From Thighland to Thailand

February 28, 2010

Thailand 3.9

Filed under: Uncategorized — markchinmd @ 3:00 pm

Thailand 3.9 February 27, 2010-Saturday-9th day

See Jennifer’s blog at now with video! and

QUOTE OF THE DAY by Richard Bruce on Lynelle wanting all the men to wear a sarongs for her birthday: “Lynelle may want to wear a sarong, but you will not see Richard Bruce in a sarong.” A birthday wish gone bad.

NEWSFLASH: A reputable source tells me that members of an army of a country that we briefly visited as tourists are being investigated by the United Nation Council for Women’s Rights on charges of mistreatment and inappropriate behavior of Karen Christian women. Aren’t we glad we got OUR women out of a certain geographic area in the nick of time? By the way, we got out so fast Lynelle left her underwear behind. Maybe its a souvenir for the army. Pastor’s also looking for his Speedos.

I’m laughing because it’s hard to get this picture out of my mind. I dreamt that Leroy was riding on an elephant with two huge tusks yelling “heeyah!” all the way back to the Golden Triangle Inn down the main drag escorted by motor scooters all because we forgot Leroy and left hem back at the elephant rides. Then coming up and saying, “Did you guys forget something?” It’s hilarious but it could’ve been a nightmare. It’s a long way back to Chiang Rai. Bill, faithful shepherd, you better count your sheep and get the flock out of here in one piece. We don’t want to sacrifice any lamb.

Today’s a special day on several accounts. First of all it’s Lynelle’s birthday. Happy Birthday! You don’t look a day over 35! (Have you had work done; you look so natural?) Hey Tom, I thought you were going to fly out here and surprise her on her birthday! You have one more week to come here. They have nice golf courses; now will you come? Secondly we went to the Akha Youth Development Center where we will got to see the fruits of FCBC ministry to support the various projects of the Thai-Akha ministries. There are many projects that are ongoing and Luka has an incredible vision and has great faith in God, such that, something’s in his mind are a done deal and he plans for it. The Foundation has a large property for the children’s school medical clinic, tea crops, tea processing and storage facility, catfish ponds, corn field, passion fruit crop, pineapple crop, and a 4 acre rice field that FCBC recently purchased to help the goal of being self-sustaining. It yielded almost 400 bushels of rice, enough to feed the children and some of their families for about 8 months. In one day, all the villagers come to plant the rice. They want to add additional acreage adjacent to the current field to feed them for a year and perhaps have extra to sell. YWAM (Youth With A Mission), an organization that the BYF worked with in Mexico to build a house, came from Canada and built a training facility near the agriculture fields so that others can learn from their methods. We wanted to go see the affects of the Bull ministry and how the families propagated the cows but we had udder things to do.

We saw a good number of patients, about 182 in all. Most of the children are in good shape anyway and even their teeth just needing cleaning. Lynelle gathered the children and gave a dental floss demonstration on how to actually floss their teeth. Usually the floss has been used to tie around the teeth and connected to the doorknob to pull the teeth out. Since we are in third world country we use third world techniques. A lot of reading glasses were given out so it balanced out the grinding and making glasses. We have a good pace seeing a balance of patients but sometimes it gets hazardous for the doctors. For example, Kane was demonstrating to a patient using his hands and his hand hit the ceiling fan. He’s Yao Ming compared to the natives and the buildings are built as such. Good thing all parts were there otherwise I would have had to bury his finger into his side, get it back out in the US and then try to replant it. After explaining this he almost did give me the finger. His music career would be in jeopardy as well; he strums a mean guitar and is an accomplished pianist. Ask him to play his jazz version of “Chopsticks.”

We are not picking on the newbie on purpose but I’m sorry I had to get back at him when he told me to stand in the bucket when showering to collect the run-off in Myanmar and I almost fell out. Leroy likes to video everything so someone told him to go video us doing some laboratory tests. I used my printer as a “mobile lab” so we took some brown sticky rice paste and put it in some gauze and with a rubber glove pretend it was a stool sample. He videoed the docs holding a conference and analyzing the smell and the consistency of the “stool” specimen. Oh yeah, we also tested it for taste. Kane said it was a little sweet and I thought it was crunchy but we felt it was some worm infection. We wished someone was videoing Leroy with his mouth open. Leroy you been punked.

The team has peculiar appetites. Kane has a voracious appetite and stays thin. Some of us are full of it, food that is. Bill and Gail can eat anything and they just go run 5 miles to burn off what they ate during the day. I like to conserve energy myself. The food that I have been eating is not Atkin’s friendly. I must have been in carbohydrate withdrawal and my body is craving starch and sweets. Richard eats cornflakes every morning despite a Thai cuisine at his disposal. Jack likes the fish just for the halibut. Dr. Tajiri doesn’t like oily foods and eats mostly rice. Lynelle puts food she doesn’t want to eat on Andy’s plate because apparently he is a human garbage disposal. We eat at least three meals a day, more food than we usually do, so we might have to rearrange the schedule to include a day for team liposuction. Half of the team got to eat at this great buffet at this fancy restaurant yesterday. The other half didn’t know that we went until now. You snooze you loose.

We were looking forward to a nice Thai cuisine from Luka’s wife, Ghan as we fondly remember from the last two trips when she whipped up mouth watering Thai food the spicy peppers helped too. So when we went this time to her home she surprised us with an authentic American meal. Welcome home, Americans! Spaghetti and meatballs and salad and French bread and Marie Callendar’s pie: French apple, berry, coconut cream, and cream cheese; Pepsi and Coca-Cola too. Beggars can’t be choosey. It was a great treat and a gastronomical delight. Burp! Ghan and Luka always makes us feel welcomed and at home. In fact, Lynelle was presented with a birthday cake as we sang “Happy Birthday to You” with Gi playing it on the guitar. We got to spank her; just kidding Tom.

Irma usually shops til she drops and must have been exhausted because she didn’t go on that 4 block stretch of street vendors tonight. Bill, Gail, Lynelle, Jennifer, and Leroy all love to shop and we all find in fun to bargain even for 10 baht (30 cents). They ask high, we go low. If they say yes too soon we know that we didn’t go low enough and we’ve been had. It’s the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Lena would be proud of me for not buying too many souvenirs (her definition of junk).

There is an incredible amount of energy flowing through this team; we could have lit up Myanmar. Many members of the team wake up early to walk, run, go to the market, blog, and then don’t go to be until wee hours of the night, No one complains about the long hours or long journeys. On the contrary, we complain if it gets to slow or we didn’t see enough patients. Richard was happy that every patient today who came to the clinic today was seen. But some of us are slowing down a little day by day including yours truly. Please pray for our stamina and health and continued enthusiasm despite the adversities that may encounter. Thank you for your prayers, your support, and concern. Thanks for listening.

In Christ, Medical Team International signing off.

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