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March 02, 2006

Circle remains unbroken

This is how circles are completed.

After my errands yesterday, it was time to do something special on my last full day in Khao Lak, before my farewell dinner. I went to the Viewpoint Resort, set on a hill above Khao Lak with lush views and a cool, clear pool. For nearly three hours I soaked and read The Kite Runner (which I highly recommend, btw), blissfully resisting the close humidity of the hottest day of the trip.

It was finally time to get ready for dinner. I had been alone at the pool but a small group of farang had come up to the restaurant. I needed to preserve the purity of the mellow, volunteer vibe I wanted to take home with me, so I avoided looking at the tourists. But an accidental glance met with familiar faces: three volunteers I knew from last year, two from the boatyard.

I knew Dave and his dad Vic were locals now, but I hadn't seen them around (though I did see Dave and Mel on their motorbike in Bang Niang a couple of days ago, speeding by). I read Vic's blog from time to time, but they were the only familiar faces I hadn't connected with this time.

They live in Khuek Khak now, and are starting and arts and English program in the Takuapa school.

It happens to be Mel's birthday today, so I gave her one of the silk cell phone covers I'd stitched up to give to friends on my trip, wishing her a happy birthday.

It was such a pleasant coincidence to run into them in this out-of-the way retreat I'd never been to before. I happily hurried home to change clothes for dinner. We all met at The Place Next to Khao Lak Seafood (which this year has a sign out front: Weerapat's) and my favorite people were there—Lisa Ruth, Saundra, Jonathan, Dana, Jodie popped in before her special dinner with Edward. Scott and Wendy and Lucky, Nicole, Timm, Paul and Idele were at yoga and coming by later, but not before sharing bites of a Nutella and banana crepe bought from a new vendor in front of Nang Thong Supermarket.

The group split up a bit and semi-reconvened at Ocean, nearby. Paul told a story about trying to change into his swim trunks on the beach under a towel, and teetering over into the sand when trying to get his food into trunks that had been stapled shut! I innocently said, "Oh! you mean they were stapled like THIS?!" And I showed him the photo of Chris secretly setting up the prank. "Ah, bloody hell, you were in on it too! You can't trust anyone, can you!" Paul said in his Irish accent.

Jonathan told teacher stories from his years of Miami-Dade experience and we stayed out too late.

It really was a lovely eventing and a nice sendoff to complete the circle of the journey.

Posted by sedda at March 2, 2006 07:25 AM