End of week 2. Next impressions:
Thailand is a beautiful country with a major pollution problem. Some areas have trash pickup, but many rural areas do not and burning trash is very common. Burning fields to get ready to plant is not allowed but still a common practice. Thais do not drink their water because of pollution seeping into the ground water supply. I think many of the PCTs would love to include some environmental projects in their service. One lives on an organic farm that I hope to visit soon. Westernization has its drawbacks, one being pollution, as the infrastructure does not keep up with new opportunities which create trash. My home has an old refrigerator in the corner not in use anymore. I think there probably is no good way to dispose of it.
The Thai people are very friendly and have a communal way of looking at life, as opposed to the American individualistic life style. Of course there is a continuum in both countries, but over all if a Thai sees that you need something, they provide it with no expectation of pay back or thank you. This includes labor. The villages seem very established with many of the residents relatives. Privacy is not particularly valued and people live very close. There are always people in and out of the house and visiting in the street. It is a friendly atmosphere. Farangs (me) stand out and get a lot of attention, friendly and curious. First question always, how old are you to help establish my place in the order of things. They always seem amazed at my age, in a positive way I think!
Food is plentiful and Thai people love to eat and eat a lot…and want you do. Im leeo is my most used expression, I am full! Lots of excellent fruit. More oil, sugar and salt than I am used to and it is not a meal if rice is not served. I do miss my glass of wine with dinner! Sfp 30