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chores & treats

11 May 2012 6,867 views No Comment

ooo shopping

It was Day Two for the American team and Day Idunno for Ileana & I. Doesn’t matter, Fridays in Bang Wan are all about the market. The lovely villagers and visiting tradespeople struggled to keep their eyes in their heads and their hands by their sides at the sight of so many farang walking around. The locals were fascinated by the different hair & skin colour, clothes & accessories, as much as the crisp Baht being spent. The Americans for their part were adventurous with the flavours on offer and excitable about the souvenirs that they could buy, they also bought flowers for Gai. That melted my heart.
I enjoyed some soy milk drink (includes a collection of delicious, unidentifiable ingredients), the grapefruit shaped unname-able fruit I found last time I was here (fleshy, big seeds, unnameable), and various bits of banana heaven. I also got a new clock for the kitchen – the last one had said seven o’clock for a while.

divide & conquer

Breakfast was a light, flavoursome rice soup and a landslide of goodies from the market. It was dead nice sitting around tasting, chatting, drinking coffee.
Then down to work. Ile and some of the group went to school. Term hadn’t started properly so there weren’t classes; when they got back hours later they told us how they’d spent time teaching games to all the children, choosing different games for different age groups. It sounded like enormous fun – for everyone.
The team that stayed at Baan San Fan were organised by Sam and went to task on all the window frames and doors: they scrubbed them clean, then varnished them, three quick coats that dried super fast. I felt bad, still do actually, cos I didn’t roll my sleeves up and get down with the manual labour. The truth is I had some really good contacts and updates to follow up on for some (charitable!) websites that I’m working on, ah well. The doors and windows looked great, the team did an excellent job, sleeves down but hats off :)

gossip

I’m not quite sure where the rest of Friday went but there was a lot of talking! A matter of hours together and us girls were talking boys boys boys, ha ha.
Gai made the most amazing curry for dinner, rambutan curry, can you imagine? And then I’m pretty sure there was more hanging out and chatting. One brilliant moment: sitting with Ile as we checked each others’ hair for lice (some of the children have them), now if that’s not old school, female bonding right there I don’t know what is. And then Gai came over to ‘ours’ and the three of sat round setting the world to rights, accompanied by much arm squeezing and laughter. And the nattering continued long into the night, which is perhaps one reason why Ile and I slept through the alarm on Saturday and she had a very rushed last morning. Sorry again Ile (the alarm was technically my domain, oops).

friends

We’d known each other only a couple of days but I did not want Ile to leave :( I didn’t envy Ile’s goodbyes at Baan San Fan, I know how that feels, it sucks massively and makes you ask a lot of questions of yourself. Ile had a really good stay at Baan San Fan though, and the children and Sam & Gai loved having her there, it’s a shame we don’t always know the power of our own presence.

New friends for all of us now.. the team had mentioned their interest to take the children out and to do some sightseeing so late morning we all piled into vehicles and headed.. to an elephant park. I didn’t take any pictures while we were there because no number of clicks could have captured the brilliant expressions and excitement that I saw for the next few hours. The children were crazy about it; the American’s were crazy about it; I’m pretty sure the elephants were going bonkers too. Adults & children teamed up and they squashed onto the elephants to ride around some of the lush Thai countryside. I stayed with Gai and the two little ones, drinking water and laughing at them swinging around on the plastic seats. After the rides there was lots of souvenir kerfuffle, a well trained elephant did tricks with everyone and much laughter. It was delightful.

beaches

Next on today’s tourist trail were Ban Nam Khem and Ban Sak. The former is the location of a nice Tsunami memorial which we looked around before having picnic a la Gai – individually packed curries & rice! – sitting on the grass, right by the ocean. There’s a really big buddha here, I don’t remember seeing that last time which seems a bit careless. The children and I grabbed fresh fruit slushies. You choose your fruit and it’s whooshed in a blender with soda & ice, yum.
Ban Sak is a lovely beach for playing and swimming – decent amount of sand, tiny surf, warm waters, few vendors trickling by on the road. The children were splashing and screaming, the team were, er, doing the same. Sam asked how far I would swim today (he remembered from when we were here last year) and showed no surprise when I said Phuket, ha ha. It’s so hot in Thailand right now (remind me not to return at this time of year) that it was glorious to be in the water and I had a big, beautiful swim before splashing with the children a bit.
There was also some good shell collecting, coconut tree shaking (!), sand structuring going on. In short, ‘you happy?’, ‘I happy’ everywhere. Perfect.

and my work here is done, for now

We were all shattered on the way home and it was lovely to get back, shower & flop. I had some considerable chat & logistics to catch up on because I’d decided to head off the next morning. We’d had a smashing day out, the children, Sam & Gai were all smiling SO much, the awesome team were doing awesomely and, I felt it was time to head off with an enormous amount of pride & peace in my heart at how well everyone was doing.
Til next time…

x Pi Lucy

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