Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Now here's a little story about cross cultural understanding! There's a teacher at a bible school in the village I work in just up the street. The teacher is a middle-aged American guy, who clearly has been teaching in strict Catholic schools for way too long, and I guess he had a hard time embracing one aspect of Karenni culture, which is that they have no problem with horkin' up a fat loogie.

SIDE NOTE: Actually it was pretty hilarious, a little while ago I was talking to one of the girls at work. Imagine a beautiful young woman with long hair, who is soft-spoken, shy, and has a smile that'll make your heart melt. Half of the men here have fallen in love with her. Anyway, I'm talking to this girl and I'm in mid sentence when a snort rages through her sinuses that I was worried would start a land slide. She turns to one side and drops a huge wad on the ground that would have filled a shot glass. Personally, this is one part of the culture which I think is amazing! and I have fully embraced the spitting ways! I can't wait to play the culture excuse card whenever I wanna hork back in Canada.

Okay back to the story. This teacher starts punishing his students every time they spit because he thinks it's rude, and it's not like they do it inside the class or anything, they just walk over to the window when they have to spit. The kids are at a total loss, having no idea why they're being punished. Eventually, one of the other adults at the school explains to him that in Karenni culture it's considered rude and quite disgusting to sniffle and then not spit, because that means you're swallowing it. So this guy felt like a bit of an jerk at the end of all that.

As of today the office is closed for Christmas. I've got a few fellow volunteers that are coming up to my place for Christmas. Some are staying with me since they're coming up from Chiang Mai, so it'll be a full house which should be fun. Merry Christmas!

My Mom and Sister Visited

Well it's been a while, so I guess I have a lot to catch up on. A while ago my mom and sister came to visit, and we went travelling around Thailand a little bit. Highlights included bamboo rafting, beachin' it, getting taken out on a sail boat, and going on a “short” drive to the wild sunflower fields just to get stuck out there after it got dark and winding up staying the night in an empty dorm of a small boarding school. It was pretty unreal but mostly it was just really nice to see my mom and my big sister. It really helped to recharge my batteries.

Oh! bamboo rafting: So there we were enjoying a drift down a meandering river at an easy pace with a local man driving the raft with a long bamboo pole that he used to push off against the river bed to direct us. This were going smoothly, we were laughing and joking until our local guide decides get my sister to drive. for anyone who doesn't know my sister – the last person I would choose to do anything remotely athletic or involving hand-eye coordination. In five seconds we drove directly into a rock. I literally still wonder if she even attempted to avoid it. Straight as a ruler into the rock.

Anyway, the driver took over and we were moving smoothly again, and eventually we came to a narrowing of the river where there were some kids playing and splashing in the river. I got a feeling as we passed these kids. Although I couldn't make out what they were saying in Thai, I knew they were planning to ambush us. I just knew it. As we passed, I stared into one kid's eyes for what felt like a hour and a half. It was like I was the Batman staring down the Joker while I was speeding towards him on my motorbike while the Joker is muttering, “C'mon I want you to do it, I want you to do it, C'mon hit me. HIT ME!” Then without thinking I pulled the trigger and I splashed that little kid as fast as I could. 

Totally worth it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mary Thompson's Prize

Here is Mary Thompson's video dedication. For those of you who didn't read the comments the answer to what the theme was in the puppies names was that they're the RESERVOIR DOGS!! At least I know there is one Quentin Tarantino fan out there who got it right. Anyways this one is for you Mary. Sorry it took me so long to get the video up.