Grades 1 through 6 lined up in front of the Thai flag and Buddha statue. Every school day starts like this.
Nathan made it back to Nang Rong this evening. Two days ago there was no flooding in the Mo Chit bus station area. Yesterday it was knee deep and nothing could go in it. This morning the water was down enough to be passable while it had gotten worse in other areas. The route from Bangkok to Nang Rong was dry most all the way, but it was a very different way that he had never been before, and several hours slower.
Overall, I think the flooding is getting worse in Bangkok, and may steadily do so for a few more weeks. Different parts of the city are at slightly different levels, however, so water will slosh from one part to another. What amazes me is that, since the one that flooded Don Muang airport, I have heard of no further incidents of people tearing down dikes that made flooding worse in their area in order to save a location the government deemed more important. There are a lot of such dikes and pumps like that in Bangkok right now. What if someone told you that the water was going to come a meter high into your neighborhood, but instead they needed to build a dike and make it two meters high in order to protect the business district next door? The previous post gives a good summary of the flood and its causes.
Some of the donations from this school. Parents and others were still dropping stuff off while we were there.
Like last time our board member Tasanee Lapimai is helping with another flood relief effort for the area due west of us and north of Bangkok. This is in the south central part of the Chao Phraya watershed shown on the first map in my previous blog entry. We are still getting flood relief supplies dropped off at the foundation office. Typically they are dropped off by a couple of teachers in a pickup truck bringing items donated at their schools, but some are from individuals who stop by. Tasanee and I drove about 30 km east to a school in the Prakon Chai area to pick up their donations. Their donations, part shown in the picture, completely filled her pickup with more stuffed in the back of the cab.
School starts with the students lining up in front of the classrooms, raising the flag and listening to a short speech. They told me it is this way every day. The only difference was that flood relief and the school’s efforts was the speech topic today. Tasanee and I each said something also. I think the students appreciate me because my Thai is still shaky enough that I make sure to quit while I’m ahead, making for a very short speech.
I think Thais like to surround things like the giving of aid with a lot of ceremony and photographing because they are part of the Buddhist tradition making merit. To a lesser degree we do the same in the U.S. although some of our traditions say we should keep it down.
Tomorrow we load all the stuff up into a borrowed truck and leave for the flood area. I’ll tell how it turns out when we get back.