04/15/2014, Eagle River, Alaska
The crew of Water Musick is back together after 3 months separation. The kids started back to school, only 5 weeks till summer break so they should make it. Mother nature greeted them with 5'F a real shock from the mid 90's of Thailand but the crystal clear skies and snow were very welcome. Melody managed to get back into a Spanish immersion class, and Ray has settled into middle school w/ no problems. Joe was a bit of a struggle, seems the school system did not believe we could have a sophomore w/ no credits towards graduation! we planned a lot of things but this aspect slipped under the radar. Well after a but of figuring he is on schedule to graduate in 2 years so all is good. It is fun to be back together, living with a wonderful family while we house hunt here and exploring the beautiful although chilly surroundings of this area.
The gibbon rehabilitation project ( GRP) is a research division of The
Wild Animal Rescue Foundation of Thailand ( WARF) . The projects goal is
to save gibbons and their rain-forest habitat . Gibbons are the smallest
of the apes, they look like monkeys but they have their differences.
Gibbons major threat is by destruction of the rainforest , but they are
also poached for meat, medicine and illegal pet trade . Here's what's
The WARF reports:
"Gibbons live in the rainforest , high up in the trees . A baby gibbon
holds on to its mothers belly, carried around safely through the forest .
To catch the baby, a poacher shoots the mother and she falls to the ground
. Thus , the little gibbon is easily captured and taken to be sold into a
life as a pet or a tourist attraction . Orphaned as well as deprived of
the calm green forest that is his home, he is now surrounded by blaring
music, flashing lights, and people shouting and grabbing him. He may be
drugged to stay awake at night, given an inappropriate diet and beaten if
he "misbehaves". Too large and unmanageable as a tourist photo prop by the
time he is 3-4 years old, he will be abandoned, confined to a small cage
Keeping gibbons is illegal in Thailand ! Paying for photos with gibbons
supports a cruel and unlawful trade ! "
Tong took us to a very interesting restaurant for dinner. It was a buffet
where you were given a pot of soup and on the table was a burner so the
soup stayed hot and cooked the food. Next to the table, was a conveyer
belt with food that you could add to the soup. The soup bowl was divided
in two so you could have two different soup bases. There also was a buffet
were you could get sushi and dim sum, with jello and ice cream for desert!
I personally liked the way you paid you would sit down and start eating
then you would be timed for1h 15min then you were done.
Refelections on Thailand
It is our last week here and I have come to realize the blending of the
new with the old. This became most apparent to me during my walks around
the Metro Park condo area that Tong's family allowed us to stay in while
in Bangkok. The high rise condos are built around the traditional canals,
Along the side of the canal is a sidewalk, where people walk or ride their
bikes to get around as well as boats in the water as a method of
transportation. Their was even a place to eat along there!
The nickname, The Land of Smiles, is well deserved. The people are so
friendly. I think this rubs off onto the animals as well. The dogs and
cats are so laid back. Even though you are a stranger, it's no problem to
pet them. You will see dogs regularly sleeping in the road along the curb
(really sleeping not dead), in chairs, on tables- well more cats than dogs
doing that - in temples and my personal favorite, 7/11's. There are more
7/11's here per capita than in the US and the air conditioning is bracing.
So I think it is a smart dog that adopts a 7/11 as it's hangout or
perhaps home. At the 7/11 by the condo, you would regularly have to step
over or around the dog as his favorite spot was just inside the door. One
day, he was laying splayed out on his back smack dap in front of the door.
What a relaxed, mellow fellow.
I'm going to miss all the wonderful people and animals we've met while here.
Wile we had our wonderful stay in Phuket Town we got the chance to drive arround town. On these drives we would often see some signs that made no sense. here is a photo of the best one.
Today we had a large travel day. We flew from Phuket to Kualalupur. On that flight I had brought bag of chips, when we got to a high altitude the bag was incredibly inflated. I had to open the bag before it exploded. After we arrived in KL we had to wait 6 in the airport waiting for our flight. We got to langkawi and were able to catch a cab to get to the ferry to take us to our boat Watermusick.