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Cycling to raise funds for tsunami victims

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: Charitable organizations all over the world receive thousands in aid to keep their operations running smoothly. However, advocates of one such organization, called the ‘Happy World Tour’, that represents an orphanage in Phuket, takes funding to the next level via projects across nations and continents. This year, three cyclists have decided to cycle around the world.

The orphanage in Muang Mai was built in 2005 after the tsunami dragged across Phuket’s west coast. The aim then was to help children and families who lost almost everything in the disaster. Eventually these people could move out to relatives and friends, but it soon turned out that the orphanage was still needed and the cry for help was huge, even from people who were not affected by the tsunami. The majority of these people come from the poorest provinces in northeastern Thailand.

Unlike similar undertakings that have been motivated by the lust for popularity and fame by many around the world, Calle Wollgard is doing so with the sole purpose of helping the caretakers and dozens of orphans of Barnhem Muang Mai – the orphanage run by Susanne Janson and Hans Forssell. Phuket and the rest of the world will pledge finance for each 10 kilometer travelled, as Calle and his team make their way to more than 20 different countries around the world.

Calle has already begun his fund-raising journey, and is joined this year by Eva Eriksson and Lovisa Hakansson.

They started from Phuket a few weeks ago with no prior training and just their wits about them, equipped with three ‘Haibike’, privately sponsored by a shop in Stockholm, in addition to bags, tents, cameras, some clothes and a small stove.

“My motivation has always been and will always be the people – the children, staff and all the people who operate behind the scenes at the orphanage,” says Calle.

The Happy World Tour blog reads that the determined trio plans to pass Portugal, Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Switzerland, Italy again, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Greece and Turkey.

After Turkey, the trio plans to head through Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Laos and finally enter Thailand via Chiang Rai. Their strenuous journey is scheduled to end at Muang Mai, Phuket by the end of next year.

Calle doesn’t take this project lightly. Before he left, he told the Phuket Gazette that he was looking forward to the experience.

“Last time when we embarked on a similar journey, we didn’t encounter a single person who wanted to cause us harm,” said Calle. “We ended up meeting only good people who helped us along the way. Without that, I’m not sure I would be doing this.”

“I hope that the fundraiser will be a success and we get to meet a lot of interesting people on the way. I’m also looking forward to being close to nature.”

You can follow their journey and make donations online by visiting thehappyworldtour.com.

— Zohaib Sikander

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Bangkok

First female doctor in Thailand celebrated by Google

Caitlin Ashworth

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First female doctor in Thailand celebrated by Google | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Google

If you do any search on Google today you’ll see a graphic of a doctor holding a baby. The image is of Thailand’s first female doctor, Margaret Lin Xavier, and today marks her 122nd birthday.

Xavier, whose Thai name is Lin Srivisarnvaja, was an expert in obstetrics and gynaecology. She opened a private clinic with her sister who was a pharmacist. Many times she would treat women for free who couldn’t afford care as well as sex workers, according to a Khaosod English story.

She was born in Bangkok and her father worked in foreign affairs for the government. She studied at schools in Penang and London, obtaining a medical degree from the London School of Medicine for Women. She then moving back to Thailand in 1924 when she was 26 years old and started working as an obstetrician at the Thai Red Cross, Chulalongkorn Hospital. She was the first Thai woman to earn a medical degree and practice in the country.

She only practiced medicine for 8 years. She was only 34 years old when she died in 1932 due to encephalitis and influenza. But her work opened doors in the medical field for Thai women. As of December, less than a century after Xavier started working, 45% of the 61,302 doctors in Thailand are women, according to the Medical Council of Thailand.

The Thaiger salutes this pioneer in Thai obstetrics and gynaecology, Margaret Lin Xavier.

SOURCE: Khaosod | Google

First female doctor in Thailand celebrated by Google | News by The Thaiger

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Thai Life

Burma or Myanmar? Myanmarese or Burmese?

The Thaiger

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Burma or Myanmar? Myanmarese or Burmese? | The Thaiger

We refer to Myanmar a lot in our news because it’s a bordering foreign country to Thailand and many people from Myanmar work in and around Thailand.

But is it Myanmar or Burma, and are the people that live there Myanmarese or Burmese?

As you’ll read across the media there is no precise answer to the question with foreign powers still referring to the country with its two names although, officially, since 1989, the ruling party changed the country’s name to Myanmar. But even in Myanmar locals continue to use both names.

“The ruling military junta changed its name from Burma to Myanmar in 1989, a year after thousands were killed in the suppression of a popular uprising. Rangoon also became Yangon.”

At The Thaiger we’ve decided to refer to the country as ‘Myanmar’ and the people as ‘Burmese’. Reading ‘a man from Myanmar’ is a lot more cumbersome than ‘a Burmese man’. But for the country we’re following the trend of most regional media using the official name Myanmar. Even the people living there continue to refer to themselves as Burmese.

Other publications have taken different decisions and that’s fine too. Here’s some information from The Culture Trip which provides a bit of background as to why our neighbouring country to the west lives on with two names and plenty of confusion.

Inside Asia Tours also has their own take on the name situation.

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Transport

Thousands of people have been travelling between provinces

Anukul

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Thousands of people have been travelling between provinces | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: corporate-office.business

… but not quite as many as before, so far. The Director General of the Department of Land Transport says that more people have been using the inter-provincial buses services after the government recently easing Thailands’ lock down situation.

He says…

“Although some long distance services are still not in operation to comply with the night time curfew, many inter-provincial routes of around 300 kilometres are open and have seen many commuters.”

“The department will gradually add buses to facilitate increased use and maintain social distancing.”

The department has announced that there were just under a million passengers per day using public buses running between Bangkok and nearby provinces from March 1-25, (the period before the State of Emergency).

  • 141,240 passengers per day taking buses between the capital and other provinces,
  • 9,128 using buses between provinces,
  • 2,379 using buses within a province.

Reports have revealed that after the emergency was effective across the nation from March 26 to May 1, there was a decrease in the number of passengers with 472,210 passengers per day travelling from Bangkok to surrounding provinces, 4,090 from the capital to other provinces, 5,612 on inter-provincial routes and 2,156 passengers between provinces.

After the lockdown was eased on May 2 up to today, the number of passengers has increased to 508,490 per day travelling from Bangkok to surrounding provinces, 6,000 from Bangkok to other provinces, 9,020 on inter-provincial routes and 4,020 passengers between provinces.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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