HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Kids' Corner

AIDS treads the boards

International Music and Cultural Performance highlights 30th Anniversary of Payap University

Visitors can also make a difference!

Unusual fundraiser proves to be a big success

Kids' Corner

Marvin and I were cooking the other day. We had a lot of fun as we made chocolate cake. It tasted really good too. Marvin wants to tell you how to make it so that you can ask a grown up to help you.
175 grams of butter
2 cups of self raising flour
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate soda
1 teaspoons of vanilla essence
4 tablespoon of cocoa powder
3 eggs
1 cup of water


1) Put everything into a bowl and mix for 5 minutes
2) Put the mixture into small cake cases
3) Bake for 25 minutes in an oven that is 180 degrees
4) Put some icing and sprinkles on
5) Eat!
Do you like cooking? If you have a favorite, recipe, then you can send it to:
Marg and Marvin
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) What did the low tide say to the high tide?
2) What did the tree say to the logger?
3) What do you call two bars of soap?
4) What goes tick-tock-ruff-ruff?


1) Long time no sea
2) Leaf me alone
3) A pair of slippers
4) A watchdog

Bye from Marg and Marvin

AIDS treads the boards

Vincent Leutwiler

Last week the Gabfai Mobile Theater Group performed the play “Rain Doesn’t Fall Over All The Sky” in front of the scenic backdrop of the Tha Pae Gate.

The play, which was directed by Amarin Plengrusme, was about two girls, who both wanted to start a new life in a city, away from parents and relatives, but for different reasons.

One of them was a farm girl and war had suddenly come to her village and she was escaping the fighting in her village. The other girl lived on a mountain village where life was easy, but she became fascinated with the city idea and moved there.

The tale brings them together when they are both raped and contract the AIDS virus. They go to the hospital only to discover that those without money will not be treated.

The play is an attempt to teach people of inequalities of life and for people to open their eyes to these problems.

The Gabfai Mobile Theater Group also performed at the AIDS conference in Bangkok, with their hard-hitting message.

International Music and Cultural Performance highlights 30th Anniversary of Payap University

Vincent Leutwiler

Payap University Chiang Mai organized an International Music and Cultural Performance on the evening of July 17, to celebrate their 30 years in the north.

President of Payap University, Boonthong Poocharoen during his address. (Photo by Gerard Krebs)

Presiding over the event was the President of the Payap University, Boonthong Poocharoen and Suwat Tantipat, the governor of Chiang Mai.

After the opening speech, an Apsara traditional blessing dance was performed. This was followed by a Burmese ‘Saung Kok’ musician who played ‘Tu Ma Cha Na’ or “The Incomparable”. (The Saung Kok is a Burmese arched harp which is a very difficult instrument to play because of its complicated tuning system.)

Canadian musician Randy Rane-Reuch was next and performed six of his songs on traditional instruments of different origin. These included a Chinese ocarina, a Chinese gourd flute, a ‘bawu’, which is like a flute but with three pipes, a mouth organ from Borneo, the Thai khim and a piece he wrote for the popular rock group Aerosmith which is played on the Appalachian dulcimer.

Continuing with the wide diversity were two pieces on the Ranaad, the wooden Thai xylophone, by Ajarn Tavorn Sripong, Ajarn Chatchai Puakdee and Ajarn Vera Phansue. They played a ranaad duet, which is very popular and usually only performed on special occasions.

The last performance was a cultural presentation from China performed by the 22 strong team of Yuxi Teacher’s College.

Visitors can also make a difference!

A new wall and new stairs for Karen children

Annelie Hendriks

In February this year Mr. and Mrs. Hendriks came to visit their daughter in Chiang Mai. They accompanied her and other volunteers from the Samsara and FERC Foundations to the school facilities under construction in Mae Sariang.

The defective old wall.

At the middle school in Mae Lit situated in the mountains, the Samsara Foundation just finished the construction of a dormitory. The government has built a new school building (after 8 years of waiting) at the same school some months earlier. It was a big beautiful building but built right at the edge of a terrace. After one season the rain has already done its destructive work and the soil under the school was starting to be washed away.

Marc Dumur of FERC and Mr Kasem, director of Mae Lit School atop the water tank.

Moreover the end of the gutters discharged at the same spot worsening the damage even more. After more rainy seasons the collapsing of a part of the school building would be the inevitable result.

They saw it and instead of turning away, they addressed the problem to the right people for a solution regarding stairs and wall - Mr. and Mrs. Hendriks in Thailand.

We discussed the situation with the Department of Education and they explained to us that the long awaited money to build the new school building was paid to the construction company and the Department of Education has no financial means to effect repairs.

Accidents were inevitable but happily some people stepped in before something happened.

Furthermore there were no stairs from the playground up to the school. In the rainy season it is very slippery for the 270 children to go up and down. Realizing that the construction of a wall and stairs is not the most glamorous project to raise money from elsewhere in the world, and being an architect himself, and therefore able to judge the situation very well, Mr. and Mrs Hendriks decided to step in and donated the money (105,000 baht) to build a strong wall, including two stairs.

Karen children run up the new stairs.

The FERC foundation in Chiang Mai, joined the project by presenting a donation of 42,000 baht provided by Rotarians in Arkansas (USA), a big cement water tank to collect the rainwater from the mountains and the roof. Now the construction of walls, stairs and tank are finished, the school building is safe and the children happy to run up and down the stairs.

The new safe wall with Karen children in front.

Unusual fundraiser proves to be a big success

Young student raises funds for Ugandan village

Michael Vogt

Imagine a young, beautiful teenager, well-protected by her family comprising of doctors at CMU’s Faculty of Agriculture, being offered a scholarship at the Lester B. Pearson United World College in Canada.

Anand, the winner of the 2004 Yamaha Music Contest, played Chopin in a way which would have had Chopin blush! Anand is a student at CMU at the faculty of dentistry.

Janepicha Cheva-Isarakul, better know as ‘Bambi’, became one of 200 students from 80 countries, and finalized her Bachelor’s degree at Lester Pearson College after two years. “I obviously went through culture shock, when I found myself coming from Thailand to a first-world country. It was challenging, but I could handle it, as I was prepared to adjust”, said Bambi.

Bambi brought all this talent together on one stage and filled the room twice in one night!

Being a top student, she was offered an additional year as a volunteer, but this time in Uganda, in the middle of the Dark African continent. Along with four other fellow students from four different countries, she accepted the offer, rented a house, and instantly became a teacher and constructor. “That was obviously my next culture shock, but with Uganda being a third-world country, the impact on me was more severe, and I was struggling in the beginning to find my way around. It was heart breaking and shocking to see those people being happy with the circumstances life has to offer for them, and for the first time in my life I saw how ‘real life’ can be,” said Bambi.

She struggled not only with being named ‘Mzungo’ (a white person, the equivalent of ‘Farang’ in Thailand), she also found it quite disturbing being harassed by some of the male inhabitants of the village, who apparently found her an attractive young girl. “This quieted down after a short period, especially if people realized that I was there to assist and help them, by teaching young kids the English language, mathematics and other useful stuff, and by being a hands-on person, constructing walls, sweeping floors, and cleaning rubbish bins,” she laughed. They soon got used to each other, and the little dark skinned children were literally hanging on Bambi’s arms and legs, and soon treated her as being one of their family.

Her Ugandan time came to a scheduled end after eight months, and Bambi returned to Chiang Mai, to briefly catch up with her family, before moving on to Missouri, USA, to continue her studies.

Not wasting any time, and still having Uganda in the back of her mind, she thought about how to raise funds for ‘her’ children back there. The venue was found quickly after receiving a very special offer from Gong Dee’s Khun Vichit, and by contacting her old friends, these days spread over all major universities in Chiang Mai, and a program full of musical highlights was adapted, developed and practiced, and the evening was set for a double performance with the enthusiastic students and their teachers.

In his address, Honorary German Consul, Hagen Dirksen, said that if he would have a say, he would make all of the evenings’ participants UN ambassadors. The recent AIDS World Conference in Bangkok had shown that the world has become a very small and extremely interconnected place, and that Bambi’s effort is highly commendable.

The program itself showed a great variety of music and dance, with performances ranging from soloists to group activities, and from classical Vivaldi violin pieces to Al Jarreau’s laid back and smooth jazz arrangements.

Both the afternoon and evening shows were sold out, and Bambi, with tears in her eyes, was overwhelmed by the response and support she had received for this event.

The music we enjoyed that evening was, in some cases, much more professional than what we hear in local restaurants and hotel bars, and the enthusiasm of the students, as well as their interaction with the audience, was a very refreshing experience. A sensational evening which certainly deserves a ’10 out of 10'.

After the second show with VIPs and all participants.