The day we left Krabi I let my mind wonder to what I had been thinking in the back of it the entire time we visited this part of the country. This area of Thailand was very different from others we have seen and experienced. The people here seemed harder in their facial expressions. Tougher in their attitudes. What I have come to realize is that in any disaster whether it be a natural or an inflicted one– people are forever changed. They experience extreme loss, a new sense of community and aid. Through these experiences they become stronger. The 2004 tsunami hit this part of Thailand dramatically. You can still to this day, 5 years later, see the effects and the regrowth. This is their home. They have not abandoned it but worked hard to make it better than it was in the past without losing its charm. Similar to the natural and inflicted disasters we have experienced in the U.S. — Katrina, September 11th. No one has deserted NYC or Louisiana– they have come back to the places they have cherished and loved in their hearts to recreate a new life for themselves.
These people at one time might have lived in fear, but today they walk with their heads held high and a sense pride in their hearts. They embody the strength that it has taken to recreate the magical beauty that lies in the south of Thailand and the Andaman Coast.