Hi All. We’re still here and so much has happened since I last wrote I truly don’t know where to begin.
Our little group of 7 volunteers has grown a bit and 2 days ago 7 Interns arrived. These are hearty souls who want to learn and live in a communal setting. They pay a fee to come here and do hands on labor as well as get some classroom teaching and lectures. They’re an amazing group, from USA, Belgium, Brazil. Two Thai women and a 3 year old have also come to help for a while. Anyway, we are now 18 people living closely together. All meals are together, all resources are shared. I find it incredibly cumbersome but not altogether unpleasant because of the funny, smart, kind, generous and/or interesting people in the group.
In addition to sustainable living and permaculture, Christian has a very strong, overriding interest in spirituality and most of the crowd here (but not all) are well versed in (westernized) eastern religions, especially Buddhism. There’s group meditation every morning if desired, Wednesday s are fruit for dinner and spiritual discussion night. This isn’t something I was seeking and I often take the opportunity to go for a 25 minute bike ride or just try to make tea. But, I certainly think the spiritual element aids in the group cohesiveness, the acceptance and tolerance of so many diverse people. (Apologies for that bad run-on sentence but you know what I mean)
All cooking is done on 2 little wood hods that hold 1 pot each. They’re absolute devils to get going and keep lit, let alone control the heat. The other morning I decided to make breakfast while the group was meditating. We have a schedule and breakfast should be at 7:30. I spent the whole half hour trying to get the fire lit and failed completely. Breakfast was late (really late) and I was pissed. Frustrations like that abound but usually there are also lots of helping hands.
The Thai’s are great partiers and there have been 2 local festivals already. Loy Kroton, the thanking-water festival, and a local temple fund-raiser.
Enough about humans. Now let’s talk about the creepy jungle life we’ve encountered so far. The second evening here I got 2 leaches on my feet and I got a couple more the other evening when I walked in wet grass. Ucky but harmless and painless. There have been several lizards-in-the-bed discoveries from our housemates and a couple of snakes-in-the-bed stories too. We are SO glad we picked a house that’s up in the air on posts!
We’ve seen 3 small brown scorpions which are reputed to have a very nasty sting and today was the real topper when we pulled a piece of roofing off of a pile of bricks to reveal a very good sized golden/green cobra! The interns are helping to build a new chicken house (which Peter and I designed) and we were all there moving adobe bricks which were made last spring and have been sitting in a pile all summer. I was first in the brick passing line so I got the first up close look at the revealed snake – like, 18 inches my face to it’s! It slowly came out of the bricks and opened it’s hood so we knew it was a cobra. Some felt it should be killed, especially with a child on the place (and a bunch of us dumb foreigners) but in the end we decided we could move it away alive. It was slow moving and seemed non-aggressive, clearly wanted to be left alone. So, a snake catching twitch loop was created and after several tries Thom ( a young farrier from Poland) got it caught and slipped into a bag and it was carted off a mile or so and released. Everyone was calm, fascinated and, dare I say it, charmed by the snake. It truly was a beautiful thing with an indescribable color and grace.
Thanks to everyone who’s emailed and commented. ( I just discovered how the “comments” work yesterday. I didn’t realize people had been doing it) Hope to write more soon.
Yours in Thailand – M&P