My Treasures Of All Sorts

I have 33 hours left before I board that plane out of Thailand and so far, I honestly don’t have any other plans than to make some last-minute packing and probably stuff myself with Thai street food until I bloat. In fact, my plans for the hours to come are no different from what I have been doing in the past days.

I hate saying goodbye to my friends. It’s sad to watch them wave at you while you watch their figures become smaller and smaller. It’s heart wrenching to give them the tightest hug that your small frame can muster when you have no idea when you’ll see them again. It’s a crappy feeling but I have to deal with it because it comes with the price of chasing after my dream; so I can finally make a difference.

So today, I want to write an article about the farewell gifts I have received – my way of saying thank you. It seemed like I have over-used the words “thank you” but this would be the first time that I abused a notion and never felt bad using it over and over and over again. I have a lot to thank for and I can’t help but feel blessed for having friends and colleagues who made my life in Thailand unforgettable.

The first gift I received was this Billabong sando shirt from Schennette, Minns, and Andrea. The best thing about friends is – they know you enough to decide on what would be the best gift to give you. In this case, other than the shirt fitted my bohemian-influenced lifestyle, the words “FORTUNE FAVORS THE BRAVE” printed on the shirt just sums up who I am. I was happy as a bee and my constant peeking at my goodie bag proved this.

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The next gift I received was this printed photo of me bending backwards which was personally given by my favorite baby girl, Cao, who was thoroughly coached by Minns to act sad and was instructed to cry, if she can. Although I knew that she was just pretending, I was close to crying when she handed over the picture.

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The photo was prepared by Minns and Schennette. At the back of the photo were short notes written by all the Kindergarten teachers and nannies.

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While I was reading the notes, I desperately tried not to cry because I did not want to pay for the Swensen’s ice cream treat. (You see, there was a deal made in the Kindergarten Department that whoever was the first to cry, he or she will pay for everybody’s ice cream.) Was I successful? Err…let’s just say that I was quick to wipe away my tears but no one knows that so just shush.

These three items were given to me on the same day – a Thai-inspired cellphone bag given by Kru Tum because she always saw me carrying my phone everywhere I went; a colorful, handmade peace bracelet given by Dyan to represent the cause that I was fighting for; and a journal given by Andi where she expected me to write my volunteering adventures in.

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This next gift was quite unexpected but I will not disclose who gave it because I was asked not to. I don’t know if I have mentioned this before but other than handmade stuff, I love receiving practical gifts. This Mix & Match multifunctional headwear will come in very handy on my next trip; plus it’s great to actually finally have my own after borrowing Doi’s for so long.

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The last gift I received was a handmade, ethnic sling bag which was painstakingly sewn by my friend, Schennette. I honestly couldn’t believe that she would go to so much trouble making this for me but I was teary-eyed when I accepted it. (Salamat kaayo, yot!)

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Thank you for all these wonderful gifts. I love them all!

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