Saturday, November 29, 2008

HIV/AIDS awareness exhibits at Chiang Mai University

We are coming up on World AIDS Day on Dec 1st. Several Faith Based Organizations and NGO's around Chiang Mai get together at Chiang Mai University and man information booths. This is Khun Jaruwan sitting at the CAM booth. Jaruwan is the co-director of CAM (CCT AIDS Ministry) along with her husband Ajan Sanan Wutti. The week prior to World AIDS Day several organizations plan events to bring greater awareness of HIV/AIDS.


One of the many participants showing his support by donning the traditional HIV/AIDS red ribbon.
The whole group from CAM posing for a picture in front of our booth and tree of love.



Some of the several college students painting a canvas bag with a message about HIV/AIDS. To be sold and the money to be used for HIV/AIDS education.

There were quite a few talented artists painting these bags. I was very impressed.


This is CAM's tree of love. Participants write a message of hope and love to those suffering from HIV/AIDS and then hang the heart up on the tree.
Banners of information about HIV/AIDS surrounded the event.
It was interesting to see all the creative ways people displayed information regarding HIV/AIDS. It was bright, colorful and attention getting.
Several of the college students putting in hard work and talent to make the exhibition a success.

There was live music and skits to bring all the important information about HIV/AIDS to life. It was a great venue and had a good amount of participation. There will be a much larger celebration tomorrow on Dec 1st in the middle of town. I will take lots of pictures and post another blog on the World AIDS Day events.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

LOI KRATHONG


The full moon day of the twelfth lunar month is Loi Krathong. Thais in massive numbers congregate around the rivers and open fields to release floating fire lanterns in the sky and lotus shaped baskets or boat with candles and flowers down the river. The most impressive is the release of the floating fire lanterns which they do in massive numbers. This festival area is called "Yi Peng". The monks perform a meditation while people follow along and then they announce that it is time to release the lanterns. Loi Krathong is my favorite time of the year in Thailand. The town is decorated beautifully with a very festive atmosphere and it also marks the beginning of the cool season. Which is glorious here. We went to Loi Krathong last year but unfortunately we had to leave before the releasing of the lanterns because the girls were getting tired and fussy. This year I went with a friend who likes to take pictures as much as I do. What a great time.



Prior to releasing the lanterns the monks proceed down off the stage and ceremoniously light the torches/candles that will be used to light the fire lanterns.

The flame holders are quite ornate

People are starting to get their lanterns ready
The excitement is building as more people are filling their lanterns with hot air.
It is just about time to let them go!
Here we go!
Let em goooooo!!!!!!

This is one of the most spectacular things I've seen! The pictures don't do the event justice.
I keep firing away with my camera trying to get the best shot.

Sometimes it is hard to really appreciate what you are seeing as it is all happening so fast.

I believe there are approximately 3,000+ lanterns being released simultaneously.

They finish that first huge wave of lanterns and people continue to release lantern after lantern until the night sky is filled with little glowing orange dots.

The winds carry the lanterns up and in a swirly pattern and decorate the black sky. The weather was beautiful with clear night skies. What an amazing night!

Towards the end of the evening they shoot off fireworks in the midst of all the floating lanterns.

Groups of monks gathered together to send off a row of floating lanterns (comb loi). The Thais believe at Loi Krathong that when they release the lanterns and float the Krathong(banana leaf basket) down the river they are washing or releasing the years sins away.
UP
UP
AND AWAY!!!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Bali Indonesia



Acacia has her first break from school during October, so we decided to visit our PC(USA) Missionary loved one Becca Young in Bali. Becca works in PDA Presbyterian Disaster Assistance for the Tsunami area and also teaches systematic theology. I think she has a Master's Degree in just about everything. Let's just put it this way, she is smart! Since all the planets were aligned we were also able to coordinate with our other Missionary loved one Carmen Goetschius from Zambia to join us to soak up the Balinesian sun and culture. Carmen will also accompany us back home to spend a week in Chiang Mai before she returns to Washington State. This first picture is of a Balinese temple built on a rocky outcropping which is a beautiful backdrop at the hotel we are staying in. Thankfully Becca has some sort of residency card and was able to get us rooms for about half off and speaks fluent Indonesian. You ROCK Becca!!!


This is Becca wearing traditional Bali head gear for riding a motorcycle. She says everybody is doing it, besides it feels so good.


This is our wonderful friend Carmen who spent 13 months in Zambia (Check out her blog she has amazing stories and pictures)
We stopped at an Indian restaurant and Carmen is helping Acacia decide on what to order. Acacia is quite the picky eater so Carmen has her work cut out for her. Good luck Carmie!



This is Daddys pathetic attempt at tranforming Acacia into the "Little Mermaid". Acacia also got to bury Daddy in the sand. Then we both ran to wash off in the waves. I think I may still have some sand somewhere on my body in all the nooks and crannys.



Anna loves to ride on Daddy's shoulders!


I asked Carmen to take a picture of the family sitting out on the golf course which has grand views of the ocean and is especially beautiful during sunset.

I was going to put a flower behind my ear, but it kept falling out.

Shelly laying down in one of the many pool side cabanas reading to her hearts content. The hotel also offered free supervised kids activities that the kids loved so they were happy and we got time to just read and relax.


Carmen and Shelly making their way into the jacuzzi amidst the many pools and slides that surrounded the hotel grounds. The kids were in hog heaven with all the pools. They also had a very long twisting/turning slide that was well hidden among all the greenery.


Shelly got to celebrate her birthday in Bali too. So, we had a nice romantic birthday dinner at this beautiful cabana overlooking the ocean. I can't believe Shelly is already 30 years old. Time sure does fly!


This is the birthday dinner cabana from a distance.


The whole Faucett family enjoying the Bali sunset.


Does it get any better than this! Thanks Carmen! Thanks Becca! We had a wonderful time with you all!!!