I'm sitting in a cafe, that over-looks a small lake. I'm waiting for my Thai-style curry to cool off. It's dusk, and on the other side of the lake a delicate white and gold temple is lit up like a Christmas tree. The reflection of the lit temple dances along the surface of the lake. Mountains surround me on all sides. Children throw bread into water and watch the diverse collection of fish jump competitively for every last piece. There is a month long festival going on, and people are releasing hot-air-balloon-lanterns. They look like huge golden stars over the lake. There seems to be a single appropriate adjective to describe this place– magical.
Two things are slowly dawning on me; This is going to be my home for a year of my life, and I'm pretty sure the girls in the kitchen are going to play the entire 98 Degrees album.
So, I've finished my in-country-training in Chiang Mai and I am spending my first night in Mae Hong Son, where I'll be working. Work starts on Monday!
I couldn't believe how sorry I was to leave Chiang Mai. I was only there for a month, but I made great friends, and Chiang Mai was really starting to feel like home. I had a great send off last night, and I've made plans to see my new friends throughout the year. For now I have the start over in a new city. I just realized that in the last 4 months I've lived in 4 different cities; Toronto, Vancouver, Chaing Mai, and now Mae Hong Son.
Lets hope the magic continues and that Mae Hong Son and I don't exhaust our honey-moon phase.