DDP at Christmas Fair

Every year the Women’s International Group hosts a Christmas fair that has become a major seasonal event. This year’s gathering at the Canadian International School was no exception.

This year was the first time the Deaf Development Programme had a booth at the fair. We sold some handicrafts made by deaf people, sign language books, and various foods prepared by deaf staff. Here DDP staff assist some customers.

Some deaf people came just to enjoy the Christmas fair.

This was my first time to attend the WIG Christmas Fair and I was surprised at how large and complex it was. This is a gymnasium area where smaller NGOs like DDP displayed their wares.

In an open interior courtyard of the school, some students performed songs, adding gestures and sign language to some of them.

In another part of the expansive school grounds, families took photos against a Christmas tree backdrop. It’s quite probably that many having their photo taken here had no idea of the meaning of Christmas and its celebration.

Getting Ready for the Game

Every year the International Starfish Foundation organizes football (soccer) tournaments for deaf teams from around the country. Today their representatives passed out uniforms and football cleats for the upcoming games. Almost all of our deaf students in the DDP hostel will play and now these three young women have their kit!

November Trip to Bangkok

My trip to Bangkok was rather simple, just a consultation with the surgeon who removed part of my kidney in May to make sure all things are going well. There weren’t a lot of exciting photos!

The focal point of the trip was BNH Hospital in Sathorn in Bangkok. A good hospital with really good staff and good medical care. And a garuda mounted over its front entrance.

I was at the hospital from 9:15 AM to 1:00 PM and had eaten nothing since supper the day before because of the required blood work. When I left the hospital, I was headed for Subway (a required stop on all my trips to Bangkok) but on the way I decided to just eat at this sidewalk food stall. Got a really big, really good meal for a really good price.

The next morning I was up at 3:00 AM to get to the old Don Mueang Airport for an economy airline flight back home. In one of the main passenger areas there was this large Buddhist depiction, just to remind travelers that they are in Thailand!

November Trip to Bangkok

Tomorrow I go to see the surgeon in Bangkok who in May removed part of my kidney, for a six-month checkup. I suspect it will all be rather routine but it requires a trip to Bangkok. The beginning of that trip was not routine–beset by horrendous Phnom Penh traffic–but then, maybe that unfortunately is becoming routine also.

The first thirty minutes on the tuk-tuk ride to the airport were not so bad but then about a mile from the airport chaos reigned. This is on the street in front of the airport. These are the three westbound lanes with cars going in every direction, some trying to turn into the airport, others trying to turn around and go back the way they came. But the eastbound lanes are just the same. Gridlock.
This is a view back to the highway from inside the airport grounds. I sat in my tuk-tuk in that mess for about fifteen minutes and then paid off the driver and just walked between cars in the middle of the highway to the airport entrance.
These are cars and tuk-tuks trying to get out of the airport on to the highway.
Once I got in the airport, I checked in within three minutes. Finally it was time to board. This view from the jetway shows much less congestion on the airside of the airport.

I was on an economy airline and limited to just a carryon so I exited quickly, bought a Thailand SIM card, and headed for the airport bus stop. I took at A3 bus to Lumphini Park, the closest I could get by bus to the Maryknoll house. From the park I then took a taxi to Maryknoll. Today the the US dollar = 34.21 Thai baht so the 50-minute airport bus ride was 50 baht, about US$1.50.