Thursday, July 29, 2010

Remembering Thailand" Part 5

Thanks for accompanying me as I remember my time in Thailand 6 years ago. (Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 here.)  My last journal entry involves saying goodbye, Thai dancing, and possessed people.  Seeing someone that's possessed?  Definitely one of the freakiest things I've ever witnessed.  It would be right up there with the Cubs winning the World Series. Thank God that will never happen!

Thursday, July 29, 2004:
"I did my exit interview with Phanuthat this afternoon.  He actually got me a little handwoven basket!  He told me it would be our secret because he'd only bought parting gifts for a few of the volunteers.  He is so sweet!  Phanu told me all the staff wish I was staying longer and that they love me and wish they could communicate better so they could tell me this themselves.  I melted.  I told him I felt the same way about them and that I wish could stay longer.  The last week he'd been trying to get me to change my mind about staying an extra week or two.  {I had wanted to go to the Bangkok program in June so I could do a longer 4 or 5 week trip.  I wouldn't have traded Trang for the world though!}  Because of Tracy's wedding {my best friend whose wedding was 4 days after my return}, I've been resigned to only staying 3 weeks but I'm so comfortable here I could easily spend more time here in Trang and exploring the rest of Thailand.  I never thought I'd feel that way.  I'm definitely ready to go home but it will be strange not being here.
Tonight we went to see Thai dancing. When we first got there, it was just music and singing.  There was not a stage per se but a canopy tent over a beautiful rug. Then a man got up on the "stage."  It turned out his grandfather had died the night before and they were trying to channel his spirit. He had these jerky movements, as if he was not in control of his body.  It was freaky and so evident that he was possessed by, if not his grandfather's spirit, something.  Then this other woman catapulted herself on to the stage and she was possessed too!  She was running all over, her body appeared looser but she definitely had no control.  All of a sudden she did a backflip and landed on her back.  I could see that the spirit left her as soon as she landed.  She was dazed and disoriented, very clearly had no idea what had happened.  I just prayed for God's protection while I was watching this bizarre scene unfold. 
Eventually the dancing began.  The Thai dancer was actually a man.  The dance was a series of slow, deliberate moves. It was interesting to watch but long. We left before it was over because most of us were getting restless.  Still, I'm really glad I was able to see a performance.  People start leaving tomorrow. It's going to be a strange day.  I have to pack but hopefully I'll get to do a few last fun things.  Then my 2 long days of travel begin!"

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