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March 2018

N o w o n l i n e a t : w w w. i s s u u . c o m / n n r t h a n i t a l k

Thani Talk NONTHABURI NEIGHBORHOOD REACH

Serving the Nonthaburi community and supporting local charities since 1994

Cover Story:

Grapevine Tips:

Feature:

PEOPLE:

The People Behind Clubs and Resources

Trampolines, Party Balloons and more...

Chinatown on Chinese New Year’s Day

Gunjan Mullick: Owner, Mon Voyage

Pages 10-16

Pages 34-35

Thani Talk is generously sponsored by:

Pages 18-19

Pages 38-39


NNR (Nonthaburi Neighborhood Reach) is a not-for-profit organization of volunteers dedicated to serving the Nonthaburi community and supporting local charities since 1994. We achieve this by publishing Thani Talk, a free monthly magazine that has a distribution of 1,400 copies, as well as hosting an annual charity bazaar. We host monthly socials and organize monthly tours. There are no membership dues, and anyone living in Nonthaburi is already a member.

Connect with NNR

facebook.com/nnrthailand

issuu.com/nnrthanitalk

Unofficialnichada.com

Thani Talk Ad Rates 1 page

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Rates per issue, discount for 8 and 4 month contracts Based on space availability Deadline for all ads is the 10th of each month Contact nnradverts@gmail.com for more information

DISCLAIMER: The placement of advertisements and articles in this newsletter does not constitute or imply endorsement by the NNR of any product or service. The NNR accepts no responsibility for any claims made in any advertisement and the opinions expressed in any articles are not necessarily the views of the NNR committee.

NNR BOARD 2017-2018 Chairperson

Henrietta Bullinger

NNRThaiChair@gmail.com

Vice Chairperson

Sally Elliot

sallyelliott@me.com

Treasurer

Sandra Wilson

nnrthaitreasurer@gmail.com

Activity/Tour Coordinators

Susanne Rodrigues Pascale Kervyn

NNR Socials

Chantal Bremner

nnrsocial@gmail.com

Charity & Volunteer Coordinators

Mare Harvey Cyndy Henry

nnrcharity@gmail.com

Advertising Director

Ginny Condra

Thani Talk News Team

Liz Lu (Editor) See below for Thani Talk Team

Distribution Coordinators

Alyson Espinoza Diaz Birgit Sund

Communications Director

Kiki O’Connor

092-458-3505

suratoru@yahoo.co.uk nnrtour@gmail.com

095-247-5692 nnradverts@gmail.com nnrnews@gmail.com 090-656-9930 alysonespinoza@gmail.com nnrcommunications@gmail. com

Thani Talk Team: Advertising Director and Proofreader (Ginny Condra), Graphics Consultant (Bill Fear), Restaurant Reviewers (John Marinos, Vara Sumetanon, Barb Lewis), Grapevine Leads (Susan Yates), Distribution Coordinators 2 March 2018 (Alyson Espinoza Diaz, Birgit Sund). T h a n i Ta l k


Letter from the Editor PEOPLE are FASCINATING! Read All About Them! Hello everyone! It’s a pleasure to bring you another edition of Thani Talk, this time filled with lots of news and profiles of fellow neighbors in the community. In the Cover Story, you’ll meet key people who make many of our community’s social media groups and websites possible. It’s a salute to those who work behind the scenes to bring all of us useful and helpful information. Thani Talk’s popular PEOPLE section features full profiles of people who are active and fascinating members of our community. This month we introduce you to Gunjan Mullick, owner of Mon Voyage. In our Charity News section, you’ll meet Canadian Dorothy Klynstra, a dedicated local volunteer at the Sailom Project. A special treat in the Feature section shares Naomi Lapine’s adventures of celebrating the Year of the Dog in Chinatown. Enjoy! Liz Lu

Calendar of Events

Inside This Issue NNR Social

Letter from the Editor NNR March Social NNR March Tour Cover Story: People Behind the Scenes Feature: Chinatown Fitness & Activities Community News Travel: Australia & New Zealand Highlights: NNR February Social Heard it Through the Grapevine PEOPLE Charity News Restaurant Review

3 4 5 10 18 22 24 26 30 34 38 41 49

Mar. 8: Casual Connections Nichada, Bollywood, p. 24 Mar. 13: NNR Tour, Bike on Koh Kret p. 5 Mar. 17: Glow Run, p.8 Mar. 17: St. Patrick’s Day Mar. 23: The Comedy Den Pakkret, 8pm, NICC function room Mar. 24: NNR Running Dinner , p. 4 Mar. 31: Clutter Sale, p. 24

Cover photo by Naomi Lapine

Nonthaburi Neighborhood Reach March 2018

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Photo taken in Chinatown, Bangkok, Thailand 3


NNR March Social

Running Dinner IT’S BACK! Saturday, March 24, 2018 An easy, fun night out in the neighbourhood! Connect with your neighbours! Enjoy a three course meal! Sign up for the Running Dinner at runningdinner5@gmail.com by March 19, 2018. Please note the Running Dinner starts at 7 pm. Courses are hosted in homes within golf cart range in Nichada. Your partner does not have to be your spouse; bring a friend along! Please include your name, partner’s name, address, phone number and any allergies. Chantal Bremner, NNR Social Chairperson 4

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NNR March Tour

NNR Tour: March 13

Biking Around Koh Kret Island!

Koh Kret is an ethnic Mon village on a tiny island just 15 minutes from Nichada. A short boat ride transports you to a charming village where we will rent bikes and tour the island known for its kilns and famous red clay pottery. The island features pathways wide enough only for bikes and motorcycles. Enjoy souvenir hunting at the local shops. We will show you around and cap the morning off with lunch by the river. Details will be provided to those who book a spot. Space is limited, so hurry. Pascale Kervyn and Susanne Rodrigues, NNR Tour Coordinators When: Tuesday, March 13 at 9 am Where: Meet at ISB, in front of Chevron Theater Cost: 400 baht What to bring: Hat, sunscreen, water, comfortable shoes, camera and a good mood! To sign up: Please Email: nnrtour@gmail.com The tour is limited to 12 participants. March 2018

Nonthaburi Neighborhood Reach

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Cover Story: People Behind the Scenes

The People Behind Clubs & Other Resources Our expatriate community is one of the most supportive I know. Not only do people extend a helping hand in person, but there’s also plenty of help online through social medial groups founded especially to help friends and neighbors. In the March issue, Thani Talk takes you behind the scenes to meet some of the hard-working people dedicated to updating websites and Facebook groups in order to bring you the latest and best tips for navigating life here in Nonthaburi and beyond. We start with the exciting news that the community website has a new name: UnofficialNichada.com.

The website is a part of services provided by Nonthaburi Neighborhood Reach (NNR), which also publishes Thani Talk. On the opposite page, I’m pleased to introduce you to the three talented women who have made UnofficialNichada.com possible. After that, readers also get to meet the folks behind Facebook groups such as Nichada Fitness Connect and Nichada Travel -- Life Outside the Bubble. Last but not least, we introduce you to Nichada Pub Trivia Quiz. Happy reading! Liz Lu Editor, Thani Talk

New Name for Community Website! On February 22nd, a brand new name for a community website was launched! UnofficialNichada.com began as an attempt to bring as much Nichada-area-relevant information as possible into one place. There’s a lot of English language information available about downtown Bangkok and general Thailand tourism, but frustratingly little about this area. What information IS available can be hard to find - hidden in closed groups and in far flung blog posts. There are so many great places to go and things to do around here - and there are endless tips and tricks to be shared among us that demystify and enhance daily life. While we have plenty of useful information in the closed Expats of Nichada Facebook group, it can be tricky to search and find the most useful info for your own scenario. Collecting information in an organized and edited site means people can get what they’re looking for with less mystery. Many people arrive here without much of a support system. The project started with an NNR resource guide, turned into an online reference I called Nichadapedia, then expatsofnichada.com and finally became UnofficialNichada.com. I love that the acronym is UN - aren’t we like a mini United Nations around here? And I like to think of the volunteers helping to run the website and community groups as UN peacekeepers. Sara Tighe and Kiki O’Connor have been essential to getting UnofficialNichada.com off the ground. In my mind we’re the original UN peacekeepers - though 10

we’re really building on years of work that’s come before us. Everything we add to UnofficialNichada. com has been recommended by a community member. We haven’t added sponsored content yet but when we do it’ll be clearly labeled and all of the proceeds will go to NNR for local charity work. Susan Yates 3 things we want people to know about UnofficialNichada.com 1) Comment on any post with recommendations or an update. We’ll update posts to reflect it. 2) It’s all information provided by the community. 3) We’re always looking for volunteers to write and edit!

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Cover Story

Meet the Team Behind UnofficialNichada.com Susan Yates I’m an American, born in Columbia, South Carolina. We’ve moved all over ---- Michigan, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Athens, Greece. My background is in art, advertising and public relations. My girls are 4, 8 and 11, and we’re here with the US Embassy. We’re about halfway through our 3 years here. I’ve started a few smaller communities here - one for US Embassy folks in Nichada, one for Chaengwattana Community Church, and I help manage a few community Facebook pages.

The Nichada Newbies Facebook began as a way to bring newcomers together in a smaller, supportive discussion group. Since the newcomers are much like a freshman class, it made sense to create a place for them to connect with each other and ask the questions we all had when we first got here. There have been two Newbie groups so far, 2016-17 and 2017-18, and I expect the Newbies 2018-19 group will come together soon since people are already gearing up for the big transition season. Over time as the “freshman” experience fades so do the groups and we start again with the next group. The After the Boxes group from Chaengwattana Community Church volunteered to administrate the

March 2018

Newbies this past year - answering questions and suggesting resources as needed with the help of other existing community members who were willing to lend a hand. We’re lucky to have Facebook groups for travel, moms, individual neighborhoods, yard sales, fitness, religious communities, and more. The more we choose to hop over to a group to connect with the most relevant people the better our access to useful information will be.

Kiki O’Connor

Nonthaburi Neighborhood Reach Kiki O’Connor is the Communications Director for Nonthaburi Neighborhood Reach (NNR), publisher of Thani Talk. She shares news about NNR and other community events on social media through the NNR Facebook page, and the UnofficialNichada.com website and its Facebook page. Kiki is a Third Culture Kid of Swedish origins, who spent most of her life in Africa. She has been in Thailand for almost two years and joined the NNR Board over a year ago. Keep an eye out for the helpful information that Kiki will be sharing with you on social media.

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Sara Tighe Sara is Australian and has been living in Thailand for one year. She has been working closely with Susan and Kiki on the development and design of a community website. She helped to shape it and was instrumental in making the newly-renamed UnofficialNichdada.com website possible. 11


Cover Story

Nichada Fitness Connect

A Facebook Group Promoting Community Health & Fitness

Zach Peters wants you to get fit. In fact, he wants our entire community to get fit. That's why shortly after he arrived in Nonthaburi in 2015, he started a Facebook public group called Nichada Fitness Connect. On this page you'll find a wealth of local resources ranging from yoga to Zumba to strength training. It is also where you'll find news about American Fit Corps (AFC), the physical fitness company Zach co-founded. Zach, 37, CEO of American Fit Corps, is passionate about physical fitness. "I've always had a love for fitness and how the human body works," said the Kansas native who stands at 6 feet 3 inches (1.9 meters) and is a muscular 215 pounds (97.5 kilos). When his wife's job took the family to Washington, D.C., he earned a degree in kinesiology from nearby University of Maryland. Ever since he was a kid growing up in Manhattan, Kansas (the city of 52,000 is known as the “Little Apple�), Zach had a love for sports and an interest in fitness.

On his decision to start AFC, Zach said, "This was an idea in the works for many years." With 20 years in the military, he decided to pursue his dream of building a fitness business that he hopes will one day have branches all over the world. His business partner shares the same vision of wanting to promote 12

affordable, community-based physical fitness programs. Upon arriving in Nichada three years ago, Zach researched the local fitness market. "I found out there's a need for community-based fitness within Nichada. I also found out that it's hard to get people off the bench and into the fitness game." "The hardest part in fitness is lacing up your shoes. But once your shoes are on, you might as well go for a run," said Zach. To motivate people to just get out there and exercise, Zach started out by offering free classes about twice a week for more than a year. Only this past January did he start charging for his one-hour group sessions: 150 baht per class for a 10-session package if you pay via PayPal, and 200 baht per class for a 10-session package if you pay cash. AFC's business plan doesn't emphasize profits as much as it values the promotion of community fitness, said Zach. "We want to make sure that we establish ourselves as a group fitness company." When fitness classes get too pricey, he said, the focus is on money rather than the client. "I measure success in how I can see different communities develop," he said. "If I go to a community and I still see people driving cars to get to a gym and then fight for the first spot in that parking lot and then go to the gym, waste hours working out and also paying exhorbitant amount of gym fees every month, I wouldn't say that's succeeding in that community." "But if I see more people coming to the local park and meeting up with a fellow neighbor who is now an AFC trainer offering classes designed for that community, That's how I spell success," said Zach. Instead of working out alone in a gym, clients can get much better fitness results by exercising in a group setting, preferably outdoors, said Zach. That's why he offers fitness training at the Secret Garden, using only mats and other simple equipment. "You don't need a gym," he said. Zach's belief in the importance of community fitness is also the reason why he is helping to plan the March 17 Family Glow Walk and Fitness Day, a fundraiser to benefit the Rose Marie Academy Foundation (see details on page 8). Rose Marie Academy staff is handling the scheduling for the event, which will include activities such as health checks, badminton, yoga and ping pong. Zach is designing the Glow Walk and Glow Run portions of

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Cover Story

the event and offering his services for free. Why promote a Glow Run? Because Glow Runs are family-oriented events that Zach thoroughly enjoyed with his family when they lived in Maryland and California. "With Glow Runs, you can involve everybody in the family. The parents can come out and become more fit, increase their fitness, burn a few calories. The kids can come out and wave their glow sticks and put on the glow paint. It's fun for the whole family," he said. His twin daughters, now age 10, were only 4-yearolds when they joined their parents for their first Glow Run in the United States. Zach recalls pushing the twins in a stroller for that first Glow Run. Zach is also encouraging Nichada neighbors to join him for the Spartan Race on May 19 at the Siam Country Club in Chonburi, about 100 km southeast from Bangkok. The Spartan Race is an international race featuring an obstacle course for participants, who must work as a team to overcome challenges such as scaling walls, throwing spears, and lowcrawling through mud and under barbed wire. More than 240 Spartan races in 25 countries are held around the world. A kids division is also available. If interested in joining a team, contact Zach at the Nichada Fitness Connect Facebook group. To build AFC from the ground up, Zach wears many hats. He taught himself how to build a website and is learning about marketing. Because members of our expat community here are active Facebook users, Zach finally joined social media. "I didn't have a Facebook account before I started this business," he said. Now he sends AFC news through the Nichada Fitness Connect Facebook group and texts clients via Messenger. "Small things like that are key," he said. "It's a steep learning curve." In addition to getting advice from his business partner, Zach also greatly appreciates the support March 2018

provided by his wife. "Although I had this idea," he said, "the nudge came from my wife. She does have a business degree, and she's been instrumental in streamlining my thought process." Zach is building his AFC team and is looking for instructors to lead running, cycling, crossfit and tennis. Interested applicants should contact him at: Zach@americanfitcorps.com. Zach is proud of the visible improvements in the health and fitness of his Nichada-area clients. "Everyone who has come to my class has increased their physical fitness," he said. "And not only have they increased it but they've branched into other disciplines. So through the group fitness training I provide, we now have a few marathoners". AFC training works for everyone, said Zach. "Just come and try it." Liz Lu

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sincere; and it is non-commercial. This is one place where the community comes to support each other for their passion. The goal for Nichada Travel -- Life Outside the Bubble is to not make it big but to make it more interactive. Imagine the joy of reading about these amazing travel stories from around the world if each member contributes just one post every once in a while. We enourage members to help broaden and enrich the content so that this Facebook group will become the first place to look whenever a member is thinking of a new place to explore.

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Sharon Wang and Tali Benzvi

Herbert Lin

Nichada Travel -- Life Outside The Bubble, was started in May 2016 by Sharon Wang as a small Facebook group for close friends to share travel advice. As more friends of friends asked to join, Tali Benzvi lent her hand as an admin. The group grew through word of mouth. A flush of new members join each time the group gets tagged in the Expats of Nichada Facebook group. Nichada Travel now has more than 400 members. There are many things characteristic about Nichada residents, and globe trotting has to be on top of the list. It would be very difficult to find a country that has not been lived in or visited by a Nichada expat. Passion for travel is probably what drew many expats into this lifestyle in the first place. Nichada Travel provides a forum for these experienced travellers to share their knowledge and help friends and neighbors plan their next trip. “Trip Advisor� for friends is what this group is about. Members all have something in common, and most are well-travelled and can relate to each other when it comes to expectations for their trips. In a small group, people are more willing to share their secret places and favorite guides. Every new post is an inspiration and a new idea. Most importantly, information shared in the group can be trusted; it is from personal experience; it is

Herbert Lin

Nichada Travel - Life Outside the Bubble Facebook Group Shares Hot Travel Tips

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Cover Story

Meet the Admin Team of Nichada Travel -- Life Outisde the Bubble Founder Sharon Wang

Herbert Lin

Sharon Wang is ChineseAmerican and has lived in Thailand for two and a half years. An avid traveler, she founded the Facebook group Nichada Travel -- Life Outside the Bubble two years ago to create an online resource similar to what she described as a mini “Trip Advisor” service tailored to serve the local expat community. Before moving to Thailand, Sharon was Director of Global Search Operation for a large internet company in Silicon Valley. “I am taking a break from the frantic high tech culture at the moment, enjoying the good life inside the Bubble and hopefully not getting too used to it,” said Sharon. “I am the travel agent for my family, and it seems I have been busy planning for our next trip all the time.” The unique photo (p. 14) featuring the silhouette of a camel caravan traversing a desert was taken by her husband Herbert Lin during a family vacation in Oman. His photo of majestic mountains in New Zealand graces the cover of Nichada Travel on Facebook. Looking back on her experience as the founding admin for the Nichada Travel group, Sharon said, “I made new friends...I found some of the most amazing guides. I found hotels and restaurants that I would not have known otherwise.” Sharon’s co-admin on Nichada Travel is Tali Benzvi. As Nichada Travel continues to grow, Sharon looks forward to sharing more inspirations and discoveries with fellow members of this active Facebook group.

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Co-Admin Tali Benzvi Tali Benzvi is Israeli, and she arrived in Thailand eight years ago. She met Sharon Wang at Panther Masters Swimming, and the two would always grab coffee afterwards and often shared stories of their travel. After Sharon shared her idea of setting up a Facebook group called Nichada Travel -- Life Outside the Bubble, Tali offered to help as an admin. “I know so many people in the Bubble, and I am passionate for exploring the world,” said Tali. “I do sometimes feel like our life here is not real, that we are traveling so much, but I guess this is the part of an expat life so why don’t (we) just enjoy and not feel guilty all the time.” Tali, a yoga instructor, said it’s hard to pick a travel destination that is her favorite. “Every country has its own magic,” she said. “I just like to explore new places.” But she does have a few favorites. “So far my favorite is Japan,” she said. “I love the food, the culture and architecture. As a family, we love New Zealand for its scenery.” India also has a special place in her heart. Tali and her family have surfed in Sri Lanka, skiied in Japan, and they’re planning to bike in Taiwan. Volunteering as an admin for Nichada Travel has been rewarding, said Tali, “I love to share within this FB group and give advice (about) where to go and what to do.” Liz Lu

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Cover Story

Nichada Pub Trivia Quiz Fun Night Out for Trivia Lovers

The Nichada Pub Trivia Quiz has been running in a variety of incarnations and locations around Nichada for over eight years. When long standing quiz master Mike Hall left Thailand several years ago, the quiz become community run with regular teams and individuals taking turns at writing and delivering the quiz. The quiz is normally made up of six 10-point general knowledge rounds, which include traditional pub quiz favorites such as music, sport, art and movies. However, having a variety of quizmasters means we get some more interesting rounds as well. Recently we have had Name the Dance Move, Identify the Flavour of Potato Chip and Name the Condiment. The quiz is very international, so it doesn’t matter where you come from. Teams are made up of four people, but there are often pairs or singles that turn up on the night and make up teams. Quiz nights are held around every second Thursday night at Joe’s Cafe, which is found just outside the Seechaithong gate on the way to Central. Joe’s Cafe has a Facebook page with details on how to get there. There is plenty of parking. Joe’s does great, cheap Thai food and drinks in a nice environment. The quiz starts at 8 pm and normally finishes up at 10:30 pm. A full list of dates 16

is found below for the remaining quizzes before summer break. Of course anyone is most welcome to attend, and the vibe is more about a social night out than competition. So get together some friends and come along for a fun, low key night out. If you want further information please contact Richard Harvey through the Facebook group Nichada Pub Quiz. Richard Harvey

Upcoming Quiz Night Dates March 8 March 22 April 5 April 26 May 10

Joe’s Cafe

Chaengwattana 26, Pakkret Nonthaburi Hours: Mondays-Fridays 10:30 am to 11:30 pm

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Feature: Chinatown

Chinatown: Year of the Dog Celebration Chinese New Year Festivities

Lisa Burlas and I headed downtown around 1:30 pm on Chinese New Year’s Day and arrived at the Grand China Hotel in record time - under half an hour! The Grand China is a good place to stay because although Yaowarat Road is closed to traffic, the corner of Rachawong and Yaowarat Roads, where the hotel is located, is still accessible by car. We had decided to stay overnight so we could relax and enjoy the festivities. A double room with breakfast was about 3,500 baht for the night. We ventured out to enjoy the festivities, then we were able to go back to the hotel to relax and grab a bite to eat before heading out a second time in the craziness. We decided to purchase some red Chinese dresses from a street vendor and discovered that XXXL fit us over our clothing! We were glad later that we had traded our shorts in for dresses as it turned out to be a sweltering night. We must have been quite a sight attracting attention from several locals who asked if they could take their picture with us! There were two main stages with performances throughout the evening starting at 3 pm. The stage nearest to Rachawong seemed to feature more classical Chinese theater/dance whereas the other stage near the China Gate and Wat Traimit (Golden Buddha Temple) showcased more modern 18

performances including what appeared to be a famous Thai pop star based on the reaction of the crowd. There were several dragon processions and acrobatic performances throughout the evening. The 10-person dragon with lights appeared closer to 9:30 pm. The costumes were intricate in beautiful bright colours. The make-up on the performers was detailed and in some cases rather scary! Chinatown is always busy but there were throngs of people making it difficult to maneuver along the street at any speed. Luckily there was some awesome people-watching and food stands to entertain us along the way. We even spotted a giant turtle and a gentleman with lemur on his head! This was very much a family affair. Kids were dressed in cute traditional outfits, families were celebrating side-byside. People were taking family photos in front of

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Feature: Chinatown their businesses. They would click their fingers together for good fortune. So much to take in! It is a tradition that a member of the royal family, in this case a princess of Thailand, crosses the street before proceeding down Yaowarat. It is said to be good luck to catch a glimpse of her so people had been lining the streets for hours... Security was tight with a mix of traffic and military police in a variety of uniforms. The wait for the Princess put us behind schedule as nothing could officially start until she came by. There was a whole cortege of vehicles in her party. After the Princess drove by, the street was rapidly transformed into a large market selling all kinds of clothing and other fun souvenirs. The food vendors were in full swing and we followed the crowd in the direction of China Gate. Some other friends had joined us by this time. It is hard to stay together, so I would recommend having a meeting place if you go in a group. I was able to take my turn as chief dragon head handler for a small fee. It was a fun photo op and I was actually surprised how heavy it was. Wat Traimit was open to the public with people worshipping into the evening. There was an impressive display of candles in the courtyard and many people making merit. The solid gold Buddha is beautiful as is the temple itself. We enjoyed some fan dancing and other performances on the stage nearby. Rather than walk back through the crowded street, we hopped into a tuk tuk to return to the hotel. We were able to take in a few more performances on the stage near Rachawong Road before calling it a night. Several firecrackers were set off to celebrate the New Year. Souvenirs featuring the Golden Dog lined the stalls. There was also what appeared to be a fortune teller with live duck, bird and toad so you could find out what the new year has in store for you! Being downtown in Bangkok on Chinese New Year was definitely a fun experience. We had a blast but you have to enjoy crowds and a little craziness. I don't think I would recommend taking small children since it would be exhausting for them and difficult to keep track of them in the crowds. However, if you are a fan of people-watching and enjoy immersing yourself in culture, this might be the place for you!

Lunar Year 4716

Naomi Lapine March 2018

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Fitness & Activities

Nichada Neighborhood Community Fitness & Activities Listings Yoga & Meditation KUNDALINI YOGA

ASHTANGA YOGA With PanZen

Yoga for Beginners • Tuesday: 9:30-11:00 am Yoga for All Levels: • Wednesdays 7:45-9:15 am 450 THB per class or 10 classes for 4000 THB *** First class try for free! *** Private classes available upon request: 1200 THB Danicha Condo 39/289 Contact Kerstin 086-372-9750 kerstin.bangkok@gmail.com Visit www.yoga-of-awareness.com

POWER VINYASA YOGA Combining elements of classical yoga, Ashtanga, Iynegar and Bikram. This is a powerful asana practice that will help build overall strength in the mind and body. All levels welcome. Tuesday 7:45 -9:00 am Friday 7:45 – 8:45 am, Contact Kelly: 061 872 7534 yogaporet@gmail.com FB: kellyporetyoga

IYENGAR YOGA Iyengar yoga classes at Regent from Beginners to Advanced Asanas. • Monday to Friday 7:50-9:20am. Contact: 081-285-3050, Juan Bodan, Iyengar and Ashtanga yoga certified. For more information about Juan please visit http://kripa-yoga.com/

A great way to improve your flexibility, core strength and get balance in your life. Breath, Body and Mind. All levels - Beginner to Intermediate • Tuesdays 3:45-4:45 pm • Wednesdays 3:45-4:45 pm • Thursdays 3:45-4:45 pm For more information: http://panzenyoga.wix.com/panzen Contact: 097-227-6999   panzenyoga@hotmail.com

YOGA WITH NAPISA, 500 RYT Alignment Based Yoga Practice • Mondays 8:45-10:15 am: Restorative Yoga & Meditation, All levels; Evening Yoga 5:30-6:45pm • Wednesdays 7:45-9:15 am: Level I - II • Thursdays 5:00-6:00 pm: Yoga for Teens • Fridays 7:45-9:00am: Beginner I-II Contact Napisa C. Pant, 086-975-7187 napisapant.yoga@gmail.com, FB: yogawithnapisa

MEDITATION COURSES Individual or Group Learn TM (Transcendental Meditation). Relieves stress and anxiety. Improves health, academic, athletic and professional performance. Anyone can learn. Expert instruction by a 35-year teacher of meditation. Contact Ellie: eedelhoff@hotmail.com www.TM.org www.DavidLynchFoundation.org

The Community Fitness and Activities page lists local classes/groups that meet regularly. Some have fees associated with them, while others are free. Please contact each group leader for more information. If you would like to list your group here, please submit your announcement by the 15th of each month to nnradverts@yahoo.com. 22

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Exercise Classes and Sports PILATES MAT

BOLLYWOOD DANCE Bollywood dance is an exciting and upbeat fusion of Western and Eastern dances with traditional classical Indian dance styles. It’s funky, it’s sexy, it’s fun...and it’s a great workout! If you love to dance – this is for you! Suitable for all levels. Morning Classes: Wednesdays or Thursdays 9:30-10:30am. Afternoon Classes (new!): Tuesdays or Wednesdays 5:00-6:00pm All classes held in Nichada Studio above Starbucks. Contact Irit: 086-004-4840 iritmike@gmail.com

Pilates is a full-body exercise. It focuses on the core while training the entire body as an integrated system. The workouts improve strength and balanced muscle development, flexibility, and increased range of motion. Monday-Friday (Morning, Afternoon & Evening) 500 baht per session or 10 sessions for 4000 baht First session free! Sign up easily online! Das PowerHaus (Just outside Seechaithong Gate) Contact Joanna: 089-846-6610 Joanna.brittingham@gmail.com Facebook: @daspowerhausnichada

ZUMBA

MASTERS SWIMMING Nichada Pool Tuesdays and Thursdays 7:30-8:30am Every swimmer is welcome. Contact Catherine Miller: solviken66@hotmail.com 06-2001-0000, or Kerstin Wild: kerstin.bangkok@gmail.com 086-372-9750

BIKING

Weekend bike rides leaving from the back gate at 7am, 50+km on mountain bikes. Contact Chris: caoglesby@hotmail.com Weekday rides leave the back gate at 7:30 a.m. Distance and terrain varies with groups for both road bikes and mountain/hybrid bikes. Contact Henrietta Bullinger: hbullinger@gmail.com

TENNIS WITH SAGI Certified tennis coach, teaching the Play & Stay method at Nichada tennis court for all ages and levels. Private lessons and groups of up to 4 players. 7 days a week, flexible hours. Tennis is EASY, FUN and HEALTHY. See you on the court! Contact Sagi Luft at 092-271-2110 Email: sagiluft@hotmail.com

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Zumba meets Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the Chaengwattana Community Church. • Monday and Friday @ 7:45 • Wednesdays@ 7:30 The cost is a donation basis, and it goes directly to the surrounding community non-profit organizations. If there is a class cancellation or changes to the schedule students can find out via our FaceBook page, Zumba Nichada Thani or Google Group, https:// groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/zumbanichada.  

Tutorials WORLD ENGLISH Enjoy refining skills in oral English and composition with American Deborah Dunthorn, BA, MFA, TESL Cert. 30 years international experience coaching academic, professional and other clients of all ages and levels of proficiency. To discuss private or group tuition contact 083-0559785 or debhata@yahoo.com.

PIANO LESSONS FOR ALL AGES By experienced professional with a Masters from University of Ariz. in Piano Performance. Experience teaching at Westover School in Connecticut. Place: 39/891 Regent Price: 1000 baht per 30 minutes. Contact Info: capricio310@gmail.com Tel: 091-878-6283

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Community News American Women’s Club

Casual Connections Nichada Bollywood at Mon Voyage on March 8 On Thursday, March 8, American Women’s Club’s Casual Connections Nichada will hold a morning of Bollywood fun at the home of Gunjan Mullick, owner of Mon Voyage. Gunjan welcomes everyone to her home at 39/665 Bayview from 11 am to 2 pm. Guests are encouraged to dress up glamorously Bollywood-style. But please feel free to dress in your favorite style. Bollywood attire is only optional. Please join the potluck luncheon to connect with friends, old and new, from all around the globe. For an added fun there will be prizes for best Bollywood costumes. Everyone is welcome, AWC member or nonmember alike. This is a special open house. No need to RSVP. Please private message via Messenger or email suchadasmith@hotmail.com if you have any question. Suchada Smith

************ March 31: Charity Celebrity Clutter Sale Downtown Do you have unused household items you no longer need? Declutter and convert this into cash for yourself, or for charity, and have fun doing it! Join the “12th Clutter Sale for Charity”, organized annually by the NewsMakers, a charity-minded group of media veterans, public relations and communications professionals and Thai celebrities. This much-awaited annual event will be held on Saturday, March 31, 2018, from 10 am to 5 pm in the Grand Ballroom of the Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel. Bargain hunters can look for treasures donated by the public, including socialites and celebrities. This year’s beneficiary is Chulalongkorn Hospital’s “Genetic Cancer Research Centre” under the auspices of the Thai Red Cross. There is also a chance to win air tickets, five-star meal vouchers, wines, personal care products and more, all for a donation of Baht 50 each. If you wish to donate to the Charity Corner, please contact Annabelle Daokaew at 088 995 6956 or send an email to annabellesdaokaew@gmail.com. Netra Ruthaiyanont 24

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Community News

What’s All the Fuss with Road Safety? Concerned Parents Set up Traffic Safety Team

Parent Traffic Safety Team (lt. to rt.): Bettina Bremsteller, Katie Edsall, Liz Garrigan, Lizette van Bergen I was at the sports complex gate when it happened. A woman, driving two children in a golf cart, took her eyes off the road to retrieve an item when she slammed into the safety cones at the crosswalk. Shocked kids, cones on the ground, and the clueless driver actually laughing about it - when there was nothing funny about it. I cannot just stand by and allow lax attitudes about road safety to continue in our community. At certain times of day golf carts, bicycles, buses, and residents walking dogs can all coexist on the roads, and an observer would even say what a calm and safe community we have. But at others, when children fill the bicycle lanes on their way to or from school, and drivers are rushing to make up for lost time (or just rushing), there are seriously dangerous situations. What we see, day in and day out, are adults making choices that put our children at unnecessary risk. We live here for the safety of the Nichada community and the proximity to ISB. So what to do when your children bike to school, but they are regularly forced out of the bicycle lanes by golf carts and vans, passed by speeding vehicles right outside the school, or nearly hit when a driver ignores a crossing guard? March 2018

For starters, we mobilize. We communicate our concerns to the school. We raise our hands to volunteer. We observe the behaviors of drivers and students. We find problem areas. We communicate politely and effectively. We request improvements. We educate drivers and students. And we try to make this community—full of educated, responsible people—as safe as it should be. Please join our volunteer team in following and encouraging others to follow our key safety reminders: * Never block the bicycle lanes. * Drive at a safe speed—20 kilometers per hour in the ISB School Zone and 30 throughout the rest of Nichada. * Pay attention to the road and the rules when driving and riding. The good news is that we’ve seen continued improvement and have enjoyed the full support of the school to which we owe a heartfelt thanks. We are so grateful for your support and cooperation. If you’d like to join our parent safety initiative, please contact me at escoord@isb.ac.th.

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Travel: Australia & New Zealand

An Australia and New Zealand Cruise

Many of David’s cousins live in Australia, having emigrated there from Britain over the years, so he had an interest in the Antipodes since he was a boy. I have wanted to return to that area since living in Australia as a student and touring New Zealand almost 30 years ago. During the Christmas break, we and our son Will went together as a family to Australia and then to New Zealand. We did a Christmas cruise which began in Sydney, sailing first to Tasmania and then to various ports in New Zealand. Before the cruise, we enjoyed our brief stay in Sydney and managed to see a few sights there including the famous Opera House and Harbour Bridge, However, the highlight may have been our escape from the city for a day trip to the Blue Mountains, so named because of the blue haze caused by the eucalyptus oil coming off the trees. There we learned the proper way to throw a boomerang, although we’ll need a lot more practice to be at all good at it. The next day we embarked (as they say in the Navy) on what was to be our cruise ship and then set sail to Hobart in Tasmania. We went on a tour of the area and to the former penal colony of Port Arthur. The set up was ideal for keeping malefactors under control. There were no walls to keep the prisoners in, as the location on a peninsula with only a narrow strip of land patrolled by dogs was one of the two ways 26

to potentially escape, the other being to swim across the sea to a ship or whatever to go somewhere else that was more agreeable for you. In the museum at Port Arthur, our son tried on the shackles some of the prisoners would wear; that really brought home some of what the prisoners endured. We got back onto our cruise ship and set sail for New Zealand. After two days at sea, we cruised through ‘fiordland’ in the southwest of the country, entering Milford Sound at sunrise. The area very much resembles Norway and the views were absolutely stunning. We sat on our balcony just drinking it all in for hours. We then moved on and had a brief stop at Port Chalmers for Christmas Day and Akaroa for Boxing Day. From there we took a trip to Christchurch, which is still recovering from the devastating earthquake of 2011 but is very vibrant and beautiful. We visited the Antarctic Center, from where New Zealand and U.S. Antarctic expeditions depart. We drove around a “track” including piles of logs and rivers, on one of the wheeled vehicles they use in Antartica, then endured an Antarctic blizzard, which was quite invigorating especially if wearing shorts like our intrepid son. We would have loved to have spent more time here but alas, the lack of a flexible schedule is one of the downsides of a cruise. Our next stop was in Picton on the top of the South

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Travel After all these various starting and stoppings we finally arrived in Auckland where we disembarked from the ship and said goodbye to the folks from the ship who had looked after us for the past week or so. The next, and in our opinion the best, part of our holiday was now about to commence. We flew back

Island in the Marlborough Sounds, known for their fabulous wine. Here we took a short trip by boat and ended up on the shore of what is called Queen Charlotte Sound. We were then treated to a walk through the local forest and learned from our guide a lot about the local trees and other vegetation. We also managed to get a pretty decent cup of tea in a local cafe in Picton. Following another brief stop in the Art Deco town of Napier in the North Island, the wind had increased somewhat, and it was a fairly rough trip. It was the only rough weather we really faced on the cruise. Our next port of call was Tauranga, from where we took a trip to Rotorua. Here we were able to have a look at quite a lot of geysers and hot springs in which nearly boiling water bubbles out of the ground into small mud

to Queenstown in the South Island and drove about an hour north to a very nice small town called Wanaka, situated on a lake in the midst of a beautiful valley. We spent New Year’s Eve whitewater rafting down the Shotover River. However, in order to reach the start point on the river we had to endure a most nerve wracking journey by bus over Skippers Canyon Road, one of the most dangerous roads in New Zealand, so dangerous car insurance won’t be honored if you drive on it. It was indeed quite frightening. The rafting was a blast, as well as hard work. We enjoyed a welldeserved pint upon return to Wanaka. We spent our last full day hiking the hills around Wanaka and just drinking in the cool, fresh air and incredible views. Alas, our holiday was coming to an end, but we came back refreshed and in love with New Zealand. David and Tracey Higginbottom

holes inside a Maori Cultural Center. We also managed to be seated in a big building where we were treated to a short talk about the Maoris and how they operated in the years gone by. Seeing the long, very thin boats the Maoris used as war canoes and hearing about their means of raiding an ‘enemy village’ was interesting and very informative. March 2018

conceptdraw.com

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Highlights: NNR February Social

A Peek at the Mon Voyage Boutique NNR February Coffee Morning

Thank you very much to Gunjan Mullick for welcoming the NNR community to her beautiful home for our February Coffee Morning. Attendees were able take a moment to catch up over delicious sweet and savoury treats before taking the opportunity to shop at Mon Voyage giving everyone a chance to see the lovely accessories, jewelry and art deco pieces personally selected by our host during her travels. A special thank you to Mon Voyage for generously donating a portion of the day’s proceeds to our NNR Charities.

Nonthaburi Neighborhood Reach

Chantal Bremner NNR Social Coordinator

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Heard it Through the Grapevine

Heard it Through the Grapevine

This column offers a chance to share all those good finds and tips that are helpful to others. If you have tips to share, please send them to Liz at nnrnews@gmail.com

Balloon Works I’ve used Balloon Works for two events now, and both times they delivered the balloons on time and did a great job setting up. The easiest way to communicate is either through email or by calling, but you must speak Thai or have a helper or friend who does. The contact details are listed belows. Our helper coordinated for us when I had trouble confirming our order through email. She also communicated with them via Line. One thing to note - for large orders they will need to blow up the balloons on site so when you give them a delivery time, add a buffer before your event. Diana Roeting Balloon Works Telephone: 081-935-5443 (Thai speaker) Email: balloonwork12@gmail.com Line app: 081-935-5443

Fresco Organico: Organic Eggs and Greens Delivered to Your Door Fresco Organico is a great delivery service that has different organic eggs and produce each week. They specialize in organic herbs, lettuces and other green veggies. I love their Italian basil, their kale when they have it, and their watercress is really good too. People love their eggs. The only quirky thing is that not all veggies or herbs are available each week, some weeks they have fruit, some weeks they don’t. However this is very normal for community sponsored agriculture when you are dealing with seasonality and small organic farms. Since their offerings vary each week so it’s best to be connected to their WhatsApp group at 66-83-618-8823. The owner Simone is quite lovely. Delivery to Nichada is usually on Wednesdays. Marla Groves Fresco Organico WhatsApp group: 083-618-8823 34

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Heard it Through the Grapevine

Trampoline Thailand When we purchased a trampoline on the Expats Yard Sale site, we didn’t realize it had rusted springs and support poles. After a few months in the Bangkok heat and humidity, we were concerned about the safety of the trampoline, so we looked to replace the rusted parts. We quickly realized it would be very expensive to replace the parts so instead looked to purchase a new trampoline. Trampoline Thailand was very responsive via email - sukanya@trampolinethailand. com - and the price of a brand new 14� trampoline with a safety net was cheaper than the parts we had looked to replace. We placed the order via email, paid via cash deposit at one of the ATMs at Central Chaengwattana, and received our new trampoline a couple days after paying. Trampoline Thailand charges extra for set up so my husband, children and I put the trampoline together in about four hours. Our children and many other children in the neighborhood now bounce on it daily - it’s a great way to get the kids out of the house! Diana Roeting

The Waxing Queen Moves Closer to Nichada Wichittra Unkumruan, owner of The Waxing Queen, has been taking care of a lot of ladies from our community. She has announced she recently moved her studio closer to Nichada. Her new place is just outside the Seechaithong gate. It is more spacious and has better parking availability. She also hired two employees who specialize in facial treatments, eye lash tint and eye brow waxing. Sandra Wilson

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Writers & Photographers Wanted

Got a flair for writing? Good with a camera? Good at meeting deadlines? Contact Liz at nnrnews@gmail.com

March 2018

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PEOPLE

Gunjan Mullick

Bombing in Bangladesh Leads to New Beginnings in Nichada The July 2016 terrorist bombing of a Bangladesh bakery upended the life of Gunjan Mullick and her family. Among the 29 killed were some of the family's closest friends in Dhaka's expat community. Weeks later, Gunjan enrolled her daughter Ananya at ISB. "It wasn't that we were scared to stay in Dhaka," said Gunjan. Her husband Sudhir is still based in Dhaka and commutes to Bangkok often to visit the family. "We weren't sure what kind of life we can offer our child if we stayed there." “It was my dear friends’ kids who died that night,” said Gunjan. Their son Daksh, now 20, lost three of his best friends that night at the Holey Artisan Bakery, a popular gathering place for the local expats of Dhaka. Gunjan said she and Ananya, now 13, both experienced symptoms of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and needed counseling after the 2016 bombing. Both are doing better now, but Gunjan said she is also still deeply saddened by the 2013 loss of her beloved mother to Parkinson's disease, and the 2015 departure of her son who left for university overseas. With her husband staying behind in Bangladesh to run their company, Global Textile Solutions, the family is apart much of the time. Said Gunjan, “We're a family of four, and we're in three different countries. Nevertheless, with the passage of time, support of friends, and her own resiliency, Gunjan, 51, has slowly settled in at her lake-side home in Nichada. She is editor of the school's Touchstone magazine, and last November, she launched her own retail store, featuring an eclectic collection of home decor, clothing, 38

jewelry, and other accessories. The store, based at a newly-built wing of her residence, is named Mon Voyage. The inspiration for the name Mon Voyage came from a hand-made, memory album that Gunjan's extended family presented to her on her 50th birthday. Inside, hand-written notes from her mother and photographs of Gunjan as a little girl, a young working professional and a mother are all lovingly presented. The album chronicles her life in India, Indonesia, and Bangladesh. On the cover is a precious photo of her mother embracing her. The title her relatives chose for the album: The Journey. So it was that when it came time to choose a name for her new venture, Gunjan searched for translations of "My Journey" in other languages. In the end, she chose French and named her boutique Mon Voyage. After searching unsuccessfully for other locations in and around Nichada, Gunjan, with the support of her landlord, renovated her rental house, creating a new wing behind the swimming pool. The main shop entrance is from the pool, but the interior of the house is connected to the showroom. In the meticulously designed shop interior, Gunjan showcases all the unique home decor items, clothing and jewelry that she personally designed. Clients are welcome to visit the shop by appointment. (monvoyage.th@gmail.com) On March 8th, Gunjan is hosting at her home a potluck luncheon organized by American Women’s Club Casual Connections Nichada. (see p. 24 for details). With extensive experience in the apparel business,

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PEOPLE Gunjan is skilled at designing and sourcing unique products and getting them manufactured. Decades of experience in the apparel industry has helped her build an extensive network of suppliers and manufacturers. She loves the creative side of the work. "You are creating something, making something beautiful," she said. "and then you're selling them in the world for millions to enjoy." Her passion for design and for starting Mon Voyage actually started back when she and her family lived in Indonesia. For the expatriate community near Bogor International School, she offered small exhibitions showcasing home decor, textiles, and jewelry. At her first exhibit, she said, her inventory was sold out in 35 minutes. Re-orders from customers soon followed. "That’s when the seed of the first Mon Voyage was planted," she said. Back then, she didn't have a name for her venture and simply issued personal invitations to her home. In Dhaka's expatriate community, she experienced similar success. Upon arriving in Nichada, Gunjan experienced déjà vu. "I looked around. This place reminded me so much of Indonesia," said Gunjan. She realized that her unique collection of home decor, textiles and jewelry would sell well here too. Once she decided to open Mon Voyage in her new community in Nichada, Gunjan moved quickly, building the shop space and designing and ordering products in less than three months. Gunjan said everything about her family's relocation to Thailand and the inauguration of Mon Voyage has gone smoothly. Even finding her Nichada house -which has turned out to be a perfect venue -- seemed to have been pre-destined. Gunjan recalls the first time her realtor Sumniang Chinnapattanawong showed her the Bayview house. Gunjan said that as she was going up the stairs, she suddenly turned around and “saw” her mother on the staircase landing. "I saw her standing there, as clear as day," said Gunjan. Prior to that, her mother had always appeared in her dreams as being lost in the woods, she said. So when Gunjan saw her mother standing in the house, she said, it was as if her mother was saying, this is where you belong. Gunjan said her mother always supported her and believed that Gunjan could accomplish whatever she set out to do. Just as Ganesha, the elephant-head Hindu god known for being a remover of obstacles, her mother was always there to help her. Today, a statue of Ganesha sits in her home, on that staircase landing. Gunjan believes that somehow, some way, "my mother found herself in Sumniang." Gunjan recalls how upon welcoming her to Nichada, realtor Sumniang brought her a bouquet of white fragrant flowers that were March 2018

her mother's favorite. She now refers to Sumniang as her godmother. "She has moved mountains for me," she said Gunjan also credits her parents-in-law for their support throughout the years. When she worked full-time, her inlaws were always there to help. With Mon Voyage now launched, Gunjan feels as if her mother is watching over her. At the February NNR Coffee Morning in her home, Gunjan gave each guest a miniature key decorated with the word " Believe". She said her mother always supported her and believed in her abilities. On her forearm, Gunjan has a single tatoo, “Believe.” Mon Voyage is also a tribute. "It's in honor of my mother,” she said. “Mon Voyage was a blessing in disguise,” she said. It helped me find focus. It also gave me a reason and a will to live.” Liz Lu

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Charity News

Dorothy Klynstra of SaiLom Foundation I am a Canadian who trained as an occupational therapist. I have lived in Thailand for 20 years working to support and advocate for inclusive living opportuniites ministry. My Thai foster son is Buddy, who is now 16 years old. He has been with me since he was two. SaiLom Foundation members are young males between the ages of 14 to 40-years-old who have developmental delay due to various disabilities. They mostly live at the government homes called Ban Rachawadee and Ban Nontapum. Our help gives them the opportunity to participate in the community, develop community living skills, develop work skills, and enjoy a fuller life. Our main goal is to help the young people find paid work so they can move into the community and live with support. Basic skills are reinforced through games, exercises, and learning activities at the government homes and at Ban SaiLom, our community living center. We also organize monthly day trips that let a larger group of all ages get out for the day, have fun, and learn about the world. I train and supervise volunteers and the young men at their jobs. I do all the administrative and fundraising work at the charity. I am a full-time volunteer with SaiLom working Monday to Friday, plus one Saturday (the monthly outing), and 2 Sundays per month. There are many ways for volunteers to get involved. Most people start with helping watch a young person during our monthly Saturday day trip. We’ve also had people come once per week to teach a member how to crochet, iron a shirt, plant a vegetable, bake cookies, supervise chores, etc. Volunteers can come and go as their time permits. We are looking for people who could teach English, baking, gardening, or help to set up a small business. There are two of us who volunteer full time, and we have others who come in once or twice per week. We also have other volunteers who just come for the Saturday field trip once per month. What do I get out of helping others? The joy is seeing my fellows’ progress and their enthusiasm for whatever we plan. Dorothy Klynstra March 2018

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Charity News

NNR and ISB Athletics Bring Local Kids to Sporting Events A Win-Win Cooperative Project

“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone else planted a tree long ago.” “If you’re in the luckiest 1 percent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 percent.” — Warren Buffett The IASAS basketball tournament the first weekend in February at ISB welcomed not only visiting parents and players from other Southeast Asian schools but also children being served by NNR-supported charities. It was a heart-warming collaboration between the school’s athletic department—which kindly provided T-shirts for all the visiting children—the varsity basketball teams, and NNR volunteers, all of whom helped create a little joy for 43 underprivileged kids. Twenty boys from I-Care Thailand’s Baan Poomwaet charity—which serves kids who have been rescued from trafficking across Asia—were the first to arrive. They cheered our players, visited with beloved ISB mascots Shadow and Spirit, and played some round ball themselves on campus. Most of them are 42

children whose parents sold them to gangs to be drug runners, prostitutes, or beggars. To see them smile was a gift—not just for them but for us. After an NNRprovided lunch for these delightful children, the varsity boys were kind enough to play with them, high-fiving and posing for photos in between shooting sessions. We thank all the players, along with coaches Monte Major and Derrick Quinet, for their time and generosity of spirit. We next welcomed three boys from the SaiLom Project, a charity whose mission is to provide disabled kids with life skills and opportunities to participate in their community. They cheered and supported our varsity girls team, played on the outdoor court, and enjoyed the company of the lady Panthers after their game. We are so grateful to our varsity girls athletes and thank them and their coach for their kindness and participation. Rounding out the visit was Home for Hope, a charity run by Our Lady of Mercy. It serves and nurtures street children who have been alienated from or abandoned by their families. Father Paolo, the home’s inimitable patrician, brought 20 of his kids to watch an evening game (during which our varsity boys cleaned up!). Afterwards, they were able to play and visit with the players (who wound up with the tournament championship gold).

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Charity News

Nonthaburi Neighborhood Reach

Seeing the joy on the children’s faces was a treasure for us all. NNR hopes to continue and grow these kinds of joint efforts with the school so that we can bring our charity and student families closer together. Please send project and volunteer ideas or other thoughts to nnrcharity@gmail.com. Liz Garrigan March 2018

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Charity News

Grade 2 Students Visit Rainbow House NNR & ISB Join Forces to Promote Inclusivity

NNR Charity and ISB recently worked hand-in-hand to bring second graders and children from the local charity Rainbow House together for play time and friendship. During three field trips to Rainbow House in January and February, the second graders made friends with Thai children at the residential facility. “Something new for me at the Rainbow House was seeing and playing with a child who has no family,” said one second grader. During their visits, the scene at Rainbow House was full of friendship-building activities: Small hands picked up branches, leaves, pods, flowers, and pebbles. Splashes of color and texture covered tables and fingers touched smooth, rough, and prickly textures. Faces lighted up with admiration of new creations. Giggles and smiles spread across the room from a collage of faces, each with its own way of expressing joy. Outside, kids ran, jumped, and laughed. New friendships formed, hesitation melted into acceptance and a collective feeling of glee enveloped the grounds. Last year, ISB changed its mission statement to “Enriching communities through the intellectual, humanitarian and creative thoughts and actions of our 44

learners.” What exactly does this mean? How could this new mission shape the experiences of learners in second grade? With the help of NNR, ISB’s second grade teachers visited several local charitable organizations to learn about philanthropic efforts in our local community. The opportunity opened our eyes to the needs of the community around us. One place in particular that really stood out was Rainbow House, a project of The Christian Care Foundation for Children with Disabilities in Thailand

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Charity News (CCD). It’s located in Pakkret and cares for 40 children with a variety of exceptionalities and needs. Mare Harvey, from NNR’s charity team, came to visit each second grade class and educate our students about Rainbow House. After seeing this facility and learning about this organization, our learners in grade two wanted to enrich the Rainbow House community with their own creative thoughts and actions. Another recent initiative at ISB is to become a more inclusive school. This was also something we wanted to teach our students and give them experience with. This is the first year our school has accepted students with intensive learning needs. Students in this program learn alongside their peers in mainstream classrooms as much as possible. They also spend part of the day in the intensive learning needs classroom. Mrs. Lori Boll, a teacher in the intensive learning needs classroom, came to visit each second grade classroom and educate our students about disabilities. Our students were able to learn about disabilities and ask questions.

Something that was illuminated by these visits was that many students had never seen or interacted with another child with a physical or mental disability. With our internationally diverse population comes a diverse range of experiences and knowledge around disabilities. Many children have only attended private schools, and each school has different norms around the inclusion of students with exceptionalities. These classroom visits by Ms. Boll and Ms. Harvey gave our students the context and background knowledge needed to understand our future work with the Rainbow House. Over the course of several weeks, students from Grade Two visited Rainbow House. During each visit, we played, talked, and created art with Rainbow House residents. The experience was different for each March 2018

student. Some students got right into the mix and were quite comfortable; others took a little time to develop the comfort needed to interact. The learning curve and growth in our short visits was amazing and inspiring to witness. Upon our return, we asked our students to reflect on their experience and here are a few examples of what they shared: “I can’t always talk with my new friend, but they are always smiling at me and I’m thankful for that.” “Something new for me was playing with kids who have disabilities and being with kids who act differently.” “Every time I smiled at my partner, he smiled back.” “Something new for me at the Rainbow House was being with kids who act differently and communicating without talking.” “What I enjoyed was touching my partner’s cheeks. They were very soft.” “Something I enjoyed was seeing a lot of people together.” “I was happy when my buddy finally held my hand.” The Second Grade Team would like to thank Mare Harvey and Sally Elliot from NNR for their time and efforts to show us around the community outside of Nichada as well as educate both our students and us about the organizations who serve this community. We’d like to thank Lydia George from CCD for working with us and our students. We’d also like to thank Mrs. Lori Boll for visiting our classrooms and sharing her knowledge and expertise with our students. Experiences like this allow ISB students to become closer to their local communities and become one step closer to being caring global citizens.

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DPH

YOU ARE ONE WORKOUT AWAY FROM A GOOD MOOD. 25/676 Moo 6 Bangtarad Si Chai (orange house across from the Seechaithong gate)

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Das PowerHAUS Fitness Pilates Muay Thai Maurice: 0638280555 Joanna: 0898466610 Facebook:

daspowerhausnichada

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Restaurant Review

Fun at the Night Market- Talad Rot Fai

First thing you should be saying is “I thought this was supposed to be restaurant review?” Well in a way, it is, along with a really interesting way to spend an evening. If you Google Talad Rot Fai you will actually find two locations, and both can be fun and provide some good drink and street food options. However, the one that, of course, is the greater distance away from us here in Nichada is the one that we found to be the most interesting for shopping, gazing and grazing. There is no end to food options at either location, especially if you want barbecue or cook your own meat/seafood on a hot grill. Talad Rot Fai means train station market in Thai, and it is where the old train station market was located before construction of a new station at another location began. The Talad Rot Fai that we particularly like, which was recommended that we visit, is near Seacon Square Mall and is the original old Talad Rot Fai from what we can ascertain. This market opens around 5 pm but doesn’t really start to get busy until closer to 7 pm. It can become very busy and crowded. If you are not adverse to trying fresh Thai street food, there is lots of it with a great deal of choices to suit anyone. There are tables set out so you can buy from a variety of sellers a wide variety of street food from fried grubs to fresh strawberries to Som Tum to barbecued ribs then sit and enjoy all together. If you desire something slightly more structured there are all kinds of sit-down restaurants, some with fans and cooling systems, live music, roof top seats and food you can order and have delivered to your table. March 2018

There are lots of small bars where you can grab a drink and listen to music and enjoy the night atmosphere. The shopping is quite varied with lots of the regulars you see at markets, but this market specializes in antiques and unique design items that are quite kitchy so appeal widely to the Thai market. There are three sections, and this market also specializes in Japanese anime, Coca-Cola kitch, and vintage antiques. Towards the back of the market is an antique style garage with a whole bunch of vintage cars, some restored to pristine condition and some just buckets of bolts, but all very interesting to see. It costs nothing to look which is even nicer. I suggest for anyone taking a family and wanting to avoid a big crowd to go earlier before it becomes really crowded. Talad Roi Fai can be found at Srinakarin Soi 51 just behind/ beside Seacon Square Shopping Mall. Much less exciting and more like JJ Green, the new and second train market/Talad Rot Fai is in Ratchada on Ratchadaphisek Road closer to downtown. For the true artsy experience I would make the time to drive to the original. Be sure to spend a few hours strolling around as there are lots of fun things to see, buy, eat and drink.

T h a n i Ta l k

Barb Lewis

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1112

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March 2018


March 2018

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March 2018

Thani Talk 2018 March  

Thani Talk, a monthly magazine published by the volunteer group Nonthaburi Neighborhood Reach, serves expatriates living near Bangkok, Thail...

Thani Talk 2018 March  

Thani Talk, a monthly magazine published by the volunteer group Nonthaburi Neighborhood Reach, serves expatriates living near Bangkok, Thail...

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