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How to have fun with 45 girls…

July 1, 2012

Saturday we spent with New Life Center Foundation near Chiang Mai University. Our connection to this organization is through Wandee, a longtime friend and partner with DOI. The ministry of New Life Center is education, vocational training, and empowerment of hilltribe women. Due to their circumstances (distance, language barriers, family poverty, etc), their education is oftentimes cut off, which significantly raises their vulnerability for trafficking and exploitation. NLCF also operates a safe house for women rescued out of trafficking/abuse/exploitation situations. 

So that’s a bit about who we were working with. Basically we spent Saturday having a fun “girl’s” day! It was a blast to simply hang out, have fun, and worship with the 36 women (ages 13-25) who live at NLCF and the small staff (about 5 joined us). Simmi and Hilary helped in the kitchen preparing delicious Thai desserts, Abby and Marie led arts/crafts/fun free time, Diana facilitated nail painting, and Alison and I (Amanda) became masseuses! 🙂 The girls were very keen to practice their English with us and we had fun talking, giggling, and hanging out. We also spent some time worshipping together–an element of our trip that is one of my favorite aspects–and exchanging testimonies. 🙂

After lunch (pizza, if you can believe it! Although there was a shrimp pizza….), we packed into a few sung taos and a van and headed to a waterfall hike! We walked a short trail (<1.5 miles round trip) to the top of a waterfall where we enjoyed the refreshing water and beautiful view! Afterwards we drove to another nearby fall at the Doi Suthep National Park (at the base of where the temple was) and enjoyed the tasty desserts Simmi and Hilary had helped make. SO GOOD. I’m convinced coconut is the best thing to add to just about anything. 🙂 

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