On Wednesday of this week, I traveled by van to Loei Province which is 5 hours north on the Laos border. I had been once before with Bobby’s office (fellow PCV) and blogged about it on June 1. This time I went with my tessabaan and what a difference. Previously we went by bus and there was 50 people, loud karaoke, and lots of drinking – for HOURS! This time we went in a work van, there were six of us and there was no karaoke, no loud music, and NO drinking. So much better. The nayok is the boss and he definitely sets the tone. We went so that the nayok (mayor) and balat (city manager) could attend a meeting of all tessabaans in the Isaan area – northeast Thailand – and do some sightseeing. The plan was to come home on Friday after the meeting, however, Wednesday night, a city council member died and we came home Thursday afternoon. On the way home we stopped at a national park.
The council member died of leptospirosis, a bacterial disease caused by exposure to contaminated rat urine – I know sad and very gross. It is a problem in rural Thailand for rice farmers who frequently walk in their rice fields barefoot. Very sad, he was in his early 50s. The PC doctor said nothing for me to worry about as long as I stay out of the fields. I will take his advice!
More photos on facebook.
The nayok and me with the pee-dta-khon, the local ghost!
Mii (office lawyer), me, Balat (city manager and highest appointed official and my official counterpart), Ron Balat (assistant city manager) on the Mekong River with Laos in the background.
Dinner with the nayok, driver (who is also a fireman - a common shared job), Ron Balat, me, and Balat.
Standing around a bicycle in Chiang Khan, a charming tourist village where renting bikes is very popular.