January 21, 2017
How’d we get here?
Two years ago we went to India so Annie could study Ashtanga Yoga at it’s center in Mysore. I kept applying online to get her a space (you need to apply 3 months ahead) until everything seemed set. While we were in Nepal (we had three months before her “term” at Mysore would begin in February), we received an email that she hadn’t been accepted in Mysore – when I had received a confirmation back in November, it just meant they had received her application. Trying to reinvent our trip, new friends in Nepal told us to skip India and go to Chiang Mai in Thailand. We had one more day in Nepal before our visa expired, so we went to the the Thai embassy to get a visa, but it was the king’s birthday – the embassy was closed. So we returned to India and eventually made it to Mysore where Annie got the opportunity to study the specific style of yoga she’d been dreaming of for 10 years.
Chiang Mai stayed in our desires though. When we began our plans for Thailand we thought, “Chiang Mai!” Our friends (Rip Hayman & Barbara Pollitt) mentioned they had a friend who lived on a boat in Haverstraw (about 30 minutes north of us) most of the year but also lived in a house she built in Chiang Mai for a few months each year. We were able to connect with her just before she was leaving and another connection was made – back in the early 1980’s Annie made costumes for a dance company that performed hanging upside down from ropes. This woman, Bronya, was a dancer with that company.
Bronya described the house she had built in Chiang Mai, on the property of a friend (Mac) who teaches Thai massage. She said he’s very special and people come from all over the world to study with him.
So here we are, living in his little compound in Bronya’s house, studying Thai Massage with him. We signed up for 0ne week… and might stay for 2-4?
On Sunday he will be driving up to the mountains to help out a poor family that has a disabled child… I plan on bringing the balloons.
The other students are all friendly and serious. They all have stories about how they found this place. There are 8 of us… from Argentina, France, Germany, and from the US. Two of the students are from Wisconsin (they were surprised to meet each other her).
Besides this little house of Bronya’s (a comfortable bedroom, kitchen and bathroom), there are a few tent/bungalows and two rooms in Mac’s house that he also rents to students. A few dogs roam freely and there’s a family from Burma that also lives here. Mac has an arrangement with them that they take care of the property and get a place to live with their kids (I’ve already introduced these kids to the balloons).
The walk into the local village takes about 15-20 minutes. We get food supplies there. All the local people we pass along the way smile at us. When we tried finding vinegar yesterday, we had almost given up when we ran into an Australian missionary who has lived here for about 30 years. He works with young girls, helping them get out of the sex trafficking world. He helped us navigate through the products in the store (nothing is in English). I volunteered to do a show for him if he can get a group of kids together…. I’m hoping.
The Thai massage classes are a challenge… so much to remember. But it’s out of the comfort zone… just where we want to be.