Stories, Questions, and Mysteries

Stories, Questions, and Mysteries

Friday, 13 November 2015

The myth of Democratic government in Australia,8342
This says it as I have thought it to be for some time.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

No cause for ill-treatment of innocent people.
This article proves beyond doubt that there is no form of justification for the behaviour of my government's policies and practices on this matter. The opposition is so lazily complicit that it is equally culpable. We wondered who would deliver us from Abbott.
Who knows how we shall deliver ourselves from these cruel practices in our own country?

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

      Seasons Greetings. Events have overtaken my writing recetnly. Wither that or this blog has become Thai style.
     Do you ever find yourself describing what you are experiencing as if you were telling someone else? That may be a long way around suggesting you talk to yourself, which is a sort of mental health no no. But it could be that it is only a mental health no no if you talk out loud and there is no visible audience. Or if you claim to hear voices in response.
For me it happens all the time. Especially when I am traveling and especially if there is no English speaker anywhere nearby or even miles away. The phenomenon is even more prominent when I know I will be writing a blog. So wee what you are missing? Yards, chapters and volumes of the stuff. Lucky you. But I wish there was some more efficient way of sharing some of the remarkable events which make up my days here.
As with most weeks lately there was the daily trip to the hospital. Each trip was preempted by catastrophizing about what I might see in the very non private emergency room. The nursing staff and Dr Thanet were always friendly and reassuring that the leg was healing well and that the special ointment with silver gel was doing its job.
     Three volunteers left Isan Survivor for Christmas with family or other visits and travel. The silence they left behind was precious. St John Berchmans a sainted Jesuit used say that his greatest penance was living in community with unchosen others. Sharing meals and attempting to communicate across a “gap year” gap with adolescents, was an challenging thrice daily chore at Isan Survivor. I settled for being perceived as a crusty old codger who shared little of their worlds. For them the place and volunteering appeared like a dollop of some kind of travel gellato sandwiched between a visit to Cambodia and various full moon parties on beaches. I suppose the upside is that some children in some schools were able to say that they had seen some fresh friendly young foreign faces in their schools. I doubt students learned much English from youths for whom it was a fractured second language.
     Since this was to be my last week at Isan Survivor I was invited to dinner at “Grandfather's House” on a couple of occasions. Grandfather the sprightly bike riding, daily temple visiting and bamboo musical instrumentalist had at 65 years and retirement taken a boat up the Mekong to visit Laos and find the miracle metal which had mercurial properties and which guaranteed a long and healthy life. Would that I had had the Thai to be able to listen to his traveler's tales, of adventures, mishaps, stories and nostrums from forest monks and his return to his family and village in Thin Dung. 
     Each meal was followed by fond farewells and longings for future visits, and promises of welcomes whenever I should wish to return. Grandfather played his music and his shy little autistic grandson danced wonderfully for me. I was moved.
Grandfather's house meal.

Grandfather 94 on his bamboo instrument.
During Christmas week at Beautiful Mouth High School, most days were devoted to preparing presentations of dance, singing and mime for Christmas Day itself. As usual students gathered in groups allover the place cutting out pictures, making signs, making posters, printing Tshirts, rehearsing, laughing and yelling.
Students with whom I lunched to speak English.

On the day itself I bid farewell to Isan Survivor, to Jack's parents. Jack drove me to the school where final preparations were taking place for the presentations and where we had lunch. As usual timing was not of the essence; which was quite a contrast with the Airport and Nok Air with whom I had a date in the afternoon two hours drive away.
The Deputy Principal bid me farewell, presented me with a Buddha neck amulet and the English teaching staff gave me a shirt and trousers Thai style and the head English teacher, Wahn, gave me some local trousers. I thanked them for having me and for what I had learned while there, and as requested sang a song. “I wish you a Merry Christmas, I wish You a Merry Christmas etc”. I was quite moved by their warmth and kindnesses.
Receiving Buddha from Deputy.

English Staff and Deputy after presentation.

    Jack dropped me at Udon Thani Airport. We offered mutual thanks and appreciation. Jack is remarkable for wanting others to be happy and nothing is a bother to his other focussed acts. He continued on to see his Buddhist teacher several kilometres away while I jetted to Chiang Mai.
    Christmas Day can be a good day to travel as most people want to travel the day before or after. I lobbed in on a friend who was housing another four people that night but they found room.