Antibiotics are bad, but losing your leg to gangrene is probably worse, I reasoned with myself as I hobbled through the jungle today to pop those nasty pills that I know will ruin my stomach again. Then I swatted one of the dozen mosquitoes on my arm and prayed for no malaria.
I’m currently spending a week in the remote jungles of southern Thailand volunteering at a sustainable living project. I’m loving it, aside from the putrid infection ravaging my foot and rendering me somewhat crippled. The humidity and perpetual rain makes it difficult to heal and I’m praying I’ll still have a leg by next week. Although if I do lose it I suppose I could get one of those really springy metal feet things and do lots of cool jumps. Kaleena the Bionic Woman!
The foot incident is the perfect capstone for a month riddled with mishaps, only half of which were my own fault. July was a wild one; it saw me travel from the very north to the very south of Thailand, experiencing lots of strange and wonderful things in between. It was a month of physical pain, financial loss, new friends, and exciting adventures.
Let’s review, shall we:
Buses: 5 (24 hours total)
Planes: -1 (as in, I paid for one and missed it)
Mosquito bites: ~42,657
Where I’ve Been:
Pai: Up in the mountains, near where the lush jungles of northern Thailand meet the Myanmar border, lies a quaint village with some kind of indescribable magic. Leonie, a girl I had met and instantly befriended in Chiang Mai, and I spent a week exploring the area, motorbiking through the jungle to waterfalls and canyons, and enjoying the amazing local food.
Leonie finally had to leave and I spent the next two weeks training every day at a Muay Thai camp. It was an amazing experience but at the end I went away literally bruised and battered and nursing a sprained ankle.
I had one big last night out with my crew of boys from the training camp and subsequently slept through my alarm, missing my bus to Chiang Mai and my flight down south. Instead I had to take a bus to Bangkok, during which I saw a dead man flattened in the road and then left my tablet on the bus. Hashtag not winning.
Koh Tao: After months of jungle living I was desperate for some beach time. Luckily for me Leonie felt the same and decided to fly back to Thailand to join me again! We spent a week snorkeling, beach lounging, and getting into all sorts of trouble on the island with our band of weirdo friends. I also participated in a scuba diving reef cleanup and got my dose of mermaid fun.
To celebrate my birthday we took a flying trapeze class and it was incredible. It made me that much more desperate to get back to aerial dance! It was the perfect way to ring in the 4th anniversary of my 25th birthday.
Dindang Natural Building Center: For my last week in Thailand I’m learning about sustainable building practices at a living center in middle-of-nowhere, Thailand. We spend our days smack in the middle of the jungle, where butterflies as big as birds bob through the air and giant lizards visit our room, helping to develop the center by making things like bamboo windows and rock benches. We’ve only been here a couple of days so I’ll write a post about the experience after we’ve finished!
Sprained ankle from Muay Thai
Electrocuted from a stray wire—not just a little zap, but a full body shock that left me shaken and sore
Toe infection in Koh Tao
Foot infection in the jungle that might render me a uni-leg (is that a word?)
Missing my flight and having to take a 12 hour bus instead
Leaving my Kindle Fire on the bus
Flying trapeze class!
Amazing food, but mostly my new favorite Khao Soi
This new friend and all the laughs