From Thighland to Thailand

March 4, 2019

Thailand 7.9

Filed under: Uncategorized — markchinmd @ 4:00 pm

Thailand 7.9

March 4, 2019-Monday
FYI: Please see some edits that I made on yesterday’s blog.

After our church service yesterday, we traveled to Doi Chaang (Doi: mountain, Chaang: Elephant) to see the Doi Chaang Caffe and coffee bean processing factory. Doi Chaang produces about 50% of Thailand’s coffee beans with about 40,000 tons of beans processed from this factory. Over thirty years ago, this mountain region was used by the hillside tribes for growing opium. The king of Thailand, at the time, offered to plant coffee beans and trees to protect them from the sun and encouraged them to stop the opium business and grow coffee instead. This are allows a climate that affords premium beans, such as Arabica, to be produced. Interestingly, I am told that the top or best grades of beans are considered A grade and sold under the Doi Chaang brand, while, the B and C grades are sold to the large coffee chains that I’m sure that you all are familiar with. There are about 40 families that own Doi Chaang with 85% of them Akha. One of the initial founder’s, Piko Sandeo, son was Luka’s first scholarship student at AYDC. Piko’s face is the logo of Doi Chaang.

We then stopped at another coffee factory, Abonzo Coffee, which is owned by a friend of Ghans. It was more contemporary setting and offered the Civet (rat poop) coffee beans. Somehow the Civet knows which beans are the best, eat those, and the beans pass through its digestive tract and is then collected and is one of the most flavorful and expensive cups of coffee…I’m told.

Today we checked out of Wang Come hotel and traveled for two hours to Pastor Phongkeow’s compound near the Mekong River, which overlooks Laos. We will stay here for 2 ½ days. It’s a beautiful location and the facility is part of the Thailand Mennonite Brethren Foundation. Pastor is of Laotian decent and was a Mennonite pastor for the Lao congregation in Fresno. He does missionary work in Laos as well so we saw local as well as Laotian patients who crossed the river just to come to the clinic. We saw a number of dental, optometry, and medical patients. The clinics got busy right away but the best part was that the team came together and got caught up in making the glasses for distribution to our first few clinic stops. Ed, the newbie, is doing an excellent job cleaning the instruments but he’s hoping that Marlene isn’t expecting him to do the dishes for now on at home. We had a lot of musculoskeletal ailments and administered a lot of steroid injections for tendinitis, arthritis, and trigger point injections. Now I usually don’t pay much attention to the other health care professional but I’m not sure if can was teaching a patient stretching exercises or teaching him American break dancing or hip hop. Because later, he seemed to be getting pointers from “Rainbow”, Luka’s nephew, and a personal trainer. I think gain was trying to get some six-pack abs. I wanted some tips from Rainbow and I showed him a photo of a super muscular body builder that I wanted to look like and he looked up and down at me and say “No way!!” Thanks Rainbow.
After a busy day we had dinner and a get together with song and readings from the Chapbook. Pastor is always challenging us with deep questions, but talked about carrying each others’ burdens. 1Thessalonians 5:4 touched upon that and encouraged the team to ask about one another and to carry each others burdens.

I’m having difficulty uploading images tonight so I will try tomorrow to add to the photos. Please check tomorrow.

Thanks,
Mark

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