Sunday, February 23, 2014

Fishing in Alaska

Hello Thai friends. We are so excited to finally write back to you and answer your question about fishing in Alaska.

Hello again Chaiyaphum friends. We love to fish in Alaska and we catch many different kinds of fish here. Five different kinds of salmon live here: King Salmon (Chinook), Pink Salmon (Pinks or Humpbacks), Chum Salmon (Dog), Red Salmon (Sockeye) and Silver Salmon (Coho).

Catching a Pink Salmon

Fishing for Silver Salmon

A Silver Salmon

King Salmon

We also fish for trout here...

...including rainbow trout.

Those are all mainly freshwater fish that live in our rivers and lakes. We also fish from the ocean for Rockfish, cod, and halibut. Some people fish for shellfish such as Alaskan King crab and Snow crab and others dig along the shore for clams.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Back in School

Hello Alaska friends! After a month-long school break, we are back in school here in Thailand. Feel free to keep asking questions!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Alaska Rainbow

Hello Hem and Friends. Yes, we have beautiful rainbows in Alaska. Our teacher, Mrs. Rust, saw a beautiful full rainbow on her way home from work today!

A picture of a double rainbow taken
from Mrs. Rust's house last year.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Flushing Toilets, Clothing and Food

Q: Hello Chayaphum school friends. We are practicing how to say cat (maeow) and dog (su-nak) in Thai. We did a survey to see how many of our students have maeow and how many have su-nak. Sahm have  su-nak and hok have maeow.

We forgot to ask about the toilets. We want to know if they flush like our American toilets do.

In our classroom, we are learning to make bread so we think about food a lot. We would like  to know what foods are popular for kids in Thailand.

We also learn ways to take care of ourselves in school and one way to take care of ourselves is to dress ourselves. How do you get materials to make clothes?

A: Hello Alaska friends! To answer your question about toilets, it depends on the toilet. The toilets at our house, school, and wat must be flushed by pouring water down it. In the picture of the bathroom at the wat, did you see a large bucket of water next to the toilet? That water is used to flush the toilet and to take bucket showers. To take a bucket shower, you use a bowl to scoop water out of the bucket then pour it over yourself. Some places in Thailand (like hotels and bus stations) have flushing (western) toilets sometimes though.

This week Hem and Geep helped answer your questions. In the video they both say "Nong" before their names. This is like saying "little sister." Saying "Nong Hem" pretty much means "little sister Hem."

In the video, I asked Hem and Geep if they think American clothing and Thai clothing are the same. They said "no." What do you think? The students here wear uniforms at school. Here are some pictures of students in their uniforms:


first grade

school assembly

Hem's favorite dessert is "kanome dtaan" (toddy palm cake). Here is a recipe for kanome dtaan.

Geep's favorite dessert is "kanome kluay" (steamed banana cake). Here is a recipe for kanome kluay.

My favorite dessert is "kanome krok" (coconut cakes). Here is a recipe for kanome krok.

This website lists many popular Thai desserts also: Thai Desserts.

Lastly, Hem wants to know if there are rainbows in America. She is also curious about what types of fish there are. Where we live in Thailand, fish from the rivers and ponds are a big food source. Do you remember the pond in the video of the wat?

"Dog" and "Cat" in Thai

Q: How do you say "Cat" and "Dog" in Thai?

A: Here is a video of Sa and Nam Peung explaining how to say "cat" and "dog" in Thai:

Thank you for asking this question! After interviewing Sa and Nam Peung I learned that I have been using the less polite word for "dog." I am always learning!  Sa and Nam Peung explained that cat (แมว) is "maeow" (it is a mid-tone, so pronounce it in a flat voice), and dog (สุนัข) is "su-nak." (The first part, "su," is a low tone, and the second part, "nak," is a high tone.) Can you hear the different tones in the words when Sa and Nam Peung say them?

Friday, September 6, 2013

At the Wat: Cooking and Bathrooms...Also, where does drinking water come from?

QHello Thailand friends. We were so excited to receive your answers about the wat and to watch the video you made! The information was so interesting it made us think of several more questions! After seeing the dormitories (kutis), the bot and other buildings, we are wondering, "Where do they cook and use the bathroom?"

Another picture of the bot

A: Hello again! To answer your question about cooking and bathrooms, Nam Peung helped me again. We went back to the wat and took some more pictures to help explain more. First of all, did you know that the monks here do not cook? Early every morning, they go around the village with a large bowl. The villagers then willingly offer food to the monks. This is one way of "making merit."

The only time that people actually cook at the wat is during weddings, funerals, festivals or other big events. Here are some pictures that show some of the things (including cooking supplies) that are available at the wat. Anyone in the community can borrow these items.

tables, chairs and large tents

In this picture you can also see the monk's robes
drying and bowls of food left out for the cats.

Here is a video of Nam Peung explaining a little bit more about cooking at the wat:

To answer your question about bathrooms, here is a picture of a bathroom at the wat:

Here is a picture of the bathroom building:

Behind each door is a bathroom
like the one shown above.

There are five of these bathroom buildings at the wat in my village. Here are some more pictures:

Do you notice anything different about
Thai bathrooms?

QAlso, "Where do you get your water?" We heard it isn't clean. "Why isn't it clean?" 

A: The reason that we can’t drink water out of the faucet here is because the pipes that the water runs through are dirty. They get dirty when there is flooding. The pipes also leak sometimes and dirty water gets in. If you drink this water, it will probably make you sick. We still use the water to take showers though and use it to clean. I use the water to brush my teeth too, but never drink it.

Most of the people in our village collect rain water to drink. Here is a video of Bow explaining how they collect water:

Peace Corps recommended that we still boil the rain water (just to be safe!), but the people in our community do not. Here are some pictures of how rain water is collected at the wat:

Do you see the pipes attached to the gutters?

The hose makes it easier to collect
water in different containers

Some other ways of getting drinking water are boiling the tap water or buying bottled water. Zack and I buy our water from the Nayok (mayor). Here is a picture of the water that we buy:

Friday, August 30, 2013

What's Inside the Monasteries?

Q: Hello school friends. We are excited to learn and share with you this year from Anchorage, Alaska. We have looked at a few pictures of Thailand and already have questions! Our first question is, what is inside your monasteries? They look so beautiful on the outside!

AHello students! I was so excited to answer your question this week! My Thai student helpers, Sa and Nam Peung, were also really happy and excited to help. They were a little bit nervous when I told them that students in America would be watching their video!

I took this picture of the wat from my
front yard. Every morning I wake up to
the sound of a gong ringing from the wat.

To start, I would like to share that the wat is not only a temple where people practice Buddhism, but it is also a community center. If people need to borrow dishes for a wedding, a funeral  or a monk ordination, they borrow them from the wat. If people find a stray dog or have a dog that they can’t take care of anymore, they bring the dog to the wat. If there is a festival or celebration, it usually takes place at the wat. If someone is traveling and doesn’t have a place to stay, he or she may stay at the wat. Usually the local school is in the wat too!

The wat is not just one temple, it is an entire complex.  In the video below, you will see that the wat has dormitories, a bot (the most decorated building), a crematorium, a fish pond, fruit trees, flowers, vegetable gardens, and many other things! The video doesn’t explain everything, but it’s a start! Also keep in mind that I am still learning Thai and that even though I tried to translate everything accurately, there are still many things that I say wrong or interpret wrong. Hopefully with a lot of practice I will be able to speak Thai really well after two years in Thailand!