Sunday, October 16, 2011

No Flood Waters Yet

So far, Nichada has escaped the flooding that is to the north and west of us. There is flooding close by (nearer to the river) but, from all reports, Nichada should be okay. I am still a bit worried as large amounts of sandbags continue to be brought in to Nichada and placed around the community. The concrete walls have been built even higher and are now being reinforced with plastic sheeting and wooden frames for stability. I guess it is better to be safe than sorry and I am sure we will all appreciate these efforts should things change and the flood waters come out this way. The Embassy did hold a town hall meeting in Nichada yesterday for the US Government employees that live here and we were given some good information about what we could and should do to prepare. This morning, Kevin, Caitlynne and I took a drive outside of Nichada, (a little to the west and north) and, while there were no signs of flooding, everyone was certainly prepared with sandbags and concrete barriers in place. We did pass a few areas where there were large groups filling sandbags and loading them into trucks.  

My personal opinion of the Government's management of this crisis is that there are too many cooks in the kitchen. As expected, everyone wants to be in charge and make *the* most important decision or proclamation. It is interesting because the National Government and the Governments of the affected Provinces are working cooperatively but, as each really has their own agenda, there is no shortage of opinions and ideas about how to manage the crisis. The PM has already stated that downtown Bangkok will not be flooded; however, considering that the worst flooding was originally predicted for October 16 - 19th, in my opinion (and I am certainly not an expert), it is a little too early to declare Bangkok will not flood. 

I am finding it difficult to get current information and updates online. The Bangkok Post does not update its stories and other pertinent information throughout the day as I would expect would be done with a crisis of this magnitude. I guess I am just so used to the instantaneous updates and postings that the Washington Post and CNN are so good with. 

In the aftermath of the flooding, there have been reports of the flood waters being infested with snakes, crocodiles and scorpions. A farm in the north was flooded earlier this week and about 100 crocodiles escaped. However, according to an official with the National Wildlife and Fishery Department, these crocs are not fierce because crocodiles raised in captivity have no instinct to attack humans. While this might be true in a perfect world, in this situation, I am thinking that a hungry crocodile is a hungry crocodile. 

The Bangkok Post published an article about how to protect against poisonous creatures during the flooding, a couple of which gave me a bit of a chuckle...

1. Alert rescuers when dealing with large creatures. In the case of smaller ones like scorpions or centipedes, use a long wooden stick to steer them into a bucket and cover it with a piece of cloth or blanket and wait for the rescuers, but keep children away. If the rescuers are too busy or far away, you may have to beat them to death, but if it happens to be a big snake, cover it with blankets and wait for a professional hand to arrive and deal with the problem.

2. As a safeguard against snakes, people should hit the ground or water with a wooden stick before stepping forward. However, the noise can alert crocodiles to attack them. Therefore stay quiet if you spot one. When attacked by the beast, try to stick in a wooden wedge before it is able to lock its jaws on you. It is a very difficult thing to do, but it is better than doing nothing to save your own life. Edited to add: My Australian friends should definitely take note of this very practical tip!

Enough about the flooding for today.  Our big news this week (other than Kevin returning home on Friday) was that our car FINALLY arrived and is now in our driveway! 
Kevin has already been out and about in it while I have only dared to venture to the food market up by the kids' school. I realized that I haven't driven in almost three months and that, coupled with the right hand drive, makes me a little hesitant to go outside the gates right away. 

The kids also had their community league basketball playoff games this weekend. Unfortunately, both of their teams lost in the first round on Friday night so that was the end for them. They both spent yesterday at school watching the other rounds and seeing the finals for each of their leagues. Their team photos...
We are not completely finished with basketball as they both still have games with their BISAC (school) teams. The BISAC tournament will be the first weekend in November and then we move right into baseball and softball (or maybe soccer for Caitlynne).

My Hokie Birds in their new home... 
This is just a random photo I took while waiting at school last week. The photo was taken outside Caitlynne's French classroom which overlooks the courtyard of the middle school. So pretty!
Have a great Sunday everyone!

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