A Day as a Thai

Trip Start Jan 02, 2013
Trip End Jan 25, 2013

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Where I stayed
Boromarajonani College of Nursing
What I did
Kohn Toke Dinner

Flag of Thailand  ,
Monday, January 7, 2013

Well Greg has been practicing his Thai and overall he has been doing pretty well. He has made a couple of errors. He was trying to introduce me and instead he said "He ate his first wife". Needless to say, that got a few good laughs.

Today was Bri's first day in school. She is taking classes at the Faculty of Humanities at Chiang Mai University. She had orientation today. She finally received her schedule so the Wanchaitanawong family can begin making plans for her stay in Thailand. Pi Jip is getting her bedroom ready. As she exits her bedroom door she faces a big Messiah College afghan blanket that is framed and hung on a wall in Pi Jip’s home. So, she will always feel like she is home. She now has a phone so she can text and call her mom on a regular basis. Something tells me that Jeremy will be hearing more from her than I will. She is enjoying her time so far. Her group, of 25 students, has 4 Thai buddies that are helping them to get acclimated to their surroundings. Their buddies took them to Robinson’s Shopping Mall on Saturday evening. They were to go to the food court to eat native Thai food. What was funny about this experience was that the Thai buddies did not know where the food court was located so Bri had to lead the group to the Thai food court. She was at that mall 3 years ago and remembered everything about it. Also, she said that all the American students ate native Thai dishes while the Thai buddies had Dairy Queen and McDonald’s food.

She is doing a good job bartering. She got 2 Kilograms of Mangosteen for 20 baht. Remember 30 baht is $1. No one could believe she got such a good deal. She has recalled a fair amount of the Thai language and is picking things up very quickly. She is going to be just fine. The students in her group thought she was an alum coming back to help Aj Mike as a leader. They were floored to find out that she was one of them. I believe she is going to make a lot of friends. She has already helped out her group in so many ways. Bri starts her internship on Tuesday. She wants to work at the RICD which is the School for Disable Children. She can walk across the street at the end of the day to Pi Jip’s school and than catch a ride home. This should work out well for her. She has had to navigate her own transportation and order her meals on her own. I found out today that Chiang Mai University is a very hard school to get in to. Nong Maew says it i#3 out of the top 10 schools in Thailand and #1 in northern Thailand.

Jeremy is fitting in to the Thai culture very well. He is getting very comfortable with some of their customs. He likes taking his shoes off when entering a room and he likes eating with a spoon. He asked me, “When I return back to the States will I revert back to the American way of eating or will I continue to eat like the Thais.” He likes scooping his rice onto a spoon with his fork. I guess we will have to see, won’t we? His buddies wanted to know if he would like to live in Thailand. He replied, “I guess I could but I am not sure how long I could live here?” This should prove to be interesting since Bri wants to teach English in Thailand for 2 years after she graduates from college. He is doing well learning some Thai phrases. He knows the words for bathroom, elephant, ox, “thank you”, “My name is Jesadah” and several fruits. His Thai name Jesadah means “super man”. Boy, has this gone to his head. lol

This morning we participated in morning ceremony. The Thai buddies met the students at 7:30 am and assisted them with where to stand during the morning session. The first year students now wear brown “scout” uniforms that they do not like. I think they are cute but I am told I am old school. The students had to introduce themselves in English and Thai. We also had our group picture taken first thing this morning while all of us were fresh. At 8:30 we went to Nakornping Hospital for orientation. The Director of Nursing retired last year and they have an interim director with all new head nurses. I only knew one person from previous years. For this reason I gave a short PP presentation on the exchange program so everyone had an understanding of what we are about. The Director gave a presentation about the hospital. They too are experiencing a nursing shortage. AND this shortage is directly linked to an increase in hospital falls and medication errors. Despite the increase in errors, patient satisfaction has gone up from 55% to 83%. I do not know what that is contributed to. They are expanding to accommodate the increase in the medical demand. More care being needed in the palliative care area and chronic conditions. Following the orientation we were served chocolate milk and baked goods. We took a tour of the hospital, the operating room, the trauma ward and the female surgical ward. Wow, the trauma ward was full. Apparently Thailand is no different than USA. Many New Year's parties and alcohol consumption does not mix with motorcycles and automobiles. They had males overflowing into the female area and extra beds lined up in the hallways. A lot of head injury patients so patients were restrained to prevent them from falling out of bed. Jeremy went with us and he loved wearing scrubs. He toured the OR and saw part of an eye surgery. Bri was amazed that he was not grossed out. He went along so that he could study the architecture of the hospital. I am not sure how much he really took in re: this topic. He did enjoy his time.

We ate at a small street restaurant after the hospital. Most of the students ordered some form of Pad Thai. I had a wonderful spicy chicken breast salad and Greg had a spicy kale and shrimp salad. It was all very good. After lunch we went to visit the Queen’s Botanical Garden Project. It was absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately my husband had not charged the back up battery from the Elephant Camp so I ran out of battery early in the visit. Needless to say I was not happy b/c for me the whole point to going to this site was to take pictures. Oh well, one less photo session to bore you all with upon my return home. We drank Rose tea and found it very pleasant in flavor. I bought a little packet of roses so if anyone is interested in trying it, let me know.

We got back to the college around 4:30. Students were to shower and get ready for their Thai buddies were coming at 5:30 to get them ready for the Kohn Toke Dinner tonight. All of the students bought their own outfits at Kad Laung on Sunday. They were beautiful. Pics to come. This year we went to a different restaurant. The food was a lot better and the entertainment was about the same. We had an interesting event tonight. Apparently there was a couple who rented out the restaurant for their wedding reception. The restaurant never told BCNC about the wedding or the couple about our reservation. So, here we were sitting right in the middle of the wedding party. They did not know us and we did not know them. They were a little upset and talked to Pi Jip later that night. From conversation it sounds as if the restaurant was the one in error. Oh well, we had a good time and it did not stop the couple from enjoying their evening. They just did not want to have to pay for all of us. Totally understandable.

Everyone was exhausted and ready for bed as soon as we got back to the campus. I have a few things I have to get done before bed so good night everyone and I will try and blog tomorrow night.
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Linda G. on

Hi Deb,

Thanks so much for sharing your experiences via this blog site. It is so neat to keep up with your travels. Know you are having a wonderful time. What a blessing that you have had a chance to build such special bonds of friendship over the past few years. You all are in our thots and prayers.

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