Care for Dogs - a volunteer’s experience
There are many people here who volunteer to help many different
organisations, all of whom give their time and energy generously to make the
lives of those less fortunate more comfortable. Some volunteers even come
from their home countries to Chiang Mai because a particular charity ‘calls’
to them, to stay for shorter periods of time and do as much as they can.
from Singapore, with two of the local Care for Dogs volunteers during her
stay in Chiang Mai.
Recently, Care for Dogs were very pleased to welcome Sophie from Singapore,
who came here specifically to volunteer at the shelter, having found the
website, read all the information and stories, and felt compelled to come
and help out for a while. She got in touch with the shelter, accommodation
was arranged in a nearby village, and, once she had arrived, she went to the
shelter every day during her stay. Marvellous! The following is what she
wrote to Care for Dogs after her stay.
“Happy New Year! I’m back in Singapore, back to the hot weather and work. I
really miss the days I spent with the dogs, time seemed to pass so quickly
and every day there was something to look forward to. After seeing the dogs
at the shelter and looking at my own here at home, I wish I can tell my dog
and cats how fortunate they are. They have someone to give TLC everyday,
whereas the dogs at the shelter are forever looking forward to someone
visiting them and showering them with some love and cuddles.
“I still remember Oreo sitting right next to me, leaning against me when I
was indoors sorting out the collars and leashes. I can’t wait to come back
to see them again.
“How are the puppies? Are they growing up strong and healthy? They looked so
young and vulnerable without their mothers. I can’t imagine how they would
have ended up if you guys hadn’t brought them back to the shelter. I really
wasn’t expecting to see so many young puppies when I decided to volunteer at
Care for Dogs.
“Maybe it’s also one of those rare experiences for the shelter? I wish I
could come back to help out with the adoption drive, it would be nice to see
the pups go to their very own homes. But my part-time classes are starting
next weeks so I can’t get away.
“But I wish you all well, and miss you, and to all the dogs and puppies I
wish happiness and homes!”
Feeling not so good? Take some honey, honey - with cinnamon
Readers may have noticed that we often suggest naturally occurring
substances which are recommended to improve our health and vitality, in
spite of the fact that we now live in a much healthier and less
stressful environment than did most of us in our home countries.
Here in Asia, the tradition of natural and folk medicine survives and is
trusted, as are many other non-invasive forms of healing. Let’s face it,
Asia is where we now live, and its cultural and medicinal heritage may
well open new horizons for us - if we let it.
The tips below concern honey and cinnamon, and the remedies themselves
sound delicious, particularly on toast. So, even if we are in good
health, we can treat ourselves …and organic honey is so easily and
cheaply available here!
Honey and cinnamon, separately, have long been recommended by holistic
practitioners as remedies for various conditions, in combination they
may well be even more useful, and, of course, have no side-effects. For
example, a paste of honey and cinnamon, spread as a more delicious
alternative to the usual jam or marmalade on your breakfast toast, has
been claimed to help people with high cholesterol reduce those levels
and therefore their risk of a heart attack, by revitalising and
unblocking older arteries and veins. It may also relieve breathlessness
and strengthen the heartbeat. And even if it doesn’t, or you don’t have
such problems, it sounds absolutely delicious!
Those with high cholesterol can also use two tablespoons of honey and
three teaspoons of cinnamon together, mixed in 16 fluid ounces of weak
tea water, and taken three times a day.
If arthritis is a problem, try two tablespoons of honey with one small
teaspoon of cinnamon in hot water morning and night. A European
university study using this recipe found that arthritic joints responded
very well, resulting in reduced pain and improved mobility.
The common cold, however severe its onset, may retreat more quickly with
a honey and cinnamon mixture - remember when our mothers used to give us
honey and lemon (with or without a little whisky added)? Try one
tablespoon of warm honey mixed with a little cinnamon, daily for three
days. This will also benefit upset stomachs. If you are susceptible to
indigestion, two tablespoons of honey sprinkled with cinnamon and taken
before you eat may well be the answer.
Basically, it would seem that both substances have the ability to
strengthen the human immune system; honey in particular is of great
benefit due to the large amount of vitamins and iron which it contains.
Research suggests that its constant use strengthens the white blood
corpuscles, which fight bacterial and viral diseases. It is also
excellent for reviving a tired body which is suffering from low blood
sugar, as the form of sugar in honey is much more easily assimilated
than commercial sugars.
Happy first Birthday,
Chiang Mai Friends
Here in Chiang Mai, time seems to fly much more
quickly …surely it can’t be a whole year since
the party which launched Chiang Mai Friends’
Group? A lot has happened within the group
during the past year - the best, of course,
being the new friends we all made, and the
projects we got involved in.
For me, the highlight was being part of the
small group who joined in the Loy Krathong
parade from Thapae Gate to the Chiang Mai
administration offices - I felt, perhaps for the
first time, truly part of this city - ‘Kon
Chiang Mai’, as the Mayor had said.
The Friends’ first birthday party will be held
on January 22 at the JJ Market Hall opposite the
Kam Thieng flower market, from 5.30 p.m. to 8.30
p.m. Welcome guests at this celebration of
friendship will include the Mayor, the director
of the Tourist Authority of Thailand, several
Honorary Consuls and representatives from
Immigration and the police.
At the last meeting, members decided that the
party would have a ‘pot-luck’ element, as well
as other goodies to eat, and entertainments will
add to the enjoyment of the evening. Everyone,
members or not, is welcome to come and celebrate
- we will all be looking forward to the
activities of the group’s second year, its new
website, and the new friends we will make.
Chiang Mai Friends’ Group is, quite simply, a
group of caring people - an eclectic mix of Thai
and foreigners - that like to meet, talk and
share information. Its main purpose is to
exchange interests between cultures as well as
making integration a great deal easier for
foreigners who come to live in Chiang Mai. The
transition between one’s country of origin and
Thailand can be difficult; Chiang Mai Friends’
Group helps to ease the process, with both
foreigners and Thai people helping newcomers to
adjust and settle down.
Global Warming - doomed
planet or Gaia’s immune system?
Given that the weather and its constant changes
are nowadays invariably linked to global warming
and the human race’s recent involvement in this
syndrome since, it is claimed, the industrial
revolution in the Western world which began some
200 years ago, we thought that the following
discovery might be of interest. It doesn’t let
the human race off the hook completely or deny
that global warming is a fact, but does give a
fascinating new slant on what may be the
planet’s own defence against whatever humans
have done to disturb its balance.
Ground-breaking research by scientists working
in the Great Southern Ocean close to Antarctica
has led to a discovery which may validate the
long-held theory that the planet Earth, as a
living organism, is capable of adjusting itself
to adverse conditions in a similar manner to our
bodies’ immune systems, which adjust in order to
A natural process linked to melting icebergs in
the area has been observed, in that miniscule
particles of iron contained in melt water, feed
algae when released. The resultant ‘bloom’
absorbs carbon dioxide, then sinks to the bottom
of the ocean, locking the harmful greenhouse gas
away for hundreds of years.
The stimulation of algae growth caused by the
release of iron has been scientifically
acknowledged for some while, but live
experiments have been prohibited due to concerns
that crucial ecosystems might be damaged.
However, now that the process has been confirmed
to have occurred naturally in the Antarctic
region throughout the planet’s history, an
experiment will be allowed to take place in the
Great Southern Ocean.
Later this month, scientists will release tons
of iron sulphate in order to create a huge algae
bloom, which will be studied for its ability to
fall several miles into the deep ocean, thus
locking the gas away. However, if the algae
sinks just several hundred feet, the gas will be
released back into the atmosphere.
Calculations have shown that if the experiment
is successful, seeding the 20 million square
miles of the Great Southern Ocean (whose water
is unusually low in iron) would result in the
trapping of one eighth of all annual emissions
of greenhouse gases, and have also shown that,
for every 1 percentage point increase in the
amount of ice breaking off and melting, a
further 26 million tons of CO2 is removed from
the atmosphere. This suggests that, the warmer
temperatures become, the harder the planet works
to redress the balance.
The project, however, is highly controversial,
with experts warning that seeding would affect
surrounding areas as well, with unknown effects
on complicated ecosystems.
In a further report concerning research being
carried out in the Arctic, it has been
discovered that there is a rapid rebound in the
measurable amount of floating sea ice, bringing
it back to levels last seen in 1979. Growth
since the refreeze after the summer melt began
last September shows the highest rate of
increase on record.
Sea ice is a barometer of changing conditions,
due to its speed of response. Despite
predictions made in early 2008 that the Artic
would be free of sea ice by the summer, the
speed and extent of the freeze indicates lower
overall temperatures, with weaker wind patterns.
In May, concerns over disappearing sea ice led
the U.S. to list the polar bear as a threatened
species, despite objections from experts who
claimed the animal’s numbers were increasing.