3 January 2012

Thailand - Third Wave 2012 [Day 1: Travel]

I was nominated in May 2011 to represent Asia-Pacific for Third Wave 2012. Third Wave is a Global Leadership Conference for emerging leaders, aged 26-26. About 200 people from all around the world were to be represented! It was (and is) such an honour to be asked to attend this conference!
The conference is from January 4-8, and we are staying at the Town in Town Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand.
After a wonderful New Year’s Eve at Sydney Harbor and only 3 hours sleep, I woke up at 6:30am so that I could catch my flight to Bangkok. AndrĂ© and I walked to the train station, had a short train ride, and then arrived at the airport at 8:00am – perfectly on time! We met Tamara and her family there. Tamara and I have been preparing for this trip together, and it’s been so much fun!!
Our luggage boy ;-) Bronwyn, Tammie and Emma

Ready to go!!!!!
The plane ride was about 9 hours long. I tried to sleep during the flight, but it didn’t really work. But not to worry – there was so much to look at! So many things to experience! And I’m very grateful for my wonderful new camera to capture this journey with J

Our first snack, and the pretty menu! [pretty sure Tamara and I kept the menus as a souvenir!]

Lunch - bread roll with but, cracker and cheese (saved for later), crab salad, chicken with rice and veggies, orange juice, and carrot cake - I had coffee with my cake... mmmm!

Flight information was updated continually throughout the flight

Tea-time! Noodles with prawns, followed by fresh fruit, and Anzac biscuits with coffee. Yes, I may or may not be becoming addicted to percolated coffee. Ahem.
Tamara and I were feeling rather dead by the end of the flight. But, we finally touched down in Bangkok!

First photo on Thailand soil

The cool airport!
We were met by some lovely NYI (Nazarene Youth International) people. It was so nice to have friendly faces greet and welcome us into Thailand! We had to wait at the airport for some other people who were arriving soon after us…

With everyone we met at the airport
Along with taking a few photos, I bought a bag of chip-looking things, which turned out to be grain waves! And you’ll never guess the flavour! Seaweed! So cool! I really enjoyed them! The soy milk I [sillily] [is that even a word?!] purchased… not so good… Ah well – you win some, you lose some!

And then we boarded the train…

These are essentially bus tickets! Cool, hey?!

Crowded onto a bus…

And arrived at the Town in Town Hotel!!!

The entrance - getting all of the luggage inside (thank You, Lord, for strong men!)

The amazing chandelier in the hotel foyer

Checking in

Tamara and I were feeling more alive after the train and bus rides, but I for one still felt a bit spaced out! The check-in procedure seemed to take forever, but eventually we got up to our room, unpacked and got a little set up in our room, and flopped into bed.

Next thing we know, the phone rings. And we are told that we are in the wrong room, and we have to move rooms. We explained to our host that we had switched rooms for a reason (we were originally listed to be in separate rooms with other roommates, but we are staying 2 days longer than most people, so we had organized to be together instead), but the language barrier was… well, a barrier! Nothing was “finalised” in the phone call, so we flopped back into bed and fell asleep.

Next, a knock on the door. And Belinda is there (yay for people who speak Thai AND English!) with some hotel staff, telling us we need to pack up and move rooms. We tried to explain again, but to no avail. So, we had to pack all of our stuff up (while we were half asleep), and go to our original rooms!
My roommate is Hannah, who is from South Korea. She is so lovely! You’ll see photos of her in future posts. It’s so nice being able to get to know her!

So last night we talked a little, and then I flopped back into bed, and slept pretty much like a baby until the morning.
Please pray for the Asia-Pacific people – there are about 70 of us. For safety as we travel; relationships and friendships to grow; physical strength and protection against illness; wisdom and patience and love as we communicate between languages and cultures; and perhaps most importantly, that the Lord will work in us as individuals and teach us every single thing that we need to learn during this trip and with each other.

PLEASE ALSO PRAY for my dear friend Belinda. She has had to go home because of illness. Please pray for safe travel and for peace.

Apologies for the lateness of this post! I have been trying every day to get this done! But the internet has failed me :'( I will continue to do my best to post as often as possible!

Many blessings from Thailand!

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