Objective: Tear Down Cultural Barriers
Sometimes following our intuitive curiosity can lead us to wonderful, scary places. One random turn on the road can lead us to moments of total amazement. In May of 2016 I experienced precisely just that.
I was 20 years old and my month long trip to Thailand was only just beginning. I had left my travel partners in search of my own adventure. The winding rural roads of Krabi, Thailand gave way to a local village. A confident old woman waves me aside. She makes a tempting sales presentation by way of facial cues, noises, and hand gestures describing the wet, bat filled caves of the mountain above near Her village.
I was intrigued at the situation. She presents me with testimonials written by the hands of German, Australian and American tourists. After some internal communication with my inner guidance I decided that this opportunity was right for me!
As we neared the entrance of the cave I grasped the 90’s head lamp she offered me and put it on. The tight opening to the cave was similar to the ones my ancestors had crawled into during the Vietnam era. The stereotypical fluttering of bats takes place as I shine my light across the area.
My guide does not speak a word of English, and I did not know a word of Thai. However, my observation of Her non-verbal ques allowed for international communication of the truest nature. During the enjoyable course of the Thai cave tour she would succeed in showing me more about the core fabric of life than any high school text book ever could.
While deep inside the dense wet cave she would make hand gestures describing the shape and meaning of the salty stalactites and stalagmites. Each object had a meaning in waking life. Each of the cave’s creations, a replica of the outside world.
She managed to show me the inside of the world; the inside of my own world. Our lack of traditional communication manifested the creativity to speak together at a higher plane all together.
At the end of the tour I wrote the following in the Woman’s collection of consumer reviews.”When you come across a woman in the middle of the Thai Jungle who wishes to show you the inside of the world You do not pass that opportunity up. Take the tour, Friends.
She sent me away with a positive blessing for my future, and told my fortune. Like I said, no English was spoken. We truly communicated at the heart level. I left her with a 700% tip and my damaged sunglasses.”