By: Parvinder Nijjar, BABSEACLE Externship Participant and Law Student at Indiana University, Robert H. McKinney School of Law and Alexis Duecker, BABSEACLE Externship Participant and Law Student at Drexel University
The hike to Wat Doi Suthep began early on our first Saturday in Chiang Mai. All the interns, Helen Yandell, BABSEACLE Director, and three members of the Thai team, guided by Dang, a volunteer, piled into a red truck and, after a token stop at 7-11 for water bottles, set out to climb the mountain. At the very beginning of the hike, the path seemed relatively easy. The hill was a steep incline, but everyone moved relatively quickly through the first stage. Gradually, the hike increased in intensity: as the sun began to rise, the humidity also rose, and everyone’s favorite flying, biting insect came with it. About midway through the hike, we stopped for a break at a gorgeous temple complex overlooking the city. Since this was most everyone’s first time hiking up to the temple, many of us were not sure how much we had accomplished at any point during the hike – we could only focus on each step and each successive part of the path.
The last stretch of the hike was the most challenging: the hill was at a very steep incline, and resembled a long, almost interminable staircase. However, the hike was well worth it. Before most people in the city were even awake that morning, we had hiked a significant portion of the mountain, climbed the long set of stairs up to the temple, and walked around, smelling the incense, ringing the temple bells, and seeing the splashes of pink, red, and yellow flowers. We enjoyed a gorgeous view of the city and realized just how much we had hiked. The hike to Doi Suthep can be seen as a metaphor for the CLE Training experience – though many interns, ourselves included, may not understand the purpose of CLE teaching methodologies right away, we hope to one day see how they make sense when applied. Not all of us have been in situations yet where we have gotten the chance to use the CLE training we received, but we anticipate that the training can be compared with the hike: difficult at times, but absolutely worth it in the end.