Frustrating to only get to practice 2 hours....and only do body dragging.  The instructor from Finland arrived, Yanni and I tagged along the German student and him for water start.  Super windy to be flying 15m light blue Airrush, but boy did I feel the rush :D

Today did more body dragging and tried with board, but when the board is 10cm out from you and then kite is crashing down at water, I needed to save kite first.  By time kite was steady at 12 o'clock....the board is 10 m away. :(  No wander I have to master body dragging first.  But luckily I cheated and the German was my board fetcher for 2 walks, about 2 hours, to make my water launch slightly easier.  Danke shak.

Manu took days and days.....just 30 min to get back to board.  And now he's mastered  body dragging and almost water launch.  Pierre today mastered riding upwind so no more walking for him.  Congrats, he surpassed beginner's level!!  Can't wait to get there.  

So for me, water launch doesn't seem hard.  Just body dragging AND walking upwind.  Walking....takes A LOT of energy out of you with the weight of the wind 

AHHHHHHHH So frustrating with salt water up my nose and eyes......can't wait to flyyyyyy...maybe not this trip.
It has been raining mostly at nights.  Then the frogs and toads come out and the next day a swarm of dragonflies take over the school.  During the day, the chickens, baby chicks, ducks, dogs cross the street.  

Living in a village, not much goes on.  A quiet, simple lifestyle and I love it. A Friday and Saturday night is the same as a typical weekday night.  The last two nights, there was a dance concert at the temple.  Cheap great food, and little 5 year old girls all made up in fancy dresses dancing to Thai pop songs.  

Visited Nong Toom again and her brother and her were preparing her chickens for a sparring session against each other.  Put the ankle guards, scrubbed on some water and Thai herb and the cock fight began.  There's even a whole magazine dedicated to breeding chickens.  Vietnamese, Burma, even Japanese chickens. 

No wind for 3 days. 
Helping Fon with her sponsor kit to prepare for her KTA Tour starting in November!!

Here's video of Fon teaching me.  We just kitesurfed downwind. Just walking upwind, learning to control with one hand.
Hello my Mystic Warrior III 2012 Harness
Decided to upgrade from seat harness to waist only harness....graduating diaper style!

I decided to choose this style over other Mystiq and other companies because of comfort.  When I lean back with my instructor holding on to the clamp, I feel absolutely NOTHING. No kiting with this should feel amazingly light!  Can't wait to start using this in a few weeks....or maybe days.

I'll still use the school's seat harness until I'm comfortably up riding on board.  

Review of Harness on YouTube here.
Third day in a row of great NorthEast wind!!  Super windy yesterday & today. Pierre managed to get on board :D  Jens already is smoothly on board. Today will be me & Manu to try to get on board.  Super windy maybe 15 knots?

Headed out to beach around 11am, just got back 2pm and super tired. I'm lying on the comfy bean bag and I'm nodding my head, since I can still feel myself in the water.

So......hold your applauses.....I was up on board twice....yayyyyyyy.  Super minor accomplishment, yet so big for me!  I'm exchausted from being in water only 2 times.  The first 1.5 hours trying to control kite with one hand to leave at 12 o'clock then last 30 minutes trying to get on board. 

My fabulous instructor Fan, lost her hat :(  
Rain is coming...view outside school, 3 min from house
I asked around the village if someone taught Muay Thai since the closest one is about a 30 min scooter ride.  Finally the English owner's wife from Bamboo Bar had a friend who taught Muay Thai.  She hopped on my scooter and we went to her friend's house.  Then he called his friend, "ladyboy" Muay Thai figher.  The wife went back to bar with my scooter and farmer's son took me to the gym to meet her.  Super nice, pretty, beautiful face structure, more feminine than me in mannerism and etiquette.  So decided to start the day after.  Her name is Nong Toom and she just recently built her gym for children and women to train since many gyms don't allow women.  Coincidence or serendipity that a "female" Thai champion boxer's house and gym is 3km from me.  And she makes training very fun and comfortable :D

Had my first Muay Thai lesson with Nong Toom, the "Beautiful Boxer" on 10/11.  Her movie trailer is here. I have yet to see the movie. 

 On way back, I got a little lost, since I can't read Thai and I don't even know where I live, just along the beach near Evason Resort.  

Scooting along the paved roads through farm lands, there was a lot of cow poo.  I was going about 50km/hr and couldn't get out of the way.  SPLAT. I felt a little on my sandals. Beautiful beautiful. and I'm lost. Am I going north or south? 
Finally saw Police Station sign for 5km and I kind of live near there.  Came to the familiar round about and knowing where I am, I feel safer.  

Told Pierre what happened and he said with his Frenchy accent. "Oh. You stepped in bull shit."  Thank you for describing that so poetically &  beautifully.  Ah, the joys of Thailand :)

So my everyday life consists of hanging out with these guys: 
J--instructor/Pranburi shop owner
Dee-J's wife
Jan-Canadian/Jamaican student #1
Pierre-Frenchy student #2
Mai-Pierre's gf from Laos
Manu-student #3
Pet- Manu's gf from Laos (Mai & Pet were co-workers)
Me-student #4

8 of us :D
Left (Sai) to Right (Fa) Me, Mai, Dee, Pierre
Eating Mak mee (in Laos) fruit? that Dee & Mai peeled
My amazing mini trip is over and now back to base in Pranburi. First day no wind, and second day got out!!!

Here are some photos from the session.  Merci Pierre for the photos!

Learned to body drag upwind one handed today.  Hand out into the direction u want to go, kite at 2 o clock or 11 o clock and rideeee and glideeee.

Water in Pranburi is so warm-like onsen.  27 degrees.
Preflight in front of school with Pierre
looks like I found a dragon's wing!
Trying to re-launch....since I'm so good at "landing" the kite smack down into the water.
Sometimes we body drag with 3-4 people like a train. Choo chooo
Ko Phi Phi Island. Whoa my $250 underwater/waterproof/shockproof camera takes pretty damn good quality photos!! Thank u Olympus
After I picked up my visa from downtown Tokyo, I wandered about and bought a book for 100 yen at a used shop the day before my departure to Hong Kong and Thailand.  It still amazes me how that book landed or came to me, since it is a story about a Japanese traveler and his experience in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Egypt.  He meets wonderful local people and gets to know them at a personal level.  Often the phrase, "hohoemi no kuni" is mentioned and I didnt understand until my trip to Ko Phi Phi and Krabi. 

After a week in Pranburi, I left for Phucket, a busy hustling town with a night life like no other.  We got lucky to stay at a hotel like quality hostel for 400 baht each at Bodega. Robin, the owner was super nice and recommended things to do in Phucket, except since it was pouring rain, we couldnt rent a motorcycle.  Or I didnt want to risk motorbiking in a hilly town.  

Karla and I headed off to Ko Phi Phi island by ferry and started meeting many nice people, who have a long list of countries they have checked off.  JCs look a like, gay MJ has traveled over 25 countries.  He was only staying 1 night in Ko Phi Phi, then taking off to Ko Lanta for 1 night.  Intriguing to listen to their travel stories, but I prefer staying in a town a little longer to absorb and feel the vibe of the place instead of town hopping.  Another 18 year old German boy grew up in Indonesia at an international school and taking a gap year before starting his university in Germany in industrial engineering.  His passion was windsurfing.  Kept running into him several times in Ko Phi Phi. :D

Anyway, the first generosity came when I was talking to an amazingly bright Israeli girl, whose name started with a B.  Her English was fluent and an American accent (from watching Friends and other American TV).  Around 1am, I got the nibbles and bought some yakitori poi food.  The vendor lady offered me a whole mango, but I mentioned I dont know how to cut a mango.....thereäs no mangos in Japan!  I offered her some money, but she wouldnt take it.  A generous gift, which I shared with the Israeli girls and New Zealand architecture boy. 
Second generosity came when I was looking for storage on the island for a night.  I asked around and finally the lady showed me to her cleaning facility and told me to leave it there.  She wouldnt accept any money so I paid for my first Thai oil massage for me and Karla, as her early bday gift. 

Then wonderful things started happening when I became less stingy and offering more tips when eating.  Met more wonderful people, more conversations, and somehow I ended up in Krabi.  

Also two people, Indian owner of restaurant, and Thai owner of guest house in their early 30s,  repeatedly has said that money is not important.  The Indian owner has a huge heart and has all he wants and needs, and just missing the woman to share his life with.  All he wants is "unconditional love, and love with a condition doesnt even have a chance."  He treats his workers with so much compassion, and cares for them like family.  Very giving in that way.  When I came by his restaurant after closing hours with the Muay Thai guys, he made sure everyone was taken care of food and drink wise, at no cost.  The gym was 3 stores down, so they have known each other for years, and on the island, friends are family.  A very giving fellow.

Super inspirational that was just awing is the guest house I stayed at was owned by a Muslim family.  The sister has been supporting a young couple who just had a baby.  They met a month ago and his sister is letting them stay at the guesthouse, cooking for her, giving her medical aid at no cost.  The new mother apparently had a C section and she has been in pain.  They have no family here, and are completely on their own, it seems.  I äm sure just having that femine friendship, support is such a relief for the new mother.  The baby is so tiny and precious.....I doubt they even have a I took a few photos, and ran to Kodak store to print a few photos for them.  It cost me about 30 minutes and 5 bucks...I hope they will cherish the photos.  But to have met someone and to offer everything, a place to stay, confort, food, to almost a complete stranger is just a bizarre concept to me, yet so inspirational.  

I hope I can one day give as much to someone in need, like her example.

Other than that, walking in the streets of Thailand, you have eye contact with a Thai person and they become so giggly and always smiles.  Especially younger school girls.  Just no reason, smile smile.  Met a lady who teaches English in Bangkok and she told me that Thai people like to have fun learning, so that they won't pay attention to boring lectures.  She had to create games and interesting ways to keep their attention since they always like to have fun: work or play.
The guesthouse's sister who generously is taking care of the newborn's family
5th day into this world!
Sunset at Ko Phi Phi where the water resedes at least 50m. First day I thought tsunami was coming. maji bikutta.....since back in 2004 Ko Phi Phi was severely damaged by tsumani.
Thai ice tea=caffeine + luv
Dum took me out to see the caves, fish farm, and his village.
Monkey invasion on Monkey Island
Sana's guest house and fish farm and her staff. Super nice Muslim village.