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Chalong to Pa Tong

This was the most significant evening of my trip to Thailand. A wild, out there, spontaneous walk up the mountain.
Something deeply resonated inside of me half way through the walk…


We were standing on the platform of the ferry around 4pm saying goodbye to Ko Yau Yai island, east of Phuket island. My new Italian friend Michele offered a ride in his bike to Chalong for lunch. It was an obvious yes because I hadn’t been that way yet, had no plan on how to transition from there anyway, + was obliviously keen to take in whatever the island presented.

Michele is a crazy scooter rider – it was a truly wild fast paced ride with plenty of horn tooting and weaving among traffic. He’s man with a free spirit, health & strength that obviously comes from the freedom he experiences living as a freelance fire performer & entrepreneur. We went to a restaurant for lunch (yummy egg, bacon & vegetables).

Afterwards I took time out my myself to reflect/find my inner peace on a bit of grass. I sat there for about 20 minutes, then decided to set myself the challenge to walk from below Phuket city to Pa Tong beach over the mountains…

It was a two hour & forty minute walk up steep windy roads, followed by a red dirt track heading through the forest (11.5 kilometres). I carried a stick to flick away snakes (if they came) & followed GPS. The track was well defined but obviously under-used.

When reaching the very top, through the trees I saw a little boy & several other people. The smell of their dinner cooking over hot coals wafted through the trees. Their home consisted of a cluster of small huts which looked like they’d been built from timber out of the surrounding forest.

I made the choice to go in…

THE HIGHEST MOMENT:
The little boy greeted me in Thai. I began to gently remove my bag, reached into the top pocket & pulled out a black marker pen, & a thinly tipped pen for drawing. I stood there & held them out to him, giving him the choice to approach. He hesitated then stepped forward & gently took the pens.

Then I followed the boy inside & said hello to the entire family, told them that I was going to Pa Tong – & lingered, observed, looked around. Everyone was still. No one knew what to do!

I said to the boy (in English), “You draw”, “You learn drawing” motioning with my hands. He then went to another room & brought a picture through that he obviously liked.

After a few minutes the man of the house guided me out, followed by the little boy. I walked beside the boy & handed him a 360 degree protractor, a note book full of blank paper, & a picture I had drawn of PAN panda & BAM boy.

I repeated “You draw, you draw, you draw”. This moved me greatly. Why was I doing this?!

We said goodbye.

As I walked down to Pa Tong beach I replayed the drawing gear gifting situation in my mind. The educator in me wanted that boy to be able to express himself visually; to have the ability to draw & express himself using art.

Of course he would make the choice. He may do nothing with the pens. But I had made the choice to reach out; to care, to empower someone else, to share my passion, & inspire the little boy.

Arriving at the beach was a great moment & very satisfying.
Yet somehow I was still at the mountain top…

I want the whole world to know that they have the power to create; to dream, plan, design, develop & build their dream. We might not think we can, but we can.

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