While I said goodbye to Thailand last week with a post looking back at the highlights of our three weeks there, I do have a two addendums on special aspects of our experience.
This week’s: bugs (and other animals)
Beetle, leaf bug, mega mosquito…
Food, pest, welcome guest…
Insect, arachnid, reptile, and then some fish.
There are many animals that give people the willies, the recoils, the scrunched up faces of disgust.
Thailand is a tropical, largely undeveloped nation. And so their winged, long-legged critters flutter or crawl their way into the towns and homes of the locals.
Things that make you go, “Eek!”
But they are fascinating life forms. Enjoy these pictures, stories, and even some video of the creepy crawly animals of Thailand.
Our sister school in the village Huai Khu offered the best display of such creatures.
One day on the patio of the classroom building, students spotted this fella on the window mesh.
Then one of our students, a Karenni boy who moved to America just five years earlier and had grown up exposed to such animal life in his Thailand refugee camp, picked up this bug.
Another day, many students from either school sat on this same patio during a talk. Too bad for the speaker, an ornate, eye-catching, large, bright-green flying insect a-fluttered above the students’ heads and landed on the beam above. My camera followed their pointed fingers.
Between classes at the school, I saw a bug that reminded me of ones I’d seen in Minnesota. I don’t know what they’re called, so I’ll simply refer to this one as I refer to them back home: giant mosquito.
It wasn’t just insects at Huai Khu. There were many geckos. (There were many geckos all over the country. They were so common, I forgot to photograph one for you. Sorry about that.) But I’ll make it up with a reptile twice the size and twice the surprise.
On the upper level of the classroom building, the young man computer teacher led me into the lab. Never mind the PCs. Look what sat there on the floor.
This molting lizard–somehow up on the second floor–just chilled there, probably wishing we’d leave. I wasn’t going to let this opportunity pass me by, though. So I captured it–with some video.
Huai Khu offered us more than classes and activities.
Outside Huai Khu, students found another reptile in a stream. It just lay there, so they did what 14 year olds do. They picked it up.
At a temple complex within a park, I looked up to see this hand-sized spider.
Keeping with the temples, the gorgeous complex called Wat Tham Krabok featured a pond laying low beneath the elevated banks from which we viewed the water–and then fed the slimy creatures within:
Want to see some more fish? Okay. At a park in Bangkok, some students and I tossed bread at the large catfish in a pond just below the bridge we stood upon.
How very Midwestern of me to end on fish.
Such wildlife was not at all the reason for our trip, but after three weeks in Thailand–and if you keep your eyes open–you’ll see enough to write a story.
Next week’s post–the final from Thailand–also covers a topic you’ll notice if you keep your eyes open: the unique openness of cross-gender behavior and identity.
Until then, enjoy the bugs and lizards in your life.