This moment in time was pretty incredible. As far as the trips that I've led (co-led) this "Amazing" trip was one of my firsts that I had male students. It is quite an exciting experience because there's a certain vibe that you can connect with. (No disrespect ladies, just a natural feeling).
When it comes to connecting and understanding, one of the first things I remember experiencing together was the desire to eat! After we had our full course meal with practically any food we requested, our stomachs were still not pleased. So, what is a leader to do? Find food of course. After gathering the gentlemen we left our hotel in search of a "snack." Only my French companions were not into unique flavors of potato chips and cola, they wanted a "burger with fries," which I kindly denied existed in this part of town. By the time we were on the streets most of the shops had closed and our options were very low. As the thumping music from the nearby bar/restaurant and rows of motorcycles (and motorbikes) teased my responsibilities we ventured down just a little further.
We finally approach a small shop with an elderly lady sitting watching a television show. We meekly peered our heads in under the plastic awning and smiled. The expected return smile was greeted with a bit of confusion and shock, but then warmly accepted as an interest in her services. The small shop actually looked more like a living room that we intruded upon, until she handed us a menu which was in complete Thai and without pictures. So, my boys started gesturing for the types of things they desired...flapping their wings like chickens and pointing and waving at noodles. She smiled and understood our barrier for requesting exactly what we wanted but called upon her husband who served us water and she went to work in the kitchen. We watched the poorly acted Thai soap opera and exchanged smiles in between attention breaks.
Then the food arrived...and silence was golden because we devoured the wonderfully cooked local food within minutes and enjoyed every last smile slurp (that's a compliment you know?). We ate well, and paid a fraction of the amount what we thought it would be and left happy. Yet, what made me happier was the fact that my boys wanted to take such an excursion, as well as enjoy local foods.