Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thai Field Trip

Lesson learned today…do not assume because you can pick up a Thai word or two that you know what is going on! I went on a field trip today with my tambon to Gulf Power, thinking it was to share information between my host father’s power company in Bangkok and Gulf Power two and one half hours outside Bangkok. Wrong on all counts. Gulf wants to build a new plant in my area and part of the EIR is to host a tour of those who will live near the new plant. There were about 100 of us on 2 double decker tour buses. You may notice in the bus photo the speakers lining the roof – it was so LOUD. Music videos blasting for an hour and a half. Breakfast was provided by my family and was delicious – rice and shredded pork. We were assembling box breakfasts from 4:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. It was a long tour and was very interesting, even in Thai. A couple of employees spoke some English and that helped. Gulf served us lunch and showed us a very professional video. And then it really got interesting. I was very proud of my area’s officials, even though I understood very little, they were clearly asking detailed pointed questions that took a lot of explanation from Gulf’s PR guy. I would love to know more details. I had a few minutes in Gulf’s community relations room and asked some questions regarding environmental impact. Either they did not understand (this group spoke English pretty well) or did not want to answer. My corporation distrust coming out! It will be interesting to follow in the next couple of years. They can use the power, but will hopefully stand their ground to make sure Gulf is a good corporate citizen.

A spirit house in front of Gulf Power. Even big corporations won't risk offending the spirits!

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