Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Railay Bay, Krabi

Songkran is Thailand’s New Year and last year at this time, I was in the Do Not Travel portion of my service, so I was at site for the event, refer to blog on April 14, 2011. Five days plus of visits to wats, dancing, parades, and being drenched by water. Once was enough! So this year I headed south to Railay Bay with PCV buddies. Had a great time relaxing at the beach and by the pool, eating farang food, and enjoying the company of good friends. I find the longer I am here, the more I need an occasional bpai tiao with other PCVs, seems like it should be the opposite. You can probably tell, I give in to the urge!
Railay Bay is at the end of the Krabi Penninsula. You have to get there by boat. It is a destination for rock climbers, beautiful formations throughout the area.
Julia, Deborah, Marjey - a beautiful site up the mountain for lunch.
Railay is known for its sunsets. We had lots of clouds every afternoon, but you get the idea.
Pam, Marjey, Deborah - where we hung out by the pool and the beach.
Lunch with Deborah and Pam.
Marjey, Deborah, me, and Pam with our favorite jewelry lady. She and her husband make beautiful and unique art to wear. We helped her out!!
Deborah, Julia, Pam, me, and Marjey
Deborah's sand art

Monday, April 23, 2012

Khao Yai National Park

Khao Yai National Park is a World Heritage Site I had the good fortune to visit with some friends. We stayed at a very marginal hotel. However, the owner also gave amazing tours of the park, so I guess it was worth staying there, not totally convinced! He is an accountant by training, but now gives daily tours. Says he traded a cubicle for “this universe is my office” as he took us through the forest. He had a telescope that he would put our cameras up to so we got some great shots. He was as enthusiastic as we were every time we saw something. He had this knack of knowing where we would find animals and birds and interesting insects. At the end of the day, he and his buddies downloaded the day’s photos and compared what they saw to photos in their books. They were truly enthralled with their park – gratifying to see. Our PC group toured with Julian, a young man from Hong Kong, and Ian and Sasha, a young couple from Stonehenge. All contributed to making it a great trek!!! More on fb.
Horn bill
Leech, you'll notice in some photos our white leech protectors on our legs. The leeches were everywhere and we frequently picked them off our clothes and shoes. Poor Laurie had the misfortune to get one on her tummy!
The gibbons were amazing. This is the only place where black and white gibbons mix. We saw so many. I am sorry I couldn't get a photo of them swinging through the trees...spectacular!!!
Snack time eating trail mix and dark chocolate covered cranberries. The consensus was all wanted to adopt Kayley!!
Julian, me, Tammy, Ian, Sasha, Carol, Laurie, Marjey, Connie
Connie making friends with a scorpion!
Monitor Lizard
A beautiful spider

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day

Earth Day is not widely known or recognized in rural Thailand (at least in the Isaan area), but the students seemed to embrace the concept…we’ll see what follow up happens. In the library I read a flannel story of a simplified version of Curious George Plants a Tree. We then had a discussion what they could do to help the earth on Earth Day (and any other day). They had great ideas including unplugging chargers, using cloth bags at the market, picking up trash, planting a tree, turning water off, and recycling milk cartons. I added turn off the TV! I asked them all to do one thing on Earth Day and come tell me about it in the next week. I’ll let you know the results. It is summer vacation here and silly me, I thought that would mean more kids at story time, but alas, our average is down to about 6 to 7 compared to 12 to 15. That was Saturday. On Sunday, Bobby (fellow PCV) and I made drinking glasses from beer bottles (I mostly watched). There’s a bar in the states that does this on a regular basis, as replacing broken glasses gets expensive. Facebook gives more details. One of our PCVs, Christine, is doing an Earth Day project for her 50th Anniversary project. She asked every PCV to do something and let her know. The results will be displayed in Bangkok in July. Happy Earth Day!

Mid-service Conference

About half way through service, PC brings us all together for a conference and for medical appointments. We spent 2 ½ days talking about projects and what to expect the next year. The best parts were presentations by PCVs. We also saw doctors, dentists, gynecologists, etc. and spent lots of time in hospital waiting rooms. My photos tell what was really the best part!
Tammy and Taylor at Terminal 21. A shopping center where every floor is a different part of the world - very cool! This is obviously San Francisco, Tammy's last home and my next.
With Deborah and Tammy at Charlie Brown's, our favorite Mexican restaurant.
Tammy, Meghan, and Nicole. Nicole is the PC group ahead of mine, 122. She is staying in Thailand working for an environmental ngo.
Michelle and Erin, Italian that night!
With Deborah