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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Friday the 13th, Thailand Style
We've received another update from Andy in Thailand. Sounds like his "good" luck continues....

Hey gang, after that first week I figured things would get better for sure and they did for a few days. Stuff always falls apart here; it's just how it goes so that's no big deal. You learn to roll with it, if you don't you go nuts – well you go nuts here regardless but that’s life.

One thing that I have been very proud of during my time here is that I was the only manager that has never smashed up our truck. This truck is very important to the work we do here and it is by far the biggest amount of money we have ever laid down here. So we really need to take care of it. This poor truck has been smashed up a fair bit not just by the managers but the Thai staff as well. I have to admit that I was very proud to say that I've never put a mark on the work horse of the project. That's saying a lot, especially if you know me or have ever had the experience of driving with me in Thailand. Notice I have to say "was." Yes it happened to me! I backed the truck into the light pole at the commissary at the park. I was looking to blame someone but it was me and only me that screwed up and I had to own up to it. This made some people happy that Andy finally couldn't strut around about the truck. But the damage was the least anybody has done… I know I'm reaching.

So I went down the road in my banged up ride with Tong, one of the main guys on the team, who told me that he knew a guy that could fix it real cheaply. We went to this guy and he said he could do it in 2 days and for about 70 bucks. I figured I had to give it a go because Rick (the main manager) was going to be back in town and I wanted the truck to look like her old self. (Don't worry, I was going to tell him about my mishap.)

I needed to get money so I went to town to hit the ATM. I also had to buy supplies and eat at McDonalds, hey why not! I got the money and headed home. Well about 2 hours after I got home I was getting the ATM receipt out and notice that the bankcard was missing. I left the thing in the machine after I got the money. Talk about your guts hitting the floor. This wasn't my ATM card, this was the project’s bank account and this was not the best place to lose it. I was freaking out. I had heard about huge problems with ATM fraud over here so I was panic stricken at the thought of losing all the money that we had in our account. No, it really doesn't add up to a whole lot but it would hurt us. Another problem is the card was in Rick's name so even canceling the card was going to be next to impossible. Nok is the name of a girl who works with us as well and can speak very good English so she took up the task of calling the bank and getting the card scrubbed. I was relieved and I'm lucky that Rick was coming back in a few days so we could go to the bank and get this worked out. So not only did I have to let him know I smashed up the truck, but I also had to tell him I lost our lifeline here at the project, something nobody else has ever done. Later that night I was working on the computer and saw that it was Friday the 13th. I thought to myself… just perfect?


Ok well there are other things going on over here that don't involve big messes and accidents. I have 3 incredible cubbies that are just about 4 months old and I finally got to name them, I wasn't going to let them go through life with names like "Rumpy," "Neck," and "No Mark." That is how we identify them when they are little. We shave a little hair off someone’s bum and neck and in this case leave one unmarked. So here are some pictures. "Taifun" means Typhoon, he the male. Then there is "DawkMai," meaning Flower, and last but not least is "MangPo," meaning Dragonfly. The cubs are doing just great and MangPo got her name because she is the high fly'n girl in the picture. The guys on the team had a lot to do with naming the cubs too.
Also what's going on is we have another cat just about to give birth so I've got to get going up to the building. It's my turn to watch for the next round of Rumpys and Necks and No Marks…..
I’ll keep you guys posted…..
Take care, Andy

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