Another Day, Another Experience

Trip Start Jan 04, 2011
Trip End Jan 28, 2011

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

24 hours have passed since we entered the hospital. The physician made his rounds at 7:20 am. He is pleased with my student's progress and will see her again this afternoon. If all is well we will be discharged. She slept sound throughout the evening. I had a light sleep but did get some rest. Pi Jip and Nong Nok came to visit this morning. Pi Jip brought her work to the hospital so Nong Nok and I went back to BCNC so I could shower, change and gather suitcases for our trip to Maegumpong Village. We are anticipating a hospital discharge today. Pi Jip stayed with my student until I returned 2 hours later.

Life events are not coincidental. As a Christian everything we experience is in God's plan. So, although this was an unplanned activity according to our itinerary, it was in God’s plan for this trip. The fear of the unknown was probably what bothered me the most about this experience. But now that I have first-hand experience with private health care in Thailand I believe I will be ok in the future. I told my student that this event probably occurred because of me. God wanted me to go through this experience so I would no longer fear this circumstance and I would know what to expect for the future. I thanked her for playing along for my sake. She said, "No problem". What a trooper.

We found some humor in all of this and that was the Patient Information Book that was in each patient room. I began reading the book which started out in English but switched to Thai halfway through the book. I noticed there were a lot of numbers listed so I asked Pi Jip to read the book to me. I thought the list of numbers would give me an idea on how much the hospital bill would be. I am very curious at this point because everyone has told us that the private hospital is so expensive. She began reading, “Hot water pot- 300 baht, microwave -……baht, trashcan-200 baht, etc”. Well, I just broke out in laughter. Why would someone want to take the furniture and accessories from the patient room and how would you walk out of the hospital carrying these items and not be seen? We got many laughs out of this story. Also, as Pi Jip was reading she said if Thai, meals are 60 baht for breakfast and 80 baht for lunch and dinner. However, if foreigner all meals are at 150 baht. I asked her, “Why is this, do they think we eat twice as much?” She said it was probably the special food that we order. Maybe so, but my student ate a $4.50 piece of toast and a $4.50 bowl of noodle soup. At this point my student wanted to know if I found out how much her bill was going to be and all I could say was, “I don’t know but I do know it will be cheaper if you leave the trashcan, the microwave, the hotpot, etc….” We all just laughed.

My student was discharged this afternoon. PTL!  Pi Jip thought the bill was expensive but my student and I were pleasantly surprised at the cost. 25,000 baht covered the following expenses for a 2 day/1 night visit:

ED visit
Room and Board
Doctor Fee
Nursing Care

The conversion rate for this expense is around $845. Where can you get comparable service in the USA at that price? My student and I were very happy and said, “Oh so cheap. The insurance company should be happy to pay this bill”.

My student was eager to go to the village so after running a few errands were wer on the road to Maegumpong Village by 6 pm. We arrived at the village around 7:00 pm. Our Kuhn Mae (House Mom) had dinner ready for us so we ate and then headed down to the community center for a campfire. Today the students completed the 7 Tool Community Assessment on Maegumpong. They completed a walking map, interviewed villagers, performed family genograms and studied the village history. They found this information to be very interesting. The assignment for this event is to create a group digital storybook. I am excited to see the final project.

Today the students made Kaw laub prior to our arrival. Kaw laub is sticky rice, beans, sugar and coconut milk stuffed into a stick of bamboo. The bamboo is than heated over the fire. When cooked, you peel back the bamboo and enjoy a sweet dessert. The campfire was very nice. Several villagers assembled themselves together and played Thai music on their Thai instruments. There was singing and dancing going on as others just enjoyed the fire and the entertainment. I believe that everyone was in bed by 10 pm.
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