Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Sorry so many days have passed sine I last updated my blog. So much happens everyday; I will have to play a little catch-up.

In Thailand, we are 12 hours ahead of the US, so we have just completed celebrating Christmas Day. We had our big dinner this evening, American style – food limitations prevailed based on what was available at the local market. Keeping in mind that the Shelter is 11 miles North of the nearest large city, Chiang Mai, we are in the country. Yummie, one of the other female volunteers orchestrated dinner.

We cook everyday in an outdoor kitchen on a wok powered by a gas tank. No oven, no microwave- hum, creativity was needed on all accounts… A pre-cooked roasted chicken was procured at the local market as well as available fresh vegetables and fruit of the day - not exactly a Kroger’s or Whole Foods type selection. Yikes we asked for butter and got some solid, orange vegetable oil/ lard like substance to work with. Oh well do as you must. No cranberry sauce so I cooked up sliced fresh apples with sugar and lard in the wok. The mashed potatoes were equally interesting made with unpasteurized cows milk (we opted for the unpasteurized stuff over soy milk) and this lard.

Outdoor Kitchen/Laudryroom a shared space

All I can tell you is that after eating rice or noodles w/vegetables every single day, 3x/day, this dinner was a smashing success. Not a lick of food was left over.

The 4 oldest girls at the Shelter-L to R-Ghan, Phar (House mom), Yoomie (volunteer), Fon, Ning, Yoohie

Clean up was quite another matter. Grease everywhere which the cold water from the garden hose (standard dishwashing fare) did not cut. We had to boil hot water in the wok to wash the grease out of the pot.
Dishes knocked out, we progressed to our own homegrown Christmas party with a tree, snowflakes, fireplace amd ornaments made out of construction paper. Balloons, lots of Christmas music from CD’s, ballroom dancing and gifts that Yummie and I pulled together from our personal stash, recent travels and a little clandestine local buying.
Dancing to Christmas Music

The butter cookies were bought during a trip I made to a neighboring town earlier in the week, baby dolls and stuffed animals bought in America, originally made in China, handmade bracelets from the Chiang Mai night market, a scarf and coconut bracelets from Cambodia, nail polish, and a hand made lantern from Lampang, Thailand– everyone was delighted !!!

Rah-Tee  opening up her Baby Doll Christmas present

We really had a fun night and got a share a little bit of the better side of Americana with the kids.

More to come soon.
Carpe Diem,
You can also visit the COSA, (Children’s Organization of Southeast Asia) Web Site to learn more about the organization and their work: