Tigers, Temples, & Schools! Oh my!!!

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On our last day in Phuket we got up and went for a walk down the beach. Ok, we honestly went to Starbucks and they didn’t open until 9:00am. So they sent us to the one 2 blocks down the beach. On our walk we were asking taxi drivers how much to drive us all day. We finally settled on a guy who spoke some English and would drive us around all day for a decent price. So we never made it to Starbucks and instead went to our room to pack and check out.

The driver was waiting outside for us after we checked out and drove us to our first destination, Tiger Kingdom. We selected the medium and small tiger package. Since Sierra isn’t 18 we couldn’t do the large tigers and the guest relations guy said the smallest and small tigers were about the same size so we chose the middle package. And we paid for a photographer to take pictures with the medium tigers.

We had a great time with the small tigers. They were playful and tried to eat Sierra’s shirt whenever the wind blew it. Then we spent a ton of time with the medium size tigers. The photographer took a bunch of photos and we had a blast. When it was time to view the photos most came out blurry. So the same guest relations guy came out and looked at them. He then got a manager. She then got a head photographer. They offered to redo the photos but we couldn’t keep the cd or we could pay for new photos and go redo them. We decided on the later since the first CD had us playing with a tiger in the water and they don’t pose tigers. So if one wasn’t in the pool we couldn’t get that photo again. The second set came out fabulous!!! We were so happy we redid them!

Then our driver took us to a temple. Afterwards we went to see the giant white Buddha viewpoint. We stopped for lunch at a small roadside stand and the food was so yummy!!!!

Then we went to a National Park to see a waterfall. We hiked in only to find a small waterfall. Sierra couldn’t resist jumping in! All of the falls we visited last year forbid swimming in them so she couldn’t pass up this one allowing her to get in.

After we hiked back out and she was drenched. We drove to the International Academy to visit the boarding school and talk to the coaches. A large group of swimmers from around Asia were doing dry land. They were there to train to prepare them for Rio next year. They are all going to the Olympics to represent their countries on a wild card spot. The fastest guy from India was there.

We also talked with the triathlon coach who would be training Sierra. He said that if my kids could obtain Thai Passports then they have a pretty good chance of getting in on scholarship. Which we would need since the school is $60,000 per year per kid. As Thai nationals they could compete in FINA for Thailand. Looking at Skyler’s times he would be a definite scholarship. With an honest shot at Worlds and the Olympics. Salome’s times aren’t a guarantee. And Sierra would be looked at for the Triathlon program. It seems like a wonderful experience but at the same time it would be giving up the American High School experience. When faced with deciding if you really want to make training your life to achieve athletic success or if you just want to have a rounded life full of friends and fun it becomes really tough to decide. This is what it truly means to sacrifice everything to make your dreams come true. These kids live to train and go to school. There isn’t a lot of free time. These 65 international kids spend 24/7 together. I’m sure they must be extremely close. It’s something we need to seriously pray about.

Afterwards we went to dinner then the airport. It was a full day of adventure and excitement.

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