On Oct. 30-31, I visited a village in Suphanburi province again, to get to know this community a bit more, and to talk about what this village and ARC can do together.
I got on the shared wagon (rot-tuu) from Victory Monument. It took around 2 hours to reach the Khao Shang Mak Temple, where Aj. Wiboon, the bookworm of the community came to pick me up with 2 nieces of hers.
Aj. Wiboon welcomed me warmly and we had a nice and cozy dinner over her homemade tamarind nam-prik and fried fish. Her house is located near a canal, and surrounded by many trees. I enjoyed much fresher air compared to that of Bangkok, and the chorus of little insects all around. The songs of crickets mingled with voices of frogs always make me miss home.
After dinner, the little girls and her friends who came to stay there came peeping at me. I knew it. They saw me carrying 3 enormous books that I carried all the way from Queen Sirikit Convention Center in Bangkok, and couldn’t wait till opening them.
So the time they usually watch TV turned into spontaneous story-telling time. We all enjoyed reading from the beautiful picture books, and they brought out their own books afterwards. It’s funny that reading stories to each other brings up a totally new side of the book. Of course, reading by oneself is fun too, but to share it with friends and family is something different.
After kids were put into bed, Aj. Wiboon and I taled a bit about our reading activity. She wants to open two rooms of her house to be made into public library in the village: one room for storing books, and another for reading room. Luckily, her house is located just between two villages, so we can invite children from both communities. I also shared ARC’s wish to include all kids, including those with disabilities, and she agreed to work with public health centers to ask for information about children with disabilities. Just before we were about to collapse out of sleepiness, we decided to work on our first trial mobile library activity in December. She generously offered to let volunteers stay at her house, and promised any necessary assistance.
Next morning, we hurriedly ate some rice soup for breakfast, packed up, and went altogether to the nearby temple. The children really enjoyed the ride at the back of the track. They were screaming like anything every time the car makes a thrilling twists and turns.
As we reached the temple, people were already gathered around, chanting. So we sneaked in, and the kids and I got to introduce ourselves after the chanting. It’s a small community temple, and they seem to get together quite regularly. Totally different from those gorgeous-looking temples were tourists often go. We had a very nice lunch there with all the vegetarian dishes that each person brought from home, and here it comes again, the spontaneous story-telling.
It was even more fun this time because we had more children. And there was P’Nuch, a very lively story-teller. Children were so eager to read each line that they even started to reserve their favorite pages 🙂 I asked Aj. Wiboon to videotape it, and it will be soon available for you to watch on Youtube.
What I feel great about this village is that there are so many community members who are willing to help us. P’Nuch, the story-teller, happens to be a master-graduate from Silapakorn University, and majored in ceramic art. She promised to help when ARC goes back to do the caravan activity in December. There is another powerful leader, Uncle Pan-yaa, who has lived in the village for decades. He said he will tell local folk tales and legends in the community. How lucky we are to find such a perfect village!
Anyone in Thailand and wants to join us on our caravan in December in this village, you are most welcome na! Please write to us at
I will make sure to come back and tell you how the caravan went in December…