Krabi Boats 8


Thai summer is in April, when the sun passes directly overhead in between southern-hemispere summer (December-February) when the sun takes a more southerly route overhead, and northern hemisphere summer (June-August) when the sun takes a more northerly route overhead. Cool season here is in January, but within the space of two months (February & March), we go from the coolest month to the hottest month!

Here's some things you may experience here:

A report of our involvement in flood relief in Bangkok in November 2011


Many of you would have seen and heard of the recent Bangkok floods. My wife, Belinda, and I followed the news day by day and were horrified by the pictures posted on Facebook by friends. Day by day I felt that God was calling me to get involved, but what could I do?

We live in South Thailand, such a long way from Bangkok. Surely the people in Bangkok didn't want us to turn up and be a burden on an already burdened city. Early in November one of our close missionary friends, Marten Visser started posting on Facebook photos and stories about the flood relief he and his co-workers were doing.

"Is there anything we do to help?" my wife, Belinda, asked.

"Yes, come and help us!" was his reply.

I just came back from the  funeral of my cleaning lady's mother.   I already went to it yesterday and will go again tomorrow and Sunday.  Most western people reading this will be confused by now...afterall funerals usually only last an hour or so and certainly don't go on for a few days.  It is different here in Thailand.

Funerals last for 3-7 days and nights with the cremation after that.  People come anytime during the day and leave when they want.  The funeral I just went to was at a temple, many are in large tents (marquees) set up in front of people's homes. Food is served (rice, curry, soup etc) at any time for those who come.  You share a meal, chat a bit and, if you are Buddhist, you bow before the coffin to pay homage to the spirit of the person who has died, burning incense , chanting and lighting candles.  People bless the person saying "May you go to the place that you like".  Each night a group of monks will chant Buddhist chants while the guests put their hands together and chant or listen. Each monk holds a oval shaped rigid fan in front of his face.  The fans have messgaes written on them - "go and not return", "Die and not live again" and "sleep and not wake up".

I teach English to two girls every Tuesday and Thursday evening, and sometimes they bring their English homework along too if they want some extra help. One evening Nong M asked me to help her with her homework and, as it turned out, it was exactly the same homework that her friend Nong F has asked me about the week before.  As we went through the sentences, Nong F piped up and said, 'Aunty Sue you made a mistake with that sentence, the Thai teacher at school marked it wrong'. So, I tried to explain that in English, there are actually two different ways of saying it - both of which are correct.  However, in the end, they wanted it the way their Thai teacher would be expecting it.

That completed, we moved on to the next set of sentences using the verb 'to go' - I go, he/she goes...  As I started to explain how the verb changes, Nong F piped up again and said she had also done this piece of homework the previous week and that it should be I go, he/she go, etc and that her teacher had marked that as correct.  I tried to explain it was not correct, however, Nong M was much more concerned with following the way her clever friend had done it and the way they thought the teacher wanted it, even if it was actually wrong. So, I let it go.

The week after, Nong M brought her homework around again and showed me the sentences.  All of them had been corrected by her teacher, so we went through them again.  I guess it made me realise again that, even though English is my language (and that's not to say I don't make mistakes!), it takes time for trust to be developed and it is hard for the young people not to follow their friends or their teacher, even though the answer may not be right .