Other moments of note?
* receiving the Akha name “Mi-thi” which apparently means “medium girl” or “slightly smaller than average girl.” But I guess this is par for the course as other friends were labeled “standard man” and “action girl” and (horrifyingly!) “cat belly”* eating coffee beans and papayas straight off the tree
* sitting in a circle of whiskey-drinking men who wanted to stroke my yellow hair* impromptu dancing with a tiny old woman while she sang a song about friends
* hearing the sounds of the village’s Sunday church service wafting through the trees* meeting a pet civet who ate oranges and drank coca-cola
* trying to find a way to (politely) refuse offer after offer of rice whiskey
If you’re in Thailand and would like to visit or volunteer with a hilltribe village, The Mirror Foundation is a fantastic resource. You can volunteer from one week to three months, teaching English, helping at temples and hospitals, building water tanks or even washing the village dogs! The Mirror Foundation also offers trekking and homestay programs and they’ve got a great (and cheap!) guest house in Chiang Rai if you’re in the neighborhood.