To the Village We Go

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

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Monday, January 14, 2013

This morning we started at 9 am. The day began with Dr Cutie presenting the 7-Tool Community Assessment. We use this Thai tool when completing a community assessment at the village. Today we are going to Maegumpong Village, which is about 60 mins outside of Chiang Mai. We will be staying in the village 2 nights and 3 days. We need to pack warm clothe and our coats as it can get into the 30's at night. During the day it is in the 70’s.

We ate lunch at 11:30 am and then we headed for the village at 12:30 pm. All of our luggage was put into an open bed of a white Toyota truck. We rode in one of the College’s vans. We traveled about 30 minutes to MaeOn Hospital. This hospital is so interesting. It has very little money so the primary treatment offered at this hospital is Thai traditional medicine. They use Thai massage, acupuncture and herbal medicine. The Medical Director is so knowledgeable on herbal medicine. He said that Medical Schools do not teach about herbal therapies and he had to learn about them on his own. He has been at MaeOn Hospital for 21 years. He likes the peace and quietness of the area. He grows Amaryllis and plans to continue this into his retirement. He said that he could sell one plant for around $5. We learned about the various herbs they process and use for various medical conditions. I have a student who has a viral upper respiratory infection so we picked up some herbal therapy for her to use. All of the students experienced a 5 minute Thai massage. We received a tour of the facility and interacted with some of the nurses.

We arrived at the village at 4:30 pm. I believe most of us took Dramamine before our trip. The road is very windy. We are staying in 4 homes; 2 students with 1 or 2 Ajaans. Greg, Jeremy and I are in one home with Aj Chang. We have 5 BCNC faculty with us: Aj Cutie, Aj Aoi, Aj Sejan, AjChang and Aj Abigail.  Our Khun Ma met us at the temple area and escorted us to our home. We are all staying in the same vicinity. Some of us our staying with extended families. We all ate dinner at our homes and then we met at the temple area for a bonfire. We cooked 2 Thai snacks. The first one was a flat rice cake that you roast over the fire. It is transparent and when you roast it, it becomes opaque. That is how you know it is done. The other snack was a mixture of rice, coconut milk, and palm sugar stuffed inside a hollow bamboo stick and cooked over the fire. The rice cooks inside the bamboo and then you eat it warm. The men of the village played their instruments while the Thai natives sang songs. It was a very enjoyable evening. Several of the students played the cymbals as we participated in some of the songs. We walked home from the temple and everyone settled in for the evening.
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