Good Cause Giveaway and Last Minute Questions

First, the questions. Then the giveaway. Asea asks: What's something you really love about living in Thailand?

A lot, actually. Except for the polluted hot season, it's beautiful. I love the rain, so the hundred million inches we get in the rainy season are actually pretty cool. The food is good. Everything is cheap. And there's not this underlying cultural pressure to PRODUCE, PRODUCE, PRODUCE! (That last one probably contributes to Thailand's weaker economy, but whatever).

Is reverse culture shock hard? (I struggle with it a lot.) 

Sometimes it's hard, though it's probably made easier by the fact that I know I (most likely) won't be living there again. I don't know how to be more specific without sounding like I'm complaining about America. I like America, but sometimes it can be a bit overbearing about safety or how kids are raised, while at the same time not caring so much about what gets shown on TV (though that last one's not very fair; TV drives me batty in general).


Our friends, Aaron and Carrien Blue, are helping an orphanage near the Burmese border. The kids there are refugee orphans, whose parents have been lost or killed as a result of the genocide and fighting that has been going on in Burma for decades.

They have about 40 kids, but no truck. The kids have to walk to school everyday, about 3-4 miles on a fairly large street. If someone gets sick or hurt, they have to hire a truck to take them to the hospital, spending money which could be better spent on things like food, water, or medical bills.

So the Blues are trying to raise $6000 by the end of this week, so that when Aaron comes to visit he can buy them a truck as well. To that end, Carrien is giving away a bunch of cool stuff on her blog to anyone who donates or spreads the word.

Last I heard, they were at $3,280, which is AWESOME, but they still have a long way to go. This is a really great cause, guys. These kids are at risk in all kinds of ways, but giving them a home and education reduces that risk significantly. And a truck is a big help to that end.

So get over there. Any donation, any word spreading, will help these kids.

UPDATE: They're up to $4,519 now, and Carrien has added additional prizes to the giveaway. If you've already entered, you're eligible for these new prizes as well. If not, what the heck are you doing, get over there!


Asea said...

Sounds like there are a lot of good things about Thailand! I admit that I don't know much about it, so in my head Thailand is very hot, humid, jungly, and looks like the set from Anna and the King. I hope to make it over there to find out for myself at some point!

You make an interesting point about reverse culture shock: you don't EXPECT America to be home anymore, and so maybe it's easier to let it feel different. I'll keep that in mind as I fly to the US next weekend for a 7 week visit (I haven't been back in 2 years. Eek!). Thanks!

Adam Heine said...

Your image of Thailand is pretty much the same as mine was before we moved here. When we met the people we stayed with for the first two months, we were like, "You have a house? You have a TV? You have WIRELESS INTERNET?!"

Yeah, moving here wasn't as hard as we thought it'd be ;-) Have fun on your trip!

Asea said...

Haha, I know the feeling. There are a LOT more bears in upstate NY (where I'm from) than in Russia. My hometown gets a LOT more snow than St Pete does, and it's generally colder there.

On the other hand, some things do fit the stereotypes I'd had. Most people really do live in 10-story poured concrete buildings that are rectalinear. Very little of the plumbing actually works properly. It's very very dark in winter, and most people drink vodka. So I guess pop culture didn't get everything wrong!

Personally I find moving/going somewhere new much less challenging than going back to somewhere I thought I knew. It's all about expectations.