Wonderful day of travel. Rather than taking the easy, expensive (150 baht) route of a taxi to the bus station, I opted for the 12 baht public A/C bus, which dropped me right at the station. Then another A/C bus to Kanchanaburi, a 2 hour ride, where they gave me cold water. I arrived just in time to catch the 12 o'clock public bus to Sangkhlaburi (often just called Sangkla). Open windows, open back door, turquois and teal walls, chrome ceiling, red-orange vinyl seats. It started with standing room only. By the mid point there were only 7 or so of us. It was a five and a half hour ride and I loved every minute. The change in scenery and smalls from dry and brown to the green in the hills along the river Kwai. The slow amble up and down hills and tight curves, the journey felt so much safer than busses in India. I never once had the thought that I was about to die. Upon arrival to the Sangkla bus "station" I took a motorcycle ride to the Whispering Seed office and even that felt safe if a bit painful with my pack on my back, small bag in the front and balancing side saddle.
Sangkhla is beautiful. The WS "office" is a deck over the Khao Laem lake. Gorgeous. We had a delicious Burmese dinner.
The cast of characters: Jim and Nao, American and Thai respectively, creators of the Whispering Seed, full time residents. Jane, Frank, Kinue, Aram, Megumi, Matthew and I all arrived around the same time. Victoria, Sarah (aka Nehama, Joy's former housemate) and Troy to arrive later. Together, we'll be the foreign component, Kinue is Japanese, Aram Korean and the rest of us American born. Man, Oat, Bou Loy, Phra Suradhat (a Buddhist monk) are the Thai contingent. There are Thai/Karen (one of the hill tribes) children around. Robin and Jo will be our permaculture and earth building (baandin) facilitators respectively.
The first night there are sounds of laughter, people getting acquainted, learning each others' languages. I am so excited for the upcoming month.