Day dream­ing

Cavendish cou­ple fi­nally get to ex­plore Thai­land

The Compass - - TRINITY SOUTH - BY BILL BOW­MAN

It’s a long way from Shag Rock and the fur clad hills around Trinity Bay to the white sands of Phi Phi Is­land and jun­gles of Thai­land.

Years of dream­ing and months of plan­ning fi­nally paid off for Lisa Day and her hus­band, Randy Brown in late Oc­to­ber, when the Cavendish cou­ple were able to make the 12,725kilo­me­tre jour­ney to South­east Asia. They re­turned home Nov. 18 af­ter 24 days of ex­plor­ing the ex­otic Far East.

For Day, 33, fi­nally set­ting foot on Thai soil marked the ful­fill­ment of a teenage dream go­ing back al­most 20 years to when she first dis­cov­ered Thai­land on the Dis­cov­ery Chan­nel.

“I had a fas­ci­na­tion with Thai­land be­cause I felt I was drawn to the cul­ture,” Day told The Com­pass dur­ing an in­ter­view at her Cavendish home last week.

Day, who teaches Yoga and fit­ness classes in neigh­bour­ing Ho­peall, was so taken by the beauty and way of life in Thai­land, she re­called she taped the shows and still has them on VHF.

“It was re­ally beau­ti­ful and their way of life was re­ally dif­fer­ent,” she said.

Grow­ing up in Di ldo — Day moved to Cavendish about eight years ago — she said, “I al­ways kinda felt like there was some­thing else out there, some­thing on a level we don’t al­ways see in our cul­ture.”

Hu­mon­gous, golden stat­ues of Bud­dha and the tem­ples pre­sented a stark con­trast to ru­ral New­found­land, where, “every­thing around here is wood.”

When she first told her fam­ily she would go to Thai­land one day, they dis­missed it as just an­other teenage dream. But Day never aban­doned her dream.

Af­ter a cou­ple of at­tempts to make the trip ear­lier this year, they fi­nally got off the ground in late Oc­to­ber, which hap­pened to be the be­gin­ning of sum­mer in Thai­land. It’s also sup­posed to mark the end of their rainy sea­son. But this year was dif­fer­ent, very dif­fer­ent.

For over three months, be­gin­ning in late July, the high­est rain­fall in half a cen­tury had caused the worst flood­ing in the coun­try’s his­tory. By early Novem­ber, the dis­as­ter had caused over 600 re­ported deaths and ad­versely af­fected over 2.3 mil­lion peo­ple.

Fit to travel

Ten hours be­fore de­part­ing for Thai­land, Day called ahead to make sure every­thing was still OK to travel there. Up to that point in time the coun­try hadn’t de­clared a state of emer­gency, so it was deemed fit for travel.

“When you have plane tick­ets bought, you don’t re­ally have a choice, you go,” she said.

They ar­rived in Bangkok to find their ho­tel was on flood watch.

Tired af­ter their 25- hour flight, they de­cided to take their chances and stay for the night any­way.

But the next morn­ing they got the even worse news that the parts of their trip that had been booked with a tour guide were all can­celled due to the f lood­ing. In fact, they were ad­vised to get out of Bangkok.

“There was a lot of water ev­ery­where, and thou­sands of sand­bags,” Day said, adding, “I felt re­ally sad for the Thai peo­ple.”

Photo by Bill Bow­man/ The Com­pass

Lisa Day stands un­der a sign, “Wel­come to Laos.” Sit­ting at her din­ing ta­ble

in her home in Cavendish, to South­east Asia with Lisa Day talks her hus­band, Randy Brown.

about her re­cent trip

Ru­ins of Sukhothai, once cap­i­tal of Thai­land in Sukhothai Prov­ince. Randy Brown and Lisa Day of Cavendish cruise the Mekong River on the way to the bor­der to cross into Laos. A lady from the Burmese Long Neck Tribe. Those rings around her neck are tight and re­ally heavy. Ap­par­ently, their mus­cles die and their shoul­ders col­lapse.

Bud­dhist tem­ple in Chi­ang Mai

Lisa Day at the FAE (Friends of the Asian Ele­phant) Con­ser­va­tion Cen­tre get­ting ready to go ele­phant trekking.

Four year- old Yune is a mem­ber of the Pa­long Tribe of North­ern Thai­land. It was her eyes that at­tracted Lisa Day to form an in­stant bond with the charm­ing child and be­come her spon­sor in school.

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