by Pattarapong Choopanya
Isn’t it nice to have Guay-jub (Vietnamese noodle) for breakfast!?!! Yummy yummy!!! Thx to P’ Noi, she is such a talented chef… We visited Natan Hospital (Sub-district or Tambon-level hospital) in the morning to learn about Thailand’s community health care system. Health volunteers (อสม. or Ao-sor-mor), which is the pride of every Ministry of Public Health personnel, were introduced as the most valuable assets of the Ministry of Public Health in keeping community health care system running… Again, this sub-district level hospital is the smallest hospital yet the most important one as it stays at the bottom of the hospital hierarchy which means it is the closest to the local people. We had a quick tour of Natan Hospital to appreciate its capability and responsibiity. Lunch was provided at the meeting room before we all set off to visit HIV/AIDS patients individually and confidentially at their own places, sorry – no photo from now on… Sticky rice seemed to take effect straight after lunch as I could not hear any conversation from the back of the van – they all were having a good dream, I warned you girls!!! 555+ Same as yesterday, the evening was designated for recreational activities… after a daily meeting of the students. The students rehearsed their dance show once more before going home for dinner with their hosts… That evening was special because Mr. Bobby came and joined our dinner… he also kindly bought us 12 Leo beers, Sugoiiiiiiii !!! You can imagine what happened next, can’t you!?!! Kampaiiiiiiii… To summarise… the language barrier was partially destroyed… I could see more interactions between students and HSF staff… more and more fun… It was not that their language skill was not good enough, but it was all because we just met and they were shy at first… a longer-term study tour, for example 2 and a half year, should be considered!?!!