Exchange students experience snow for the first time

Phia Papenbroock, Journalist

Even though there are over 650 miles between Petra (Beam) Ekpipattana’s and Jitchaya Dumsuwan’s  homes in their home country Thailand, the two exchange students became very close within the past four months.

“I am from Bangkok, which is a very big city and Dumsuwan comes from a small place in Surat Thani, which is in the South of Thailand,” said Ekpipattana.

Both of the girls never met before, but coming here to America made them grow closer.

“She speaks in a completely different accent,” said Dumsuwan. “I barely understand a word when she is speaking Thai.”

Ekpipattana is used to the big city of Bangkok, where the 6.4 million inhabitants always find a way to keep the city busy. While elephants, beaches and palm trees are the everyday life for Dumsuwan.

Coming to Jackson has been a big difference to both of their lives so far.

“I’ve never seen snow before and the first day when it snowed I was super excited,” said Dumsuwan. “I love it.”

On Dec. 12, 2016, the first snow day of the school year, she and her host family decided to go sledding at Cascade Falls Park and Dumsuwan fell on her back.

She broke two vertebrae and had to spent the night in the Henry Ford Hospital. Wearing a spinal brace for about a month helped her back stabilizing again.

Senior Jitchaya Dumsuwan
Senior Petra (Beam) Ekpipattana