post trip thoughts - the trip that never happened
almost half a year ago, my two friends and i were planning our trip in Asia. seeing as we had a lot of time for our trip, we decided that it would be great if we could go to another country aside from Korea. After much research and thought, we decided that Thailand would be an awesome destination.
We started booking our flights and planning where we would go and what we would do. One of the biggest reasons why we chose Thailand was because our sponsor child was there. Words cannot describe how excited we were to meet her. Emails went back and forth between the organization and I as we were preparing for the meet up. My friends and I got presents for her, and it was clear that we were all getting excited and a bit nervous as the time came closer. Hostels, tickets, itinerary all planned out and ready to go. only thing left was actually going there.
fast forward to around a month before our trip to Thailand. news coverage from Canada, Hong Kong and everywhere else reporting the political protests going on in Thailand and how the military is temporarily taking over. video clips of citizens filling up the streets, causing riots and general fear over the state of the country. news about us heading over to Thailand spread like wildfire back home. apparently, a lot of people were talking about us and our trip at church back in canada. facebook messages and emails started flooding in, warning us about the dangers of traveling there and advising us to just stay in Korea.
my friends and i talked it over for a bit, and we each had our own points and views about it. after much thought and prayer, we cancelled everything Thailand related. we cancelled the flights to Chiang Rai and Bangkok. the hostel, now hostel-less. plans to explore the cities and see the waterfalls, nooope. but most importantly, we had to cancel all plans to visit our sponsor child, Sudarat (Suddy).
it’s been around a month since we were suppose to go, and i still find myself having mixed feelings about this. on one hand, i can sort of see why we were told not to go. even though the people who were in Thailand said that it wasn’t as bad as the news portrayed it, they didn’t believe it. they thought it was too dangerous, and i could see that they worried for our safety while we weren’t as stressed about it as they were. in fact, i was probably more worried about Sudarat’s safety. days passed, and friends and family were asking about whether or not we made our decision. there was some pressure from the outside to not make a decision, but to more importantly make a decision that seemed like it was already decided for us. don’t get me wrong though, i totally understand where they were coming from which was why part of our decision was out of obedience and somewhat fear over the consequences of what might happen if we didn’t listen to them.
on the other hand, all the excitement and anticipation to go and visit the child that you’ve been supporting was suddenly crushed. perhaps i sound a little melodramatic, but i was so set on seeing Suddy that when i realized that we were no longer visiting her…it was very disappointing. all the scenarios and conversations that i imagined in my head, how we would see her for the first time, or how we would play together and visit her home, all of that suddenly poofed, all gone. it’s hard to describe how i felt…but imagine a young little girl who lives in across the world. she gets to go to school, to learn, to play, to love God because you made a choice to commit to support her through what you have in your wallet and prayer. in a way, it’s almost like you’re meeting your own child. you spend months planning it, and working everything out to make sure that when the day comes, it’ll be a memorable one. and all of a sudden within a few weeks, all of that is gone. am i being over dramatic about this?
i know that some time in the distant future, there will be another opportunity to visit her. i strongly believe that the Man upstairs has a reason for all of this, i just don’t know it yet. sometimes when i see the picture of her on my wall, i still find myself thinking about what it would have been like if we met face to face.