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April 2019


A publication by the Samutprakarn International Ladies’ Club


3. SILC needs YOU!

4. AGM & Nominations

6. Baking a difference!

7. Dates for April

10. All about Songkran

19. SILC in action

A WORD FROM OUR CHAIR Dear Members, Two years ago, my predecessor Jane appealed in the newsletter and by email for new committee members in advance of SILC’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). She finished off her last message by saying "if no one steps up we don't have a club which would be incredibly sad". I, like everyone else, thought that would never happen, but sure enough - when the AGM was held, we didn't get any volunteers or nominations for key roles. This had never happened before. Emergency meetings were held and, happily, a few of us stepped up rather than see SILC close. We are very lucky this year, as we have some enthusiastic and committed members who have agreed to join the committee. The nominations for committee positions so far are on the next page. We will still take nominations on the day, but it would be good to know in advance if you are interested in a post, as being a committee member is not something to be taken lightly and it does involve commitment, hence the idea of shadowing current committee members in advance of the AGM. Please get in touch if you are interested! The AGM is our annual get together - to share an overview of our activities, financial reports and plans with members, as well as vote in the new committee. So please do join us on Wednesday 24th April if you can.

If you unable to physically attend, then it is important to please submit your vote online - so we achieve the necessary quorum. An email will be going out to you at the beginning of next month with all the voting details as well as the financial reports from our Treasury team. During my tenure of two years as Chair it has been hard work but incredibly rewarding. I am sure that there must be someone else who is able and keen to take up the role, so I can have more free time! I look forward to the new committee bringing their new ideas to life and continuing to take our beloved club from strength to strength! Best wishes and thanks for your support,

x Tracey x

NOMINATIONS FOR THE 2019/2020 COMMITTEE Here are our current nominees. There is still time for you to put your name forward for any of these roles if you would like to volunteer:



Nominated by

Seconded by


Winly Lenter

Tracey Hewison

Debbie Morton


Mapesa Khalikane

Tracey Hewison

Michaela Pianesi

Marketing & Online Media

Aminta Ochoa

Tracey Hewison

Marta Krause


Safy Rizk

Tracey Hewison

Charlotte Wawrzyniak

General Administration

Melanie Kupiec

Tracey Hewison

Irma Leiler

Continuing tenures: Community Membership

Laura Troncoso Aakriti Sultania

Open positions: Chair, Vice Chair, Vice Treasurer (Committee roles) Special Events, Fundraising (Non-Committee)

What is the SILC Committee? The Committee of SILC are a group of dedicated ladies who take on the responsibility for managing our wonderful club. What makes a good committee member? A good committee member: ● Commits to preparing for and attending meetings ● Has a good understanding of the organisation, what it does and how it does it ● Is not afraid to ask questions ● Agrees to stick to the majority decision ● Supports fellow committee members ● Acts as an advocate for the organisation

BORN TO LEAD? CHAIR & VICE: Take SILC onwards and upwards! HEAD FOR FIGURES? VICE TREASURER: Help our Treasurer manage SILC finances

GIFT FOR FUNDRAISING? We’d love to hear from you

LOVE TO ORGANISE? SPECIAL EVENTS: Organise the bazaar & other big events


All you need is love and a little bit of sugar!! In February, thanks to funds raised at the bazaar, we donated an oven to the Fatima Center - to facilitate baking classes (led by SILC’s lovely Cathy), and a new source of income for the ladies there. In mid-March the weekly lessons (for 6 ladies at a time) started off with lots of enthusiasm, appreciation, patience and love. The result? Some yummy chocolate chip cookies! If you would like more information about this cause, please visit goodshepherdbangkok.com/ and if you would like to be involved speak to Laura silc.community@gmail.com


Monday 1 Intro to Astrology

Tuesday 2

Craft circle

Easter Cupcake Workshop



Wednesday 3 Aqua Aerobics









4 Zumba Songkran Potluck lunch










25 Zumba

26 SS Songkran Party @ Mahawong Son






17 Mahjong



Craft circle




Craft circle

We try to schedule activities well ahead of time to allow you to plan your diaries, however please note these may change. Keep an eye on the SILC Facebook page and the next newsletter for updates! Contact silc.activities@gmail.com with any questions.


An introduction to astrology You may know what your ‘sun’ sign is but did you know that your moon sign and ascendant are equally important?In this fascinating workshop conducted by the well respected Australian astrologer, Victoria Davis, you will be introduced to the 12 zodiac signs and taught how to identify your own hereditary astrology. Come join us on Monday 1st April from 10am - 1pm to learn all about your own unique astrological chart. The cost will be 400 thb and the workshop will be held close to Bearing BTS. When you RSVP to silc.activities@gmail.com please give your place, date and time of birth so that your personal chart can be created!

EGG-CITING WORKSHOP! Prepare to stun the family this year with some special Easter cupcakes! Join us for a decorating workshop on Tuesday 2nd April 10-12.00 at the Centre Point residence, Phrom Pong. Cost: 1000 THB per person RSVP: silc.activities@gmail.com

BEGINNERS’ GUIDE TO: SONGKRAN If this is your first April in Thailand, you will probably have been hearing a lot lately about the “Songkran Festival”, and that there are flowery clothes and water involved… but what is it all about? “Songkran” is a national holiday; the most celebrated of traditions here and features in The Guinness Book of Records as ‘The World’s Largest Water Fight’! The word Songkran is derived from the Sanskrit word “samkranti”, which means “astrological passage” - representing transformation, or change. It recognizes the passing of an old year into a new one, marking the Thai New Year in the Buddhist calendar. It is usually celebrated from 13 to 15 April, however last year the Thai cabinet extended the festival nationwide to five days, to enable citizens to travel home for the holiday.

In the past, the festival traditions originated with blessings and prayers for Buddhist Monks. Ancient Thai tradition warranted visiting the local monasteries and providing gifts of food to the monks who resided there. In addition, blessings of scented water were poured over the monks during a holy cleansing process. The locals would collect the poured water and bring it back to their loved ones and friends. The local population would then rub and pour the water over one another as they believed itr to be blessed - to wash away bad luck and sins. Today, people use this as an opportunity to go visit their families, attend their temple, and do an annual spring-cleaning of their homes. On the second day of Songkran, many families rise early and take part in traditional Buddhist rituals. They give alms to Buddhist monks. They also take part in a ritual that is known as ‘Bathing the Buddha image’ when they’ll pour water over the statues of Buddha in their home and at their local temple.

Water is an essential part of the festivities and it has become best known as the “water festival” - with lots of casual and fun activities. As April is the hottest month of the year, you’ll find in different locations, a host of street parties and water fights. The most famous street party in Bangkok is in Silom. This party takes place all along a street that is over 4 kilometers in length. It is a huge party in which thousands of people have water fights with water guns, balloons and any other vessels they can get their hands on. The street is also crowded with vendors selling water guns, toys, food and drinks. Only venture out if you are prepared to get wet. Very wet! Even though you can enjoy this festival without attending the big events, here are some suggestions: Rattanakosin Island, Bangkok The Buddha image “Buddhasihing” is brought out from the National Museum for people to sprinkle lustral water at Sanam Luang, opposite the Grand Palace. There are also Art and cultural performances, demonstration of Songkran in the 4 regions, demonstrations of Thai traditional cooking and paying homage at nine sacred temples, which is the highlight activity of this event.

Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya: Releasing of birds and fish, water splashing with elephants, bathing the Buddha image by pouring water through a bamboo gutter. Samut Prakan @Phra Padeang District Office: Procession of the Hongsa and Takhap Flag, Nong Songkran and floral parade, which is the highlight of this event. Also, other activities include the demonstrations of ethnic Mon art and culture, playing “Saba” and demonstration of Kalamae cooking. Wan Lai Bang Saen Beach: The stupa building contest is a predominant element; highlights include the “Kong Kao” (rice mound) religious ritual, traditional Thai sports (muay talay – traditional boxing by the beach) and beauty pageant Dok Khun Siang Khaen: Procession with many beautiful flora cards, beauty contest and the famous “Human Wave” activity on Khao Nieo Road. Hatyai Midnight Songkran Festival: The procession of Songkran at midnight and foam party. Sukhothai: Wat Trapang Thong, Sukhothai Historical Park, Sukhothai Province There are Phad Thai cooking competitions with many cultural performances shown by the college students. Article by: Aminta Ochoa

MUSICAL SONGKRAN POTLUCK Please join us on Thursday 4th April 11-13.30 at Laura’s place near BTS Phra Khanong. There will be live Thai music to enjoy, and even have a go yourself! Please bring a dish to share, and feel free to come in traditional Thai dress! RSVP: silc.activities@gmail.com

GIVEN MAHJONG A GO YET? Our group of Mahjong ladies is growing steadily and ranges from novices to experts. Please get in touch if you would like to join us! Everyone welcome. We meet most Wednesdays at members’ houses. Contact: Kala & Marie kalakhanna@gmail.com ymhennecart@gmail.com

EXERCISE WITH FRIENDS IS EASIER AND MORE FUN!! Aqua aerobics If you would like to join our weekly sessions at Ekamai Gardens on Wednesdays 10-11:00 (400 THB), please contact silc.activities@gmail.com

Zumba We meet on Thursday mornings 08.30-09.30 in Bangna (400 THB). If you would like to join please contact c_wawrzyniak@yahoo.co.uk

Tennis If you’re a keen tennis player but need a partner, we can put you in touch! Please contact: silc.activities@gmail.com


Our Pretzel Workshop was so popular that we had to have two sessions ! Did you know that this delicious snack was invented by an Italian monk in 610 A.D.? To reward young children for learning their prayers, he supposedly folded strips of bread dough to resemble the crossed arms of praying children. He called his creation pretiola, which meant “little rewards’’!

The Puppet museum is housed in an enchanting teak-wood building, showcasing puppets from Thailand and beyond. We learned the history of puppetry, how the Thai puppets (Hoon Krabok) are made, enjoyed a show and got to make our own puppet!

A group of fearless SILC ladies set their minds on trying something new this month, and the result was fabulous!! Thanks to our inaugural ‘Bungee workout’, we discovered how strong and… er…. gracious we are, had tons of laughs and so much energy at the end. Check out our facebook page for the video evidence!

We enjoyed a lovely lunch to celebrate the amazing and strong women we are on International Women’s Day. Some were very happy to leave also with flowers after a lucky draw, whereby each participant submitted a card with the name of their chosen famous woman written on and the cards put in the lucky draw.


OIL RUN Despite the blistering heat, it was all smiles at our most recent ‘Oil Run’ to the slums of Khlong Toei. A big thank you to all the ladies involved in this project!


VOLUNTEER TEACHERS NEEDED! SILC’S English Program teaches basic language skills to children (c. 6 years old) at two schools in the Samutprakarn area. On Monday mornings we go to Prakkasamai and on Thursdays to Mahawong. The schools are on a break now but we urgently need teachers to start from May. Can you commit to teaching once a week? It’s a really rewarding role and there is lots of support! Contact: Janna on henk_janna@hotmail.com

We would like to say a huge SILC thank you to our lovely Herma, who for the last 3 years has been a bi-weekly volunteer teacher at Mahawong school. The children made a beautiful card to show their appreciation for all her time and effort. The kids and the teachers are going to miss her very much!

SONGKRAN FUN The SILC craft volunteers got their Songkran on early in March, with a VERY wet morning at one of our pre-schools. We also enjoyed a lovely craft session, masterminded by our new volunteer Melanie. Welcome to the team! Huge thanks also to Pat, who has made such a fantastic contribution over the past few months.

IT’s PARTY TIME! With Thai schools closed, there is no Community craft planned for April, but we have kindly been invited to a Songkran party at Mahawong school on Friday 26th April at 9am-12pm. Wear bright colours and prepare to get very wet indeed! RSVP: silc.community@gmail.com

Aims & policies Organisation of the Club SILC creates an opportunity for women of all nationalities living in Samutprakarn and Bangkok to meet and participate in a variety of activities. We invite members to join monthly events and interest groups. Members pay an annual fee of 1000 Baht. Privacy The membership list is for the sole use of SILC members in a social setting and may not be used for commercial purposes. E-Newsletter The e-newsletter is published ten times a year with articles and information on club activities. Contributions are welcome and can be sent to the newsletter editor. Committee Meetings These are held monthly and are open to all members. Please inform the SILC Chair if you wish to attend. All SILC events are subject to change. Please confirm your attendance with the relevant contact, and advise of any cancellation asap so another member may take your place. Committee Contacts Chair Secretary Treasury Team Membership Team Community Projects E-newsletter & Ads

silcchair@gmail.com silcsecretary@gmail.com silctreasurer@gmail.com silcthai@gmail.com silc.community@gmail.com silcmagazine@gmail.com

SILC teams Activities Website Online/Marketing Community Projects

silc.activities@gmail.com silc.websites@gmail.com silcpromo@gmail.com silc.community@gmail.com

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SILC News goes every month to over 170 SILC members throughout Bangkok. Advertisements for non-profit community events are welcome and free of charge. Personal advertisements for SILC members are free of charge. Email reminders for SILC and non-profit community events will be sent out free of charge; other events must be advertised in our magazine.



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Only one discount may be applied.

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Advertising requests and payment must be received prior to the published deadline. To advertise in the Newsletter, please contact: Charlotte - silcmagazine@gmail.com To advertise on the SILC Website, please contact: silc.websites@gmail.com To arrange payment, please contact: Liliya - silctreasurer@gmail.com

SILC News Copy Deadline for May e-Newsletter: 20th April If you have any activities, events, book reviews, recommendations for holidays or items for our bulletin board please forward them to the Newsletter Editor: silcmagazine@gmail.com

Profile for SILC Newsletter

SILC News April 2019  

SILC News April 2019