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Settling into our New Home

July 11, 2009

Just like our last blog stated “Rachel and Nathan Graeser are heading to Thailand for 9 months.” Well, here we are! We spent a restful romantic week on a southern tropical island of Thailand… Koh Tao. Now we are settled into Chiang Mai for one month as we lead a trip of 11 volunteers from the US. (more on that later 🙂

At our wedding I was asked, “Do you think you’ll be able to relax on your honeymoon in Thailand knowing what you know about that country?” I responded quickly with, “Well, the US has child prostitution and trafficking and I relax here just fine. Plus I have fallen in love with Thailand, so I’m sure we’ll relax just fine.”

I’ve come back to that question a few times since returning to Thailand. This is my fourth time here, and every time I return I find a hundred new reasons to love this country. Sure, there are a lot of things about Thailand that I would like to see change… the education system, racism against Burmese and Hilltribe people, ripping off foreigners because we (supposedly) have lots of $, an abundance of street children, sex tourism feeding the economy, and extreme poverty. However, it doesn’t take long to notice that there is so much this country has to offer besides red light districts and injustice.

This trip to Thailand is different in so many ways… this time I have returned as a newlywed with my husband (who has never been here before!), this time I have a visa that allows me to stay for one year, this time I am here to work with and serve the people that SOLD has built relationships with over the past 2 years.

I am sure that it will be an adventure that allows me to fall in love with Thailand and the people of Thailand even more. I am also sure our time here will be purposeful, change will begin to occur in Cat’s village (Village of Pazaang), and we will continue to see why prevention work is beneficial and so needed.

My husband, Nate, and I will be blogging as much as possible. So, please stay up to date via this blog and twitter (@thesoldproject).

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