Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Queen's Birthday Celebration

by Elder Sowards

The 12th is Mother's day in Thailand. It is the queen's birthday and they celebrate it as mother's day. They celebrate Father's Day on the King's birthday in December. Mother's Day is a bigger holiday here than in the US – people have it off work. We went to a school event where one of our members was dancing in a program. We think we were the only foreigners there – "we" being Joan and I and two young elders. We were treated as special guests.

Elders Trabing and Omer with Oui's dance group at the Queen's
birthday celebration
It was actually several schools doing the program, each having a Thai dance group perform. The dancers were all in beautiful costumes. After the program, they played the national anthem and the Queen's song. Then at a set time the mayor of the county lit a candle and from it, all other attendees had their candles lit. We were each given candles. I was told that all over Thailand at the same time people were lighting candles. After a few words from the leaders, they set off fireworks. It was more than a school production but a community event. Joan wore a turquoise blouse today. As it turned out, that is the queen's color and many people had the same color on at the celebration. Joan fit right in.
On Tuesday the elders asked me to take Elder Chambers to the hospital. He had a high fever and was sick to his stomach. He was tested for Dengue fever but they said it was too early to tell. At times he was delirious. They put him on IVs. Scary to think about losing a missionary. On Wednesday, we found out Elder Chambers didn't have Dengue fever – a big relief. It was an infection. He was released on Thursday and on Friday headed out to his new assigned area. Sorry to lose him here in Ayutthaya.

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