Out of the bustling Bangkok is a scenic and serene Saraburi!
Oh! It’s sunshiny too!
If you haven’t read my previous post about Bewildering Bangkok, kindly pause or pose,…nah, kindly click the title: Thailand: a Threshold of Thrill and Tranquil.
A short tour at the Sunflower Fields in Muak Lek District was really fascinating! Sunflowers always face the sun, and it’s a great object lesson. I’ve always loved these sunshiny blossoms for they remind me to always look up and gaze upon the beauty of the Sun of Righteousness, Jesus.
When I was in the midst of the sunflower field, I felt I was in a movie or a dream, haha. It’s picturesque, and I look forward to experiencing it again in December 2015 (I really wish!).
Sort of a Safari
Fascination with wildlife had also thrilled me! When we went to Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo, I was petrified to have watched the Crocodile Wrestling Show. SEGZ is located at Nakhon Pathom province about 56 kilometers outside Bangkok. It’s not the typical wrestling you might have imagined. It’s more of the tricks of trained men and how they managed to deal with cruel-looking, cold-blooded crocs. Imagine a man, with the use of a stick to trick, he was able to insert his head inside the mouth of the horrifying crocodile for a period of time! Seriously, my heart raced and almost stopped beating! If the croc suddenly shut its mouth, that man must have been beheaded!
The rich cultural heritage of Thailand was shown through the great royal battle scenes called “Yutha Hathi”. It’s fascinating to have seen the Elephant Theme Show where elephant performed dances, did the hula hoop, and played soccer. It was exhilarating because I would only see elephants in books or in the movies, haha! I didn’t have the chance to have elephant massage, but it’s worth watching, screaming, and giggling, as if I had it after all.
Visiting Thailand wasn’t just for fun, but for a mission. I was so blessed enough to be a part of the 8th SAUM Camporee, dubbed as “It is Time”. It’s an international camporee represented by delegates from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and other invited countries within Asia, including the Philippines; with some delegates from Europe, Northern America and Southern America. There were about 1, 100 Pathfinder delegates who were able to partake to the event, according to Ptr. Simon Siew, the legendary SAUM Youth Director and Camporee Director.
I was humbled to have given the role as one of the counselors for AUP Academy Pathfinders. There were 54 Pathfinders and Master Guides from the Adventist University of the Philippines. The Philippine delegates were mostly elementary and high school students (Pathfinders are similar to Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts) from all over the Philippines. As the sole college student, Master Guide who was just invested nine months (March 9, 2007) prior to the event, I couldn’t thank God enough for giving me the opportunity to serve there. It was a gift of a lifetime! I’m ever grateful to those supportive friends who sponsored my registration and trip. It’s one of a kind investment on my growth as a leader.
There had been awesome highlights of the camporee that really refresh me every time I remember them. First was the grand baptism at Chet Sao Noi Waterfalls. Hiking on our way to the falls was fun and it was a great time to have befriended other campers and delegates. The sun-lit Saraburi has a little wilderness, and though scorching, we took time to capture the captivating beauty of the country side.
Another unforgettable experience was the Cultural & Trading Day on Thursday. Imagine all the delegates in their traditional costumes, displaying the uniqueness during the parade. Everyone got busy afterwards, trading pins, patches, tokens and had a lot of fun activities to strengthen friendship and comradeship.
The second very significant highlight of the camporee which I cherished was the consecration night. It was my first time to see a khom loy when we’ve lighted and released more than a hundred khom loy (sky lantern) to represent the light we ought to emit to the darkened world. I had goosebumps all over, as we gazed with wonder and embracing the solemnity of the moment.
Almost eight years have passed, and yet I’m still thrilled to look back of how God led us in the past, the travel and adventures in Thailand. “Lest We Forget”, the theme for the up-coming 10th SAUM Camporee on December 14-18, 2015 is a well chosen one, for the commemoration of more than 4 decades of the Master Guide’s faithfulness and greatness.
Don’t miss the grand reunion for the SAUM Camporee delegates in the past 40 years on the 10th SAUM Camporee, to be held in Camp Chaipiti, Saraburi. For queries and more information, visit the 10th SAUM Camporee website, contact Ptr. Simon Siew or write his secretary, Dina Nicol Estrella, *e-mail: email@example.com.
Hurry! Registration is only until September 15, 2015, or until the few tickets last.
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Note: All photos were taken by Jeruel Ibanez and was used with his consent.
© 2015 LAF