by jeannabauer

65682_10101153999183350_172795151_n 166277_10101153998439840_139871704_n 923460_10101153998404910_466292434_n 942937_10101153998993730_583378569_n

I had my second visitor! Ms. Alexandra Jones.

It was awesome & I feel the need to give the Iowa Resource for International Service (IRIS) a shout out. IRIS is a non-profit organization out of Ames, Iowa that promotes cultural understanding, development & peace through various programming that connects Iowans to communities around the world.

& further – connected me to some of the most lovely women in the world during a summer 2009 internship. 6 interns at one small table could easily go sour, but thanks to shared lunches, popcorn parties, yoga breaks & happy hours – it went swimmingly. I wouldn’t have friends to miss in Minneapolis if it wasn’t for Trisha, Jess & Kim talk me through expat pains most days & Ms. Ashley & Alex worked Chiang Mai into their travel plans.

I set really serious goals for my guests (anyone considering a trip, you’ve been warned). Ashley’s trip success was dependent on the consumption of the Thai ice cream sandwich. A snack time we used to brainstorm Alex’s challenge. There’s no way to ease into this one …

We decided that girl needed to get. in. the. moat. Arriving on day 3 of the water festival it felt like the perfect trip experience. There are many reasons I love Alex. She’s the loudest of them all & never turns down a cheese curd, Bloody Mary dinner. She packed three waterproof disposable cameras & didn’t mind when a truck full of boys dumped water on her luggage (or that we had to carry said luggage up 3 flights of stairs). & when I broke the moat news – she cannonballed in. She cannonballed into the moat.

We had an absolute blast. I feel so thankful to have such full-on, genuine, easy-going people in my life. It’s only with the best kind of humans that long walks in scorching heat, non-relaxing massages & a day in a Thai hospital – can still be considered fun adventures.