Counting our Blessings

Trip Start Jan 05, 2017
Trip End Jan 27, 2017

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Where I stayed
Boromarajonani College of Nursing

Flag of Thailand  ,
Wednesday, January 4, 2017

This morning we woke up to rain again. It was dark, dreary and wet. It was probably around 75 today and damp. This morning we had sticky rice, moo ping, salad and fruit. Our one vegetarian has a whole fried fish on the days that we eat moo ping. Greg likes to eat the fish eyes, I think more for shock value, so he challenged the students to try the eyes. We had two brave souls try it. One thought it was ok while the other was grossed out.

Because it was raining, the morning ceremony was cancelled for the second day in a row. The students went to the hospital all day. They performed a lot of sterile dressings, worked with drains, gave baths and performed treatments. In the afternoon they went to the alternative medicine department. It was here that they saw acupuncture and experienced a 30 minute Thai massage. The Thai massage was not what they expected. Although painful at the time, they felt better afterwards.

While the students were in the hospital I spent the morning planning and developing the program for the MC BCNC exchange program to America. We are so excited to host the BCNC students and faculty this spring. We have been coming to Thailand for 9 years but we have not been able to host our Thai colleagues in America. So, finally we are going to make it happen this year. The program is coming together fairly well. They have an overwhelming amount of interest in the program. Too many applicants and so few spots. They are going to have a challenge as they have to narrow the applicant pool. In the afternoon I continued my preparation for my presentation.

The students arrived back on campus close to 4 pm. They showered quickly because their Thai buddies arrived to prepare them for the Kuhn Toke dinner. It did not take too long before everyone was dressed, make-up completed and hair styled. Yes, I would say we were all looking pretty Thai tonight. Because of the rain we were not able to take all of the outdoor pictures that we usually do. Also, everyone was dressed in black instead of the usual bright colors. We still had a lot of pictures taken. The students enjoyed the northern style meal and entertainment.

A few new tidbits that I learned today were 1) The king that just passed, loved jazz and played the saxophone, trumpet and piano 2) He wrote over 40 songs during his life time 3) One of the songs that we had to prepare to sing, "Blue Day", was written by him for his wife 4) For the first 30 days after his death all of the news stations and radio stations stopped broadcasting 5) The only music allowed to be played over any intercom system is his piano songs. I noticed that BCNC has been playing this nice piano music over the loud system throughout the day. Today I finally commented on the nice music and asked what prompted them to be playing this music throughout the campus? That question prompted a discussion of the above information.

Also, on our way to the Kohn Toke dinner, Pi Jip was sharing information with us about the Hindu practices in India. She and her husband just returned from a trip to India. Here is what she shared 1) When the man of the family dies, he is cremated. It is expected that his wife will join him in the cremation. That is right, allow herself to be burned alive. 2) If she does not do this she must shave her head, cover her body and leave her family and village. She now becomes homeless 3) All of the elderly at 70 years of age must leave their families and live along side of the road with their cow. They know this is expected and they prepare themselves for this. They do not complain about this. They accept it because if they do not do this it will bring bad things to the family. So, you will see groups of elderly people living alongside the road with their cows 4) The bride must pay money to the husband's family upon marriage 5) The new bride not only belongs to the groom she married but all of the other men in the house (including sexual relations). 6) There is only one room in the house for humans; the other room in the house is for the cow. 7) Women do ALL of the work.

We were not too far into the conversation before I recognized that I would not want to be Hindu. We have a lot of people gripping and complaining in the USA about all kinds of things. Everyone thinks that the grass is greener on the other side. Little do we know. Lately I have been hearing and reading about all of the Hollywood Stars who are not happy with things and have threatened to leave the States. Well, people, count your blessings. Life could be a lot worse had you been born in another country. At least you are not expected to be cremated while alive, segregate yourself from everything you have known just because you lived too long, or become a sexual outlet for all of the men in the household. When you begin to put everything into perspective, we have been truly blessed in our country.
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