Hot Springs

Well, we’re back in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. My family will remain with me for three more days and then head home. Looking at my schedule, I don’t think I’ll have a single day to relax until some time in the middle of September, but that doesn’t change the fact that I’m going to miss them quite a bit.

I thought I’d post quickly about our last day in Thailand before jumping back into Cambodia updates.

We got up, had breakfast and headed out with Tutu’s son David to the San Kamphaeng Hot Springs, the natural wonder from which our Hot Springs children’s home gets its name. The Hot Springs themselves were, well, I was going to say “cool,” but that’s not accurate. They were very, very hot.

There are a number of such springs – geysers and bubbling pools of mineral water reaching temperatures above 220F – all over Northern Thailand, but San Kampheang’s are the most famous. We spent the morning at a park/spa/campground where we boiled eggs in the geyser pool, soaked our feet in the slightly cooler stream, had a wonderful Thai massage and swam in a very, very warm pool. I can’t say that I experienced any of the much-touted health benefits, but I did have a good time.

In the afternoon, we headed out to our Hot Springs children’s home, and enjoyed a few vigorous games of takraw which, when played well, resembles a mix between soccer, volleyball and kung-fu. Pastor Suradet and a few of the older kids played very, very well. I spent most of my time apologizing to my teammates. I’m not very good, but I had a great time.

It’s always such a joy spending recreational time with the staff and kids. Often, we teach the kids things we know – they really enjoy learning new games and unfamiliar sports. But it’s especially fun doing things that they’re great at – like takraw and soccer. It gives us a chance to really just be competitive and even a little silly. I like us when we can be peers – just friends – not sponsors or benefactors or tourists or whatever other role we sometimes find ourselves playing.

After an hour or two of games, we sat with Suradet and shared a snack, and then joined the kids in a short time of songs and encouragement. We left tired and sweaty, but happy to have spent the day enjoying not only the beautiful natural surroundings but also a bunch of beautiful people we’re privileged to call our friends.

Beautiful scenery at the Hot Springs home

Suradet performing a bicycle kick spike

John McCollumComment