Every paradise has its mosquito ....

Trip Start Jul 23, 2010
Trip End Aug 01, 2010

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ahh yes, the mosquitoes. When we were in Bali, poor Jack was mosquito fodder and was savaged by them. We all had our fair share of bites but clearly we are not as delicious as he is! So on with the spray, neat deet I'm afraid. Although the mossies are not bad in Chiang Mai, you still need to use the spray as those little critters can carry Dengue Fever at this time of year.

We spent the first three weeks renting a holiday house which came with a car and driver - so essential given that we don't know which way is which. Guy started work two days after we arrived, so I spent that week sorting out all things domestic.  School uniform, viewing potential rental houses, finding the shops etc. and plenty of time by the pool.  While it is the rainy season here, it doesn't cloud your day, it is all fast and furious and then sunshine.

There is THE famous night market every evening which is enormous and takes up countless streets and various buildings. It is impossible to scope out in one go so it looks like I will have to go at least five or six times! You can buy simply anything there and when you get a little bit tired, as I did one evening, you can sit and have a foot massage for the huge sum of 1.20 for half an hour of heaven. And if you are really, really, tired you can have the full body massage.

On our first weekend here, we went to a wonderful elephant sanctuary set up a number of years ago, by a Thai girl who had rescued and hand reared two baby ellies whose mothers had died. She then bought some land and created a place to rehabilitate domesticated elephants who had been subjected to some pretty horrific things by their former owners. Her aim is to give them a safe home and to retrain them to live in the wild. Her sanctuary is open to the public on a volunteer basis, so you can go there and help out for a day, a week or even months at a time - a good spot for gap year students. We spent the day feeding and washing the elephants in the river, having lunch and then more time with the elephants. Some of them are quite naughty and they all have their own mahout to look after them and teach them how to behave like a not so domestic elephant. The whole day was quite magical and we all came away with a very different perspective.

The children's first week at school went well, although not without incident. 
Day 1 saw Georgia's white shirt covered in bright blue ink before the first bell had even been rung, which was then commented on by the school director! Oops!

Day 2 All the senior school children have lockers and need padlocks.  I figured Georgia would lose her keys in about 2 seconds flat, so I gave her a combination padlock instead.  Apparently a favourite trick for the students is to change the combination so you can't open the locker.  By first break, Georgia's combination padlock didn't work so a teacher was called for, then the head of junior school, then the man with the bolt cutters!

Day 3 Jack ran headlong into a post, had a nose bleed and then fell backwards, smacked his head hard on the concrete floor and came home with a HUGE egg on the back of his head.
Thank goodness days 4 and 5 were quiet but now everyone knows who the Leafs are. There are only three children in the whole school with white blonde hair and two of them are Leaflets, so very easy to spot should they decide to be naughty.

Lanna School is quite small, and everyone seems very nice. It has a very Thai feel to it as there are street vendors just outside the gates selling food and all sorts and there is the accompanying noise and general chaos that goes with it. I love that you know you are in Thailand and it is not all sanitised and generic. It is the difference between staying in a large-could-be-anywhere-in-the-world-hotel or a small individual charming hotel.  The school follows the British curriculum and there is a very international mix of students which keeps it interesting. Guy is thoroughly enjoying teaching there and Georgia is now a student of his, which is a new experience for both of them. All the teachers are called by their first name, so the children have to called their daddy "Mr Guy" when at school, initially causing Jack and Lily lots of giggles.
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Charles Noblet on

Lovely photos and text. It seems that you are enjoying your time in Chiang Mai! Emily was very keen on the Night Market, shopping for cushion covers etc ...
Take care,

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