HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Russian Ballet Academy activities honor HM the Queen

Zoo news is good news

Letters from Lek

Handel, Paganini and Dvorak help needy children

A new school year at Prem Center

National Science and Technology Fair at Mae Jo University August 18-20

Russian Ballet Academy activities honor HM the Queen

The Russian Ballet Institute organized activities to honor Her Majesty the Queen on her 72nd birthday on August 12. The institute recorded a Blessing Tape aired on channel 11 on HM the Queen’s Birthday. The tape featured Northern Thai music, clothes and dances to highlight HM The Queen’s contributions to Thai Society.

Zoo news is good news

Nakornping aviary gets face lift

Jan Verwers

When Chiangmai Zoo first opened its new walk through aviary many years ago, it was highly praised. Over 800 birds started a new life in small and beautiful valley, more than 200 meters long, that was completely roofed over. However by today, it was time for a face lift for the aviary.

A beautiful colourful bird, quite curious and loud. (Photo Rebecca Lomax)

New paths and bridges have been built; new pavilions have been added. New displays at many points give information about the present day inhabitants of the aviary, and colour codes tell us where the birds came from originally. Some of the old species have disappeared, such as the swans. They, and other birds ground dwellers, became through the years the victims of pythons, but more than 35 species are still there.

At this time of the year many birds are nesting. Quite visible are the nests from weaverbirds, hanging from the branches of many trees. Other nests are less easily seen. Look for them under the leaves of the Lady Palms.

New paths and bridges lead through the aviary.

Nakornping aviary is in one aspect different from the traditional cages in the rest of the zoo. In those cages animals are waiting for you to admire, but in the aviary it is the visitor who has to do the waiting. You have to be patient to discover the birds.

I like to spend much time near the places where bananas and papaya are supplied to the birds. Last week I was rewarded for my patience in a very nice way: finally after hesitating in the branches nearby, three Chattering Lorries came to enjoy the fruit, their bright red colours making a beautiful contrast with the yellow food.

Letters from Lek

Hi Kids,

Do you know how lucky you are to have parents that care for you?

Do you know how lucky you are to have food daily, good clothes and a home?

Well some children are not as lucky as you and me. In Thailand we see many children in the street begging for money. I am sure you have seen that many times. For I see also many grown ups with babies on their arms begging.

Now imagine yourself as a poor child and you were made begging in the street. Imagine nobody would give you any. You had no home either and it was raining at night.

Now imagine yourself as a princess or a prince again. With everything you want - spoiled. Now that’s you again. Now which one would you rather be? I would like to be just me, normal. And that’s what other children like to be too.

So next time you see children begging ask your mom for 5 baht so that you can buy them some water. That would be great. Thank you for helping poor people.

But I have a joke for you also:
Why do cows have bells around their neck?
Because their horns don’t work

Handel, Paganini and Dvorak help needy children

Pure Heart Project makes for happy hearts

Staff reporters
Photos by Saksit Meesubkwang

Following their very successful concert earlier in the year, the Pure Heart Project, an independent foundation sponsored by an international group of people devoted to humanitarian principles, promoted their second classical concert. This was again a sell-out success, in no small part through the efforts of the foundation, Payap University and performers such as pianist Acharn Chan Poti, guitarist Acharn Manoon Ploypradab and the Hope Chamber Music Orchestra consisting of 19 musicians conducted by Acharn Somchai Prasobsuk.

The concert played to a full house at Payap University.

Undoubtedly, this was a classical performance highlight, and whoever is in favor of classical music and missed last Saturday’s concert has good reasons to be sorry. It was a wonderful evening of classical music hosted by Payap University, and organized by the Pure Heart Project.

These evenings are now gaining in stature, as exemplified by many internationally recognized Thai classical musicians offering their talents at no charge, just for the sake of performing in such a milieu. That disadvantaged children should be the beneficiaries just made it even more rewarding for them. The Payap University concert was to raise funds to assist the Sunflower Children’s Home in Mae Hong Son. This is a region surrounded by mountains and very close to the Burmese border. Many different ethnic groups of hill tribe people live there, with some in very difficult circumstances, often isolated without electricity or even sufficient water supply.

Klaus Trebs, the concert organizer.

To allow the audience to understand the plight of these people, the Pure Heart Project showed photographs and a film of the project to give everyone an idea of where their money would go and what could be done for these needy children.

And it was for the hill tribe children that the Pure Heart Project wants to provide the opportunity to attend school. Currently they are giving accommodation and taking care of a group of 14 deprived children.

Classical Music Concert, hosted by Payap University.

Unfortunately, all this care requires cash, but rather than stand with metaphorical begging bowls, the Pure Heart Project decided that offering classical music concerts would be more suitable, especially knowing the intellectual and musical appreciation shown by Chiang Mai residents. All donations received from this concert went 100 percent towards helping the needy children in Mae Hong Son.

The audience that evening was treated to beautiful renditions of works by Handel, Paganini and Dvorak, with many in the hall looking for encores. The question on everyone’s lips was “When is the next one?”

The “Pure Heart” Project was founded to take reparative measures against a large number of social problems. The project members see their task and goals in providing help to disadvantaged and needy children and adults, especially those who are disadvantaged through unemployment, poverty, drugs or criminal surroundings, or even by illness. It is a non-profit organization devoted to helping needy children and youth in northern Thailand by providing them with educational opportunities and the essentials for life.

For more details about the Pure Heart Project please visit their website: Email queries to Sunflower

A new school year at Prem Center

IB results outstanding

Davidene Hannah

On Monday, August 16, there will be over 60 new students and 12 new teachers starting at Prem Tinsulanonda International School (PTIS). The new teachers enable the school to continue to broaden the academic and extra-curricular program offered. PTIS now has students and staff from over 35 different countries.

Nigel Forbes-Harper, Senior School Principal.

The outgoing Grade 12 graduates’ International Baccalaureate examination results, which came out last month, showed an over 90 percent pass rate amongst the 11 students taking the full, rigorous and challenging International Baccalaureate Diploma.

There are over 1500 IB schools in 114 countries world-wide. These IB results consolidate the school’s international standing and confirm a well-earned reputation of striving for academic excellence. “The results reflect very well on the efforts of the students and the high caliber of expertise and guidance of their teachers,” said Nigel Forbes-Harper, Principal of the Senior School.

National Science and Technology Fair at Mae Jo University August 18-20

Autsadaporn Kamthai

This year’s National Science and Technology Fair will be held at the Faculty of Science, Mae Jo University from August 18-20. This year, the theme is ‘Science can resolve the nation’s economic problem’.

The primary objectives of the science fairs are to honor the Father of Thai Science, King Mongkut (King Rama IV) and this year to simultaneously celebrate the 70th Anniversary of Mae Jo University.

The annual fair rotates between the Faculty of Science of Chiang Mai University and Mae Jo University, with support from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment.

Students in particular should not miss the fair as it gathers many excellent scientific projects from throughout the North to present to those who attend. Various interesting exhibitions and demonstrations such as tissue plant technology, rice modification by genetic engineering, seaweed used in water treatment, production of yoghurt and pineapple wine, gold dipping and much more can be observed and learned.

The scientific projects competition with students’ work will be judged as well. Only a few outstanding projects, involved with physics, biology and applied science, will be singled out from the 478 items in the competition.

In addition, there are many other displays and inter-active events for all students.