Yesterday we went and visited a poor lady (60 yrs old) in a near by village. About 2 weeks ago her 2 grandchildren (aged 5 & 8) died after drowning in a dam. Her grandchildren lived with her, as they were abandoned by their mother, and so the grandmother was very close to the children and is greatly grieving their loss. She lives by a hillside on a nice property on which she has lived for the last 40 years, but despite having a reasonably nice house (for rural Thai standards), she has little income and is very poor. She is given regular food parcels from Mercy to assist her. She has a small corn crop which she was harvesting with her sister and son, as we arrived. She was generous enough to boil some corn for us to eat in her house, but I felt hesitant to take some as I knew she doesn’t really earn much money. Both her and her sister asked if Isaac and Jed wanted to stay overnight, as I think they would really like to have children around again. There is a Buddhist temple just a few meters away, where they keep about 200 stray dogs, which we could here howling. They howl every time they bang their drums at the temple. The dogs get fed meat each day, and are fed better than many of the poor locals, who just scrape by. The ladies expressed their resentment at this.

On a separate note, the "cold" season has started to arrive. The shops are loaded with winter clothing, beanies, scarfes and jumpers. I hear some Thai people talk about how cold the mornings are. But for me, it has been pleasant outside, but its not what I would actually call cold. Im still in shorts and t-shirt and typing this with the airconditioner on. I just googled the local weather and its still about 30 degrees. I guess compared to the 40 degrees day in day out, when we first arrived this is awesome.