On Wednesday we had the opportunity to visit Webster University and were able to observe a class on Thai culture. The school has people from many different countries integrated together. It is abranch campus of the main University in St. Louis, Missouri. In the small class we observed, there were students from Thailand, Burma, the United States, and Russia. In the class, we learned about the basic history of Thailand including the history of the current dynasty. The students also gave presentations on their experiences with "culture shock." When we departed from Webster, we went directly to the Hua Hin Artist Village. It was a neat place with a small, open studio for each artist. We were able to walk around and see each artist’s work and even buy some of it. There was a large variety of art including acrylic, watercolor, jewelry, clothing, pottery, large paintings, and smaller paintings. Not only was it interesting to see Thai art, but we all left having had purchased some authentic Thai masterpieces.
One day this past week while we were all walking to dinner I saw a Thai student practicing outside of the band room with a flag. It was identical to the flags my old marching band uses. It made me think back to the good old days of being in color guard, one year as a captain, and how much I had enjoyed it. A few days later, I was able to arrange a meeting between myself and the color guard here. Although most of them spoke little to no English, we were still able to communicate through the language of the guardies. I taught them how to do some tosses, and they asked me to make a routine for them. The next day, I came prepared with a routine. It was funny in that teaching them the routine was not much different than it was when I was in band in the United States, even though there was a large language barrier. By the end of our time working together, the color guard got the routine down, including one of the new tosses. It looked great!