It’s hard to believe it is the last day of the year, a time in Vermont when we can count on snow and ice and weather so gray any glimpse of the sun i smet with deep appreciation. Instead of icicles, whwen we woke up today we got balmy weather: warm with a slight breeze — perfection! We ate at an outdoor restaurant next to the teachers’ hostel. The meal of noodle soup and chopped chicken and rice seemed to revive everyone’s spirits that took quite a beating during our endless journey to Thailand. It was fun to see people talking and trying out new foods and methods of eating. After this late breakfast we took taxis to Wat Pho where we saw the Reclining Buddha. There were many people visiting, both Thais and foreigners; the Thais were praying for the good things they experienced this year and for the good fortune they hope to have in the next. We wandered around other sites in the wat before going to lunch. After lunch we found a massage parlor where everyone had some kind of Thai massage. All seemed to emerge revived and relaxed. We got to take the water taxi; by this time it was dark, allowing us to look at Bangkok’s strange mishmash of architecture lit up and decked out for tonight’s New Year’s festivities — festivities we took a small part in by going to watch the fireworks and listening to a Thai rock/pop concert where the students received a compliment from the singer when she noticed their dancing (something very few Thais were doing). The fireworks were beautiful!