The Fulbright committee in Thailand (TUSEF) had their annual board meeting a few weeks ago in Chiang Rai. To my excitement, I was invited for dinner. I arrived at the hotel, which was brand new and absolutely gorgeous, a bit early with my host teacher/director P’Tor. I was so happy to see P’Tip, the director of TUSEF. In fact, it was then that I realized how long it had been since I had been hugged. If I haven’t already described P’Tip as one of the most genuinely exceptional Thai women I have had the pleasure of knowing, it should be said again. I was delighted to see the rest of the board, P’Kee and P’Oy, and meet those of whom I did not know. At dinner, P’Tip sat me at a table with the President of Mah Fa Lueng University (located at the foothills of the mountains about twenty-five minutes from my school), the director of Mae Lao school (where Brad is teaching), and a Thai ambassador. Dinner was beyond delicious. Buffet style. Thai food, Asian food, European food, Italian food, SUSHI! Enough said. After dinner, I left with a block of cheese, some water crackers, and some pickles that the woman at Fulbright had brought for me from Bangkok. Wow!
Last weekend was low-key and enjoyable. P’Tuang and P’Dtone took me to Mae Sai for shopping near the Myanmar border. They went across to Myanmar and bought cheap DVD movies imported from China. I stayed in Mae Sai because I didn’t have my passport. I climbed the hill to the temple, took my shoes off, and paid respect to the Buddha. I went shopping. Well, mainly I walked around and listened to my Ipod. We came back to school around dinner time. Good times.