Buckeyes Go International - Thailand 2017

Buckeyes Go International -Thailand 2017 Ten student-athletes -Alice Riley (Women's Rowing), DaJuan Seward (Men's Track), Drew Cheezum (Rifle), Elizabeth Auckley (Women's Swimming), Elizabeth Hernandez (Synchronized Swimming), Hannah Gantt (Women's Lacrosse), Lukas Buckley (Men's Lacrosse), Matt Weis (Men's Hockey), Nikolette Schroeder (Women's Golf), Tommy Parran (Men's Hockey) -are headed to Phang Nga, Thailand for a service trip Aug. 6-16. The trip will include teaching healthy living and eating habits along with sport instruction to local grade schoolers. There will also be sightseeing as well as learning some of the local culture. Stay tuned for updates throughout the trip.

August 15

Final day in Thailand and guess what, it rained! The rainy season sure lived up to its name. We were supposed to have an outdoor sports day at an elementary school but the rain forced us inside. Nevertheless, we made the most of it.

We played a number games but honestly, I think the kidsenjoyed just jumping on us and playing Paper, Rock, Scissors. They were also fascinated by the girl's nails and how they were painted and gelled. Perhaps the biggest hit of the day was the Snapchat filters. This was a younger group and we had a blast withthem.

Tonight we begin our trek back to Ohio. We're all ready to get home and we were strategizing over lunch as to the best plan for sleeping on these flights to try and avoid jet lag when we get back. Hoping for safe flights!

August 14

Today was a continuation of the Queen's Day or Mother's Day and school was not in session. So we went to the Navy Base and helped clean turtles at the turtle conservatory. What a cool experience. Some of the turtles we handled were only a week or two old.

The afternoon brought more rain but we were under cover at a Muay Thai class. To be honest, most of us wanted an afternoon to relax on the beach and Muay Thai seemed daunting. But after a two hour session (and it was quite a workout), we all walked out of there impressed and happy we did it. We had a lot of fun and the instructors had a lot of fun with us.

Tomorrow is our final day and we're headed to a school on a nearby island to run a sports day for the school. Since that's right up everyone's alley, we're all looking forward to it.

August 12-13

What an experience. Spending all of Saturday on the lake, including sleeping on floating bamboo huts was amazing. And we got to experience all of Thailand's "Rainy Season" as well. We floateddown a river on bamboo rafts and then hoped on a boat for an hour ride to our huts. The weather was perfect and gave us two hours of great photo opportunities.

The late afternoon rain then settled and while it canceled our trekking adventure, it didn't get us out of the water as we swam and kayaked through it all. The accommodations weren't as plush as an American hotel but we made due and had a fun night of playing cards.

Sunday we saw a couple of temples and ate lunch at a nice local spot high above a river. The second temple we visited was a monkey temple and we got to feed an interact with a number of monkeys. It was a long two days away from our home base (mainly because there was no cell service or wifi) but it was an experience that none will forget.

August 11

Day 3 and the final day of teaching atthe local school. We taught a different group of student healthy eating habits as well as the benefits of stretching before and after exercise. After lunch, we taught them how to play lacrosse and the various track & field events.

With no teaching tomorrow (Saturday), we attendeda Thai cooking class this evening and then went into a local town for a Lantern Festival which included live music and plenty of shopping (and bargaining) at the local market.

The next two days, we head north to Khao Sok National Park where we'll be doing some hiking, exploring some caves and staying in floating bamboo huts in the lake. Looking forward to some exploring after three days at the school.

August 10

Tremendous day. We got the baseball and football equipment out and after a little how-to lesson, the students jumped right in. We were all amazed at how quickly they picked up the games for not having seen much of them before.

One more note, we are now working on five-straight meals with some sort of rice. Wednesday morning's breakfast has been the only meal so far without rice but that meal was special because it featured pancakes along with baked beans.

For more really good insight on the trip, check out Niki Schroeder's daily blog on the women's golf page: http://go.osu.edu/SchroederBlog

To view full video, click here.

August 9

The Highlights:

  • First day out in the community
  • Taught a group of 30 students healthy foods vs. unhealthy foods as well as healthy eating habits
  • Great moments from the day
    • New Zealand native Alice Riley asking "Does it matter how I pronounce the word or should I use my American accent?" For someone from New Zealand, she has a great American accent
    • None of the students could figure out DaJuan's drawing of a papaya. He was so proud of it too but not one of them knew.
    • One of the students asked Drew if during his rifle competitions he shot at humans.That would certainly be interesting.

For full video, click here.

August 7-8

Long travel but once we finally got to Thailand, it made the plane rides and airport food worth it. Below are some of the numbers from our journey to the other side of the world:

  • We left the Fawcett Center at 9:15 am on Sunday, Aug. 6 and set foot in Thailand at 7:15 am local time on Tuesday, Aug. 8
  • 10,391 flight miles
  • 4 different airports
  • 18 hours and 35 minutes in the air
  • 14 hours and 30 minutes sitting in an airport
  • 1 meal at an airport
  • 4 meals on a plane
  • 1 day without seeing daylight (Left New York at 11:30 pm Sunday and landed in Dubai at 8:00 pm local time Monday after sunset)

Now that we are here, we can't wait to first shower and begin exploring this beautiful country.