it’s flooding in thailand

our first stop on the compassion sponsor tour – if you don’t count the hotel – was to a project in the nonthaburi province, just outside of bangkok.  it’s an area that is flooded – it has been for weeks.

   

the purpose of our visit was to learn more about this particular compassion project and to provide a little bit of relief to the project workers by helping them cook and package up meals for those who are house bound due to flooding and to deliver the meals in the local flooded area. (that was one long sentence.)

when we stopped and offered food to this lady she was prepared.  she stretched the cane out to us.  we loaded the food on and stretched it back to her.  she’d obviously had practice at this.

the water’s not going any where any time soon and when faced with such a desperate situation it seemed that people just chose to get on with life.

  

  

this neighborhood is right along the chao phraya river.  as we talked to the folks who live here they said they are used to floods.  that it floods every year.  but it has never stayed this long.  and disrupted so much.  they are more than ready for the water to go.

murky, muddy, muck

we ventured home today.  and not a moment to soon.  i don’t say that because we were just dying to get to cleaning, i say it because as we were at sitting at the hotel we had a view of this

this was a paved drive last night.  the flood seems to be coming after us.  time for us to get moving anyway.  plenty of work waiting for us at the house.

i left a little before the rest of the family so i could detour by big c to pick up bleach and sanitizer and mops.  and when i arrived home our househelp, jim and khao, were already in the process of moving mud.  i joined them in a squeegee brigade.  jim pushed the muck to khao, and khao pushed it to me, and i pushed it on out towards a drain or a door.  and when the rest of the family arrived they joined in – and they were pretty chipper about it.

 

 

while the work continued on inside there was plenty to be done outside, too.

 

 

gade from the compassion thailand office stopped by to lend a very much appreciated hand.  i let her know that from now on when the office calls and asks if we need anything i’m going to answer, “i don’t know, you tell me.”

one of the things we did need today was water.  which we didn’t have.  the tessebaan shut off the water to our street this morning and it was late afternoon before it came back on.  that makes cleaning out the mud a much more challenging feat than it has to be.  but we got a lot accomplished and we’re all now exhausted.

michael’s now on his way to america.  a14 and i are going to be bunking together for at least tonight, my room is still in pretty bad shape, but it’s first up on the to-do list tomorrow.  and the boys are lounging and too tired to move from the prone positions they’ve managed to get themselves into.

the reports are that the typhoon has gone north and will not be causing more flooding for us.  that’s a worry off my list and makes the cleaning up seem like it’s not futile after all.

do the kids have to make up flood days

it has flooded.  people kept talking about it.  saying it was imminent.  or saying it wouldn’t reach us.  we weren’t sure who to believe, but we knew who we wanted to believe.  we did all the flood prep we knew to do.  and then we waited.

i went down to the bridge nearest our house and checked out the water levels.  they were definitely rising.  but the whole atmosphere there was so festive that it was hard to take it seriously.  food vendors were out vending food.  people were out playing in the first of the flood waters.  there were so many people gathered taking pictures and chatting and not being at all serious that it made it easy to for it not to feel “real”.

 

i made several trips out to check on the progress of the flood.  and while it was inching it’s way towards our house, it wasn’t inching in a way that was convincing to us.

and then it started on our street.  and then it started at our house.  and it kept it up at our house.  and we started feeling like the flood was a real threat.

 

 

and then the morning came and we woke to this.

 

yes, that is our car.  the tan one, not the black one.  but it’s good that the black one is in the picture so people can see we weren’t the only ones to not move our car to higher ground.

we tried to figure out what to do.  we had no idea.  we moved some of our already moved stuff around.  and then the cavalry came.

 

our faithful househelp.  i’m not certain it was wise to drive the motorbike all the way down our street and nong patty, their daughter, seems to not be certain that even getting out in the flood is a good idea (smart girl).  they helped us move the fridge to higher ground and the washing machine.  then they noticed things that we overlooked.  and then they noticed something we didn’t see at all.

 

the snake is trying to swim out on michael’s side of the window.  if you could hear what’s happening right now you would be deafened by the squeels and screeches of jim and myself.  luckily, michael got the window closed so it couldn’t escape.

khao killed the snake.  first he stunned it by whacking it with that stick several times.  he broke the screen doing it.  he did ask permission to break the screen, i thought a no longer living snake was a good trade for a screen.

a second after this shot was taken the back wall was splattered with snake blood.  that smack made sure it was good and dead.  and that snake convinced me that i’m not the kind that’s made of the stuff to wait out the flood in our flooded house.  that and the fact that the toilets would no longer flush.  that just makes for all kinds of ookeyness.

our rescue came from the compassion thailand office.  they sent a fantastic crew of guys out to help move us to a hotel.  luckily, they’d just had 2 days of disaster relief training.  little did they know they’d get to use it so quickly.

michael and i made a trip to the house this morning to check on the dogs.  things were definitely better.

   

tomorrow we will be returning to start the big clean up.  we’ve located a power washer to borrow and have the family on board.  we might regret not getting to it today, but the amount of water just outside the door made it seem a bit of a daunting task.  

there’s a typhoon headed our way and rumor has it that we should be under water again by tuesday.  i’m choosing to continue with my optomistic ways and think it won’t happen.  maybe i’ll change my mind before the water’s lapping at our front door.  but, hopefully, it really won’t happen.