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Saturday 12 Apr
Bangkok, Thailand

A Visit with the Allen Will Family near Chiang Mai

10-11 March Out from Chiang Mai, Thailand
I made connection with Allen Will through Gracie Channel at our church near Crescent. Gracie had been to Thailand a couple of times, the most recent in September, to be on a medical team. Gracie is now a retired nurse. She told me to be sure to contact Allen when I got to Chiang Mai.
Allen and his wife Clare were gracious to invite me to spend a night at their house out from Chiang Mai about 12 miles. He is also a nurse by profession, but quit a job in the fishing business in Maryland to come here some years ago. He met Clare and they married. Clare's sister, Doom, and her nephew Duey were also there. Allen and Clare have a lovely house out from a small village near a school where Allen taught at one time. We rode the Song-Tow to get to the village and with all my luggage, actually rode motorcycles the remaining distance, Allen balancing my biggest suitcase somehow as he rode.
They have a very nice house with open areas to allow breezes to cool the house. Fish ponds out front provide part of their fare for eating. Clare and Doom fixed a lovely dinner for my that night.
Allen works to support ministries to the hill people, refugees and other who have had to flee Burma because of persecutions by their army. He is committed to the ministries which involves orphanages, medical help. He told me of two nurses of the Karen people who were especially effective. On the last day there, I got to meet one of them who was working with a group of Karens painting a new acquistion for an orphanage. We visited some of the orphanages, but all the children had gone back to their native areas for the Songkran festival time--the New Year. I did meet a young lady from Denmark who has been helping.
Allen showed me a DVD of the situation of the Karen mountain people. Their plight truly is difficult, but they remain resolute in spite of it. Many of them are dedicated Christians. Perhaps you are aware of the situation in Burma. The persecution and conflicts with the mountain people have been going on over 60 years. When they have to flee, they come over into Thailand to escape. Thus the need for assistance on this side.
Allen and Clare are engaging people. Allen speaks with passion about his work, yet he does not push--even as he suggested that I come back and teach in the mountains! The needs indeed are great.
It is refreshing to find people who put their faith to work helping people as they do.
They are also wonderful hosts and many come their way to stay. On the way to the airport, we picked up a young man by the name of David from Melbourne, Australia who had been teaching in the hills until he got so infested with bed bugs he had to come down. Freshly shaved--hair and beard, he still bore some of the bite marks. He was moving on to Cambodia to teach there.
With the trip to Allen and Clare's house, I wrapped up my stay in Thailand. It was all too short. I checked with the airline about rescheduling my flight for later, but my fares were locked in and couldn't be changed. I will have to return to this land of friendly and gentle people another time.
Well...gentle except during Songkran, the New Year's festival! We got thoroughly doused on the way to the airport. It is the custom for these next five days to throw water on any and everybody that moves. They came up behind us once and got us good! I had to change my clothes before my flight.
I flew to Bangkok and then, near midnight, boarded my flight to Perth, Australia to continue this wandering trek around the world.

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