Blood, Sweat, and Teddy Bears

This post is from Amber, an Australian who has been in Thailand for the past few months as part of the Xealot program.  While she was in Bangkok, she met the families at the Safe House, and befriended them. She also happens to be a personal trainer, so she took the initiative to use this gift to help the families. Here is her story.

I first met the families in early February when they invited us to a  birthday dinner. I was welcomed as though I was a long-lost family member. The warm hugs, kind hearted hospitality and love won me over right away! Since that evening I have been blessed with the countless opportunities to share with them.

 Because of the dangers of the streets Bangkok, the refugees rarely have a chance to walk, let alone get significant exercise. So they tend to live quite sedentary lives, and their health suffers because of it.

 With my background in personal training, I decided to start doing weekly exercises with them to get them moving and active. Everyone wanted to join in, from the grandparents to the toddlers,  so we would cram 20 people into one room, the music cranked up and sweat dripping in every direction.  Taking advantage of the materials available, we used teddy bears as cones, pillows as exercise mats, and pots and pans as obstacles.  I had an absolute blast. Seeing the eclectic crew dancing to techno music and running in place was one of the funniest things I have ever seen! Every session was full of laughs and smiles. They reminded me why I became a personal trainer.

 I want to say thank you to the families and Jade for impacting my life and re-sparking my passion, and to Life Raft for allowing me to be a part of these beautiful people’s lives!