As I'm sure most of us find on our Earthwatch trips, the work we do is an essential ingredient of our trip, but by no means the only one. Learning to live, even briefly, and at a remove, in such a totally foreign culture was a marvelous experience.
Our training in archaeology, though certainly very abbreviated, gave me new skills and new ways to approach problems. The Thai people who worked along side us at the dig or served us at the Inn charmed me, and gave me insights into a culture very different from that I would otherwise encounter during a New England winter.
I returned home to find that the winter I'd set out to miss had been a mild one and that what I'd anticipated to be my ONLY trip to Asia now could be viewed as only the first among what I hope will be many. I felt more physically invigorated and fit than I had in years. I'd learned a lot - and I was ready to cook again, lemon grass, fish sauce, and Thai recipes in hand! To which my Thai friends would give a "thumbs up"!
ęClare Durst, '97