Thursday, January 24, 2013

the Dashboard Alter

Traveling in Bangkok taxi is not just a way to get around, but also an opportunity to chat with the drivers, practice Thai, and learn about the culture. However, it can be unnerving when drivers wildly swerve in and out of lanes or monotonous if you're stuck in relentless traffic, but fortunately cab drivers here can comfort themselves and their passengers with talismans. The taxis in this city are filled with statues and images of the Buddha and Buddhist monks that are supposed to bring good luck, create peaceful environment, assure good health and physical strength, as well as provide protection for the car, the driver, and those riding in the cab.

If you happen to be in the passenger seat of a Bangkok cab, you can witness the talismans stuck on the dashboard, pinned to the ceiling and hung from the rearview mirror. It is easy to encounter the sacred artifacts on dashboard altars in colorful vehicles racing around in an urban sprawl. This is way of life, how the drivers keep their customs & traditions alive as the country drives forward.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Challenges are opportunities in disguise

My fellow mates and I started talking about the next step, the organic chemistry courses. My senior students talked about how complex and difficult the subject is, I started feeling extremely nervous. I had really enjoyed my general chemistry classes, but many of my seniors said that the two courses were not related at all. My nervousness increased and the nightmare of failing the course started to wander around my head. 
First day of organic chemistry classes arrived sooner than I expected and, as I was sitting in the classroom waiting for my professor Dr. Martin to come. I had an eye-opening moment and realized that there was no evidence to suggest that I would not like organic chemistry just as well. Not only that, but I realized how important chemistry is to the understanding of biological processes. Dr. Martin taught us that organic chemistry is not a science requirement that should make students afraid of chemistry or discourage further chemistry studies, but is the study of how molecules interact in special and unique ways. 
Beside, he helped all of us understand organic chemistry with jokes, by telling us about his own experiences, and writing everything down in the whiteboard so we could understand each word and it’s importance. Everybody in our class was touched by Dr. Martin’s approach to teaching organic chemistry; he made the lectures so enjoyable. Not only made lectures different and interesting, but he also made the laboratories unique and incredible. The laboratory gave me confidence in my knowledge that I use in my everyday life. 
This not only gave me the greatest confidence to pass the class, but it also influenced my decision to belief myself that I am a great chemist. I believe that what makes a professor unforgettable is that he or she helps the students understand the material by making it fun, useful for everyday life.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Ignorant Tourists in Erawan National Park

The noticeboard displayed at main entrance of Erawan National Park clearly pronounces, “Please follow the rules and regulations including good aspects of the culture”. I clearly understood that, the notice is urging all tourists to keep their clothes on when they travel to park and I appreciated the management for taking steps to curb down the disrespectful behavior of tourists by not respecting the cultural norms. 

However, people knowingly break the rules relating to prohibition of any activities in public places. May be they are ignorant since they know the punishment for breaking such rubrics will be a very negligible. Actually, those rules are set to discipline the visitors, otherwise there will be all chaos and disorder if there is no rules and regulations.  

Monday, January 14, 2013

Memories from Bamboo School

God gave an opportunity for service in the remote village of Bon Ti on the border of Myanmar and Thailand. Amongst this group was a New Zealand missionary teacher, Catherine Riley-Bryan who started Bamboo School for those orphans in the community. Basically, the school is to show the love of Jesus to these unreached people and school highlights Bible, language studies in Thai and English, and first aid training. 

As we stepped down to meet them, i saw their faces were full of smiles, affectionate and laid their heads on our shoulders as we chatted. I never knew I could love another person's child. It touched me deeply. Their smiles were imprinted in my mind. I could not forget those smiles. A child will not smile if he or she is cold, or hungry or unloved. A child's smile is genuine. It is simplicity in its most genuine form. A child's smile is nature's perfection. My heart broke as each rendered their personal story. The graceless system which this world operates in has infiltrated into the heart of these sweet and innocent orphans. I stood silently in the hallway with tears rolling down my face. I stood there and prayed to God wishing that I could take their place. 

I went with an intention to give love to those kids but oddly enough, when I left the orphanage, it was I who felt so loved. They gave me much more than I gave them. I encourage all to visit Bamboo school and see what message God has for your heart. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Glimpses of Happy New Year

With increase in Western culture, many other countries have adopted the Gregorian calendar as their official calendar, and the 1 January date of New Year has become global, even in countries with their own New Year celebrations on other days. 

As the stroke of midnight rolled across the world's time zones, people from various countries gathered here in Krabi Beach, Thailand to celebrate the arrival of the New Year, 2013. The fireworks erupted right along the beach buffers, and thousands of revelers gathered in street, raising a glass, keeping warm, making resolutions, and wishing each other a "Happy New Year”. 

A key element to a New Year's resolution that sets it apart from other resolutions is that it is made in anticipation of the New Year and new beginnings. This is the time for a commitment that any people can make to achieve one or more personal goals, or reforming of a habit and generally plan to do so for the whole following year.