniversary Stadium of Chiang Mai Province and spent there one last night. The Traditional Khantoke Dinner was very interesting, as well. We saw the Lanna traditional dance and performance.

The next day we went to Thai Elephant Conservation Center, Lampang Province. There we visited the exhibition and video at Thai Elephant Conservation Center, visited the elephant bathing, visited the baby elephant show and me and my team (the winning team of the rally) had free elephant riding. I was overwhelmed by these gigantic animals and had so much fun.

Thereafter we had the chance to buy souvenirs at Kad Tung Kwian Market. We left there at about 1 a.m. and arrived the Ramkamhaeng University at 10 a.m.

I had a wonderfull time, it was a gain in experience and I had so much fun. It was a fantastic piece about experiencing a life that many see in passing but never have the opportunity or knowledge to truly experience. I hope this report encourages others to try out a similar stay in the Plekwiwek Dhamma Centre, Wiang Heang District, Chiang Mai Provice.

I thank all the staff for their work and I am very glad that I had the opportunity to attend this project!