|28 November 2004: Children's Garden, Doi Saket, Thailand
There's more to give than money.
The first Give and Live
Benefit in the bag, the check delivered to Children's Garden, the next
benefit Gala on 15/02/05 in the works...I was
very glad to have finished it and didn't have a large list of duties
each day. But I missed the kids. We had some fun rehearsing and great
fun playing Frisbee. It's difficult running to catch one with two kids
on your back, even though we had six arms.
I never need an excuse to visit them, but luckily
Thailand has more official holidays than any other country and an
important one was upon us: Loi Krathong...translated literally, launch the boat or let go of the bowl.
In the city, I think it means "legal chaos" and you can read about that
in my Life in the Laugh Lane column in the newspaper:
Chiangmai were in America, the entire city would be arrested. Ornately designed "boats"
are made from banana leaves, stems, flowers, candles, incense and, in the
upper right parade float photo, beautiful Thai women, or men, or
somewhere in between. Over here it's hard to tell which they are unless you hear the voice or see
the apple (Adam's). Loi Krathong broadly celebrates the rivers and water
which bring life and honors the harvest. It also honors the fire that
keeps us warm in the winter months.
All those lights in the sky (second upper right photo) are fire lanterns,
thousands of little bonfires that somehow don't burn all of Southeast
Asia to one big cinder.
It's your holiday but can I
help you blow things up?
We brought the party to the kids and gave them
their own holiday to remember vividly. Frisbee until dusk, then off to
the fish pond to release loi krathongs and try not to become fish food
ourselves. We created our own sweet incense, aqua candle constellation
with 30 krathongs floating in the darkness. Next I got to indulge in my
own personal passion: fireworks. In the local markets, anyone can buy
huge rockets, fountains and shells that would be classed just below
nuclear weapons in America. Everyone assumed I knew to unroll the circle
brick of 3000 firecrackers. I lit the tiny little fuse and explosions
began immediately... actually I think it was just one explosion. I was
busy running for my life AND wetting my pants.
Barely surviving activities one, two and three, I
was ready to learn how to launch a fire lantern, made from very thin
paper, a light bamboo ring, a bit of wire and a sort of roll of
tape/whatever soaked in kerosene, eye of newt and pixie dust. It starts
to burn slowly, then vigorously, heating up the air inside the paper and
singeing stray eyelashes. Then comes a precious weightless moment just
before you gently set it on its way to burn the other side of the
horizon. They rise till they're out of sight, following the same wind
current. If you're a few hundred meters away, you see a line of
fire dots in the sky. If you're right below them, you create your own
personal constellation right above you.
After few more star bombs into the sky and a few
hundred sparklers on the ground and it was time to head back home,
something many of these kids don't have. Well, yes, they do and it's
called Children's Garden, a warm place to grow. You can buy food and
mattresses and seeds and books, but you can't buy sharing, smiling,
laughing, clapping, oooing and ahhhing together with a friend: especially
a big, old friend that looks like your parents but acts like your
Previous DAY TO
FERC's First Give and Live Benefit
September - October 2004: Chiangmai,
Two years ago I wasn't sure I'd live two more minutes.
27 July 2004: Sansai, Thailand
Day to Day has become month to month.
21 March 2004: Chiangmai, Thailand
& R and R & R for the R:
rest, relaxation, roots and rubber for the road...
20 December 2003: Chiangmai and Pai,
Later DAY TO
Thailand Charity Motorcycle Ride 2007!
January 2007, All Over Northern Thailand
220,000 baht, fireworks, badminton and love!
16 November 2005, Children's Garden, Doi Saket, Thailand
Srinehru Hmong School Gets New Facilities!
15 October 2005, Khun Chang Khian, Thailand
Give and Live Benefits USA Concert Tour 2006
Raises One Million Baht for Thailand's Children
26 August - 6 October, 2005: All across America
FERC's 6th Annual Benefit Gala!
19 February 2005, Chiangmai, Thailand
3000 fire lanterns
hit the heavens in Sansai
Eight lanterns heating
at Children's Garden
The magic weightless
moment at lift-off!
Our Very Own
The Very Little Dipper