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Update May 31, 2016

Matuto performs bluegrass and blues at Think Park

New York City based folk and blues band Matuto entertained the crowd at Think Park on Monday, May 30, 2016.

Ajarn Wasunshine of Payap University and his band of traditional musicians opened the event for Matuto.

Matuto band member gives blowing through a leaf a try as band members look on.

One of the highlights of the band is the use of the accordion and unusual percussion instruments.

By Shana Kongmun
The U.S. Embassy in Bangkok and the U.S. Consulate- General in Chiang Mai hosted a fun and funky concert at Think Park on Monday, May 30 with bluegrass and folk bank Matuto performing their unique sound with guitar, bass, accordion and a variety of unusual percussion instruments.

Led by Clay Ross and Rob Curto, the New York City based band kept the audience entertained with their lively performances of blues and bluegrass with a heavy Latin influence. The word Matuto is Brazilian for country bumpkin and although they may not be bumpkins their music brought a flavor of Americana to Chiang Mai. Other members of the band include Zé Maurício, Richie Barshay, Mike Lavalle, and Mazz Swift.

U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Officer Anna Rogers opened the event, thanking the organizers and the band for their dedication. She added that the band would be working with students at Dhara School the next day. She was then followed by a spirited Lanna performance by Ajarn Wasunshine of Payap University and his band of performers using traditional instruments and one man blowing through a leaf to make music. After their performance one of the members of Matuto tried his hand, or rather mouth, at blowing through the leaf to create music.

The band then took the stage and a large and lively crowd gathered to enjoy the music. During the second set Por’s North Gate Trio joined them on stage and the audience was treated to the sounds of their collaboration.

Update May 24, 2016

Zonta Chiang Mai bring donations to Omkoi Blessing Hill Children’s Home

Zonta Chiang Mai President Suvimol Limlenglert and members of Zonta Chiang Mai delivered goods to the Blessing Hill Children’s Home in Omkoi recently.

By Zonta Past President Margaret Bhadungzong
“When these Karen children have a chance of a good education they will become reliable citizens of tomorrow. ... They will also have the ability to lead their peer group into the right direction for the benefit of our country,” expressed President Suvimol Limlenglert. This belief in the value of education is the feeling among the members of Zonta Chiang Mai (ZCM) established in 1997.

Children at the home eagerly helped to unload the items from the van during the visit from Zonta Chiang Mai.

The ZCM committee comprised President Suvimol, Charter President Somboon Suprasert and Past President Margaret Bhadungzong on a cloudy Sunday, took a three hour drive southwest of Chiang Mai city through the rugged mountains and passing the sleepy Mae Chaem river for a very pleasant get away from the city. Our journey took us to Omkoi sitting at an altitude of 1,000 meters.

Zonta Chiang Mai President Suvimol Limlenglert (4th right) is joined by Blessing Hill Children’s Home administrators and Zonta Chiang Mai members at the home on May 22, 2016.

When arriving at Omkoi village center, we met to have lunch together and also to discuss more about our mission. Dr. “Chris” Kitti Charoenpornpanichkul, PhD introduced us to Miss Pilairuk Intipunya, PhD from Chiang Mai University who also supports the Karen students.

Relating his previous experience observing the “Blessing Hill Children’s Home”, ZCM member Dr. Chris invited us to join and President Suvimol gladly cooperated on behalf of the ZCM donate useful personal care items and mattresses to the Karen children in the Home. The supply items were bath soap, toothpaste, toiletry necessities, sanitary napkins, cartons of milk and stationery items for school work.

Staff at the Blessing Hill Children’s Home welcome Zonta Chiang Mai members on their visit to the home on Sunday, May 22, 2016.

The students enthusiastically carried all the items to the Home’s supply room, then, we met in the Assembly Hall for greetings, blessings and thanks.

ZCM Charter President Somboon Suprasert gave an inspirational talk to the young students reminding them as citizens of the pine tree forests, they “are responsible for keeping the natural environment. No matter how small or insignificant their actions may seem, they matter. The variety of plants, animals, and other living things in our world can be positively influenced by our personal values of truth, righteousness, peace, love and non-violence.”

The Blessing Hill Children’s Home Omkoi was established in 2013 by the “Karen’s for Christ Foundation” to care for Karen children who are mostly orphans and all the children are in need of formal education.

For generations, the Karen people lived independently as agriculturists in the jungles and mountainous regions. They struggle in a modern world caring for their families. About 85% of the district’s population are Karen tribal people. Due to steep hilly terrain, agricultural fields with dependable irrigation are scarce plus following primitive farming practices, they face economic hardship.

In 2016, the home presently has 130 students though in 2014 student numbered 80. Noticeably 70% of students are female. Helping these young students to develop pride in themselves as citizens of the world is just as important as learning to read and write.

The students from 4th grade and older have bunk beds while the younger students sleep two together in a bed for feeling of closeness with their peers.

It is a problem to find enough mosquito netting but with the help of the Malaria Center at the Public Health Office, the Home could get the required netting.

Blessing Hill Children’s Home is located at Karen’s for Christ Foundation, 997 Moo 18 Omkoi-Yang Pao Road., Omkoi Chiang Mai 50310. Mobile 66-8-6135-6821

Update May 23, 2016

WETV hosts open house party

Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart (in yellow), Region 5 Police Deputy Commander, Pol. Maj. Gen. Pracha Rattanaphan, and President of the Provincial Administrative Organization Boonlert Buranupakorn join WETV executives Sarisa Sutabuth and Bawornrat Sutabuth at the launch of their new offices.

Sarisa Sutabuth and Bawornrat Sutabuth of WETV are joined by Thai celebrities from GMM 25 for the open house party at their new offices.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Chiang Mai’s cable network WETV hosted a party on May 18, 2016 to launch their new offices and celebrate their status as Number One in communication in Chiang Mai.

The new office for World Entertainment Television Co. Ltd or WETV welcomed Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chaminprasart, Deputy Commander of Region 5 Police Pol. Maj. Gen. Pracha Rattanaphan, and President of the Provincial Administrative Organization Boonlert Buranupakorn along with other honored guests and media to the event. Sarisa Sutabuth and Bawornrat Sutabuth welcomed the guests including artists and stars from GMM 25 channel Toy Pathompong, Ve Ve, Saranrat, Ratsameekae and Mike Sitthidej who were on hand to entertain the partygoers.

Sarisa Sutabuth, MD of World Entertainment Television Co., Ltd. said that this year WE TV has changed their service to respond to changes in technology and lifestyle by adding high speed internet and CCTV. The company has launched a new promotion offering 180 channels with high speed internet and four CCTVs for 999 baht a month.

The campaign has seen a very positive feedback from the customers, Sarisa said, with the first quarter operations results meeting targets and the rest of the year is expected to outperform expectations.

WETV has also started a project in cooperation with Provincial Police Region 5 with the new “Police Eyes” project which encourages local businesses and private residents to purchase low cost CCTV cameras and install them in public places to help the police combat crime and increase safety for local residents.

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Matuto performs bluegrass and blues at Think Park

Zonta Chiang Mai bring donations to Omkoi Blessing Hill Children’s Home

WETV hosts open house party