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Donna in Thailand’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 20 Jul 2010

Location: Nong Plong, Thailand

MapSo, on Sunday, after Tawan and Prayo's class, Tik and Prayo took me by motorcycle to the highlight of my trip so far - to nearby rice paddies where I got to actually get in the water and plant rice! That was AWESOME despite the soft and mushy bottom - the same soft muddy bottom that freaked me out as a little girl in Massena, New York. Afterward, the lady rice farmer offered to show us how they pull the seedling rice plants from the area where they're started in May, to be transplanted to the rice paddies. I videotaped her demonstration. I felt like I was doing a documentary piece for Sixty Minutes!

Then that evening, we went to Tawan's mother's house (a few houses down) to have a barbecue. It's quite a bit different than at home, in that they used cement firepits and an unusual pan that was domed at the top for grilling, but encircled by a reservoir for soup. It was a kind of do it yourself thing - everyone added meat and vegetables and cooked it to their liking. It was enjoyable. Tik and Tutor, her older son (two-years old), came and joined us.

I need to go back to an entry that didn't get written - either because I didn't have time, energy, or was struggling with the Internet. On Friday evening, after the school day, I was invited to attend a party for a school director who was leaving his school to go work at another one. This work-related party was seriously like a wedding! The school hall was decorated with fancy fabric and red carpet on the floor. The teachers were dressed in authentic Thai dancing costumes, and they put on an authentic show that seemed professional! Those that were not dancing were taking pictures of their colleagues in delight! There were several courses of food including vegetables and seafood, soup, chicken and pork dishes with rice, and dessert. The director, who wasn't even retiring (he was just going to a different school) had good wishes bestowed upon him by individuals, and by a procession of teachers laden with platforms topped by carved elephants (a symbol for good luck). He stood on the stage with his wife, and sang beautifully. It was a very fun and fascinating evening. His staff seemed to adore him.