And we’re off to the Rasi Salai District! This week began with meeting our host families, a questionnaire seminar with community leaders of the village, and exchanging ideas with local Thai teachers and students for our upcoming English camp. The culture of rural communities in areas such as Issan emerges from the ecosystems in which they depend on. The river offers fish for meals, herbal medicines used for remedy from the wetlands, and natural flooding of the river provides community farmers with water for crops. We got to personally hear ourselves from two community leaders how the construction of the dam has negatively taken a toll on their lives and found ways we could spread awareness of the issues relating to the Rasi Salai dam back home. We then got to meet our host families and got to see a traditional Thai class play! It was a shadow play, “Nang yai,” where students and teachers drew and cut out detailed characters and told a folk story with shadow figures. It was a bittersweet goodbye after two nights of fun and good home cooked Thai food from our host families. Our group had spent two full days preparing for our English camp back at CIEE’s learning center and a breathe of fresh air and some greenery was much needed- so camping we went! We travelled to the Phu Pha Man National Park in Thailand where we got to hike in the forested park, saw bats migrating out of a cave, and slept in bungalows!