HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Kids' Corner

Holy Communion in Chiang Mai

Tony Ball’s Bird Watching Diary

Young people show world peace and harmony is possible

Students spend their holidays learning the value of work

Accreditation for Nakorn Payap International School renewed

Kids' Corner

This week lots of people who normally have to go to work and school can stay home and rest for a day because it is a public holiday. On the 5th of May each year everyone celebrates the day when the King of Thailand was coronated. The king’s name is King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great and he is the person who looks after all of the people in Thailand. He is a very kind man and he takes very good care of the people in this country and he even sometimes goes to visit people who need his help.

When a king is coronated this means that he is given his crown and that he is allowed to rule over the country. After a king has been coronated people must call him “Your Majesty”. This shows you respect him.

Can you think of any other countries that have a king? Write to Marg and Marvin at:

Chiangmai Mail
156-158 Im-boon Housing Estate
Muangsamut Road
T. Changmoi, A. Muang,
Chiang Mai 50300
Email: [email protected]
Fax: 053 234 145


1) Why did the boy go to night school?
2) What did cave men use to cut wood?
3) What sort of bird is like a car?
4) What has a center but no beginning and no end?


1) So that he could learn to read in the dark
2) Dino-saws
3) A goose, because they both ‘honk’
4) A circle

Bye from Marg and Marvin

Holy Communion in Chiang Mai

Pastor Bartel to perform the Eucharist

Marion Vogt

The pastor of the evangelical German community in Thailand, Burkhard Bartel, is once again coming to Chiang Mai. This weekend, Sunday, May 2, he will be holding a very special Sunday Service, being the first time he will be holding a celebration of the Eucharist.

Bishop of Baden Wuertemberg in Germany, Dr. Gerhard Maier, presented new chalices to Pastor Bartel and his wife Isolde. (Photo by B. Barthel / evangelic community)

There will be a fellowship event from 3 p.m. onwards at the CDSC (Christliche Deutsche Schule Chiangmai). The friendship within the congregation helps to nurture faith in a free atmosphere and Pastor Bartel was happy to announce that the Bishop of Baden Wuertemberg, Dr. Gerhard Maier, gave him a chalice, which is seen as an appreciation for pastors who are willing to serve the church in their native language abroad.

With the spirit and vitality of their faith, and the blessings of their Lord, this mass will be a chance for the community to get together in prayer.

Tony Ball’s Bird Watching Diary

The Green-tailed Sunbird

Mountains are going to be very popular in the next few months - the temperatures were already at an all time high for March in the north. This before the start of April the hottest month of the year, it reached over 40 Celsius at the end of March. So birdwatchers will switch their interest from lowland birds to the mountain species and Chiang Mai birders would be wise to head for Doi Inthanon if they have time or Doi Suthep/Pui if they are pressed for time.

Some of the birds have, sensibly, headed for cooler climes farther north to China and Russia. When you think about it, isn’t it amazing that these same birds will be able to open a conversation with the local birds of the same species and not have to go to a language school to prepare themselves? Having said that, there are dialects and in some species, the same as us humans, it is possible to identify a bird’s origin from its call.

Now, if you do head for Doi Inthanon there is a bird there that you shouldn’t miss and I mean that literally - it would be hard to miss as it’s so colorful; it is the Green-tailed Sunbird (Aethopyga nipalensis ankanensis). It also has the proud distinction of being one of the few birds endemic to Thailand. Not only that, it is only to be found on the summit of that mountain where it is quite common.

On the subject of endemic birds, the reason that there aren’t too many endemics to be found in Thailand is because we are part of a greater land mass where the birds have free access from country to country, no immigration controls for them. If one country has an isolated mountain or mountain range this is where the endemics are usually found. Islands have more endemics and the more isolated the more unique birds they have. Hawaii is a very good example of this, and, of course, the Galapagos Islands of the Darwinian theory are another good example. Until next time then.

Young people show world peace and harmony is possible

Four countries pull together to assist the local needy

Narupacha Muang-in
YMCA for Northern Development Foundation

Young people from Thailand, Japan, Laos and the USA got together last month for a YMCA youth work camp that heralded another season of international friendship and helping others.

The work camp this year was the result of a strong cooperative relationship between the YMCA of Chiangmai and the Kobe YMCA, with the support of the Kobe Y’s Men’s Club. In this exciting 21st year of the program, the Japanese and Thai participants were joined by youth groups from Seattle, USA, and from Luang Prabang in Laos. The work camp was coordinated by YMCA of Chiangmai, the Kobe YMCA, and the Seattle YMCA, involved 40 campers aged between 20-35 years old.

A warm traditional northern welcome when the campers reached the village.

These programs provide opportunities for young people to learn to work together with each other and with rural villagers. Not only do these programs create huge benefits for the people in the rural and remote areas, they inspire leadership qualities and confidence in the youth participants.

The new multipurpose building to be used as a youth and community development center.

This year, the participants helped to construct a multipurpose building for Wat Ban Pok School at Samerng District in Chiang Mai province. The previous building was so dilapidated that it was considered unsafe for the local children. Consequently, the school principal, together with the school committee, decided to knock it down and replace it with a new building. They envisioned that the new building could be used as a youth and community development center, and the YMCA’s supported this initiative.

Skilled Thai villagers share their building expertise with the campers to build a multipurpose building for Wat Ban Pok School in Samerng District, Chiang Mai province.

The mission of the YMCA program was not only to erect the new building, but also to strengthen the relationship between Thai, Laotian, Japanese, and American participants. The activities held during the work camp promote cooperation between students, campers and villagers, by encouraging them to work together and gain awareness of the importance of education and self-development.

The campers experienced local culture in the Tod Papa Ceremony (a religious ceremony presenting robes to the monks).

We are also certain that by staying with host families, campers and villagers can exchange their own traditions and culture with each other. Sharing activities enabled work camp participants to develop skills of social responsibility. Picture the skilled Thai villagers sharing their building expertise with the youths, many of whom came from developed countries and had never used even simple hand tools. In addition, all participants had to overcome many language barriers. Hand gestures and smiles will be remembered by everybody.

Linda Hargrove, from Seattle YMCA, reflected on her experiences, “Words cannot express the joy, love, and gratitude we feel in being able to work together with everybody here. There is no greater honor than to have shared in working side by side with the other campers and villagers, experiencing in the friendship, love, cultural differences, but yet we stood as one.”

These feelings were echoed by Yoshiya Iwai, from Kobe YMCA, “Even though we all come here with different experiences, religions, and colors of skin, we worked together as one, making us believe that the hope for a peaceful world is possible.”

Wongtong Ratchawong, a camper from Laos, gave his impression, “I am sure that I will share the experiences which I received from this work camp with my friends and my family when I go back to Luang Prabang. The concept of social responsibility and public spiritedness is very important, which the people of Laos should be more concerned about. I hope that one day my country will be developed as Thailand and our people can develop both in mind and spirit.”

Armonwadee Tubtimsawang and Sujitraporn Panitchapon, Thai campers, reflected that, “We enjoyed working with the people of Bon Pok village and the other campers. The villagers were kind enough to share their skills how to build such a beautiful building that will forever be part of the Ban Pok village and our heart.”

The YMCA of Chiang Mai has continuously provided these kinds of activities to strengthen the relationships among neighboring countries in order to promote peaceful ways of thinking for the new generations.

We can say without a doubt that the 21st YMCA Youth Work Camp was another great success, just like the work camps of the last 20 years. We aspire to continue our strong relationships with the other YMCA’s for many years to come.

If you are interested in joining us, please contact us by email at [email protected]

Students spend their holidays learning the value of work

And make some money on the side

Autsadaporn Kamthai

678 students in Muang district spent their school summer break working, in both government offices and private companies, as part of the government’s initiative to encourage Thai youth to spend time profitably (while making a profit).

Chiang Mai Employment Service Office director Orachorn Rattanamanee said there was a good response to the campaign as 956 students in Muang district had applied for jobs with them. Most of those who had applied for jobs did not come from the group of citizens who had registered as being poor people, he noted.

446 were employed by private companies and the rest by government offices. The other 278 students had cancelled their registration citing individual difficulties and inconvenience.

A further 29 students in Fang district and 114 students in Phrao district were also employed by government and non-government organizations in their districts.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare set a minimum wage of 23 baht an hour for private companies and 200 baht a day for government offices, the director said. The private companies that provided jobs were mostly franchise shops and hypermarkets while most government offices in City Hall had also accepted students. Even the Employment Service office itself had hired around 30 students to work on its labor exhibitions and other jobs.

The government provided funding to support civil service offices to employ Thai students to help promote the work ethic among young people and teach them the value of spending their time usefully.

However, some of them had applied because of pressure from friends. They did not really want to work and became a problem, Orachorn said. He therefore wanted students to consider carefully before applying for holiday jobs in future.

Accreditation for Nakorn Payap International School renewed

Jon van Housen

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) has renewed accreditation for Nakorn Payap International School following a visit from an auditing committee.

The committee found the school was well within international standards.

Dr William Band, chairperson of the WASC committee, presents his findings to students, parents, teachers and administrators at NIS. Seated next to the windows are Brenda Knowles, who served with him on the committee, and John Allen, NIS principal.

Led by Dr William Brand, former superintendent of the Santa Paula School District in California, the committee reaffirmed the accreditation that was first awarded three years ago.

In his report to the school, Dr Brand praised the teachers. “In talking to the students, what is most clear is that they like their teachers very much,” he said. Among the other strong points he noted were various new facilities at the recently completed NIS campus, the school’s stable ownership and management and the “collegiality of faculty, staff, students and parents”.

WASC is a California-based non-profit organization that evaluates schools throughout the western U.S. and Asia. Accreditation is awarded after an intensive self-study process by the school itself, followed by auditing from a team of experienced educators and administrators.

John Allen, NIS principal, noted that while the final report from WASC has yet to be released pending review by a board in the United States, the accreditation will likely be for three years, the maximum possible. The school will then undergo another review in three years’ time.