Verena Maxeiner
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Verena Maxeiner came from Hochschule Rhein-Main HSRM, Wiesbaden, Germany and joined the project entitled Building Earthen House Project at Chiang Mai 2015.

The „Building Earthen House Project” in Chiang Mai 2015 was a great opportunity for us as exchange students as well as for all Thai students and stuff. First of all I want to thank you for this once in a lifetime experience.

We started at 12 pm on the 28 of April with meeting at the Kings Monument at Ramkhamhaeng University. There we prayed for a save trip and the Thai students did kind of a ritual with us. After an 18 hour-drive we arrived at our destination.

We were able to live with the monks for three nights and days. Every morning we had to get up at five and meet for the morning chant at 5:30. After that we ate breakfast all together and then our tasks started. We were gardening and building the earthen house. It was a pleasure to work with different nationalities and people. We could learn a lot from the monks as well as form the other students.

One day Australian students joined us. They build together with us the house and in the evening we were able to lighten up a balloon together with our wishes and prayers for Nepal. I think this was one of my favorite parts, while living with the monks. My other favorite moment was when we were able to teach to monks and novices English. It was really inspiring and also kind of sad, because we knew that some of the novices are orphans.

On the first of May we left Mueang Haeng and drove back to Chiang Mai. There we visited the temple on top of Chiang Mai with a great view.

At the beginning of our trip most students were really shy, but with the days they came and talked to us. Mr. Wood also took good care of all the exchange students and tried to translate all what the monks talked to us. So we won’t miss any information. We felt welcomed and I don’t want to miss all these impressions, experiences and beautiful moments anymore.

All in all was this trip really refreshing, a once in a life time opportunity and we were able to have a lot of bonding time. I would do that trip over and over again and we learnt a lot about the Thai culture, mentality and Buddhism.