Sunday, December 25, 2011

Season’s Greetings, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

My Dear Gentle Reader, 

Yes, I wrote something called the 2nd year, but it’s Christmas and I’m remembering the Christmas letters that my family used to send out with all the news.  I was not as appreciative of them as perhaps I could have been.  Anyway, they inspired me to write this and share with you a few photographs that you may not have seen.
Do you know this was taken? 
I have spent the entire year as a long term volunteer with Save Elephant Foundation (formerly called Elephant Nature Foundation).  I have learned more about me and about positive relationships than I thought possible.  I have adopted the founder, Sangduen “Lek” Chialert as one of my spiritual teachers and I think she is doing a fabulous job!  There is no formal lessons given or anything like that.  People come into the picture and do what they do.  I simply observe how Lek reacts.  She always takes the high road.  To say I have received Abundant Blessings would be a gross understatement. 
Lek inspecting the flood situation 
I am in a loving supportive relationship with my partner Maliwan.  For two years this woman has put up with me.  We actually met on American Thanksgiving Day 2009. The last day of this year will be spent with her parents discussing wedding plans.
Maliwan and her son Gun
In late January – early February we went on a whirlwind trip that took us to Laos and then to several parts of Thailand.   You can go back and read some of the posts if you missed them.  We had a wonderful time.
On the boat to Luang Prabong

River Scene
In late July – early August I went back to the States for a brief visit.  I had the pleasure of going to Lego land with my 5 year old grandson and his mom and dad, spending a bit of time with my California relatives and then a couple days with my niece Kate and her family in Colorado. 
Andy at Lego Land
Kate & the tribe at Rocky Mountain National Park
The first of October we moved to Chiang Mai.  The pace has quickened.  This city has a lot going on and I am within a comfortable walking distance of the SEF office.  The proximity has allowed me the opportunity to get more involved.  Because I was in Chiang Mai at the right moment I had the opportunity to go with the SEF people when they rescued Pang Pornsawan.  I swear that elephant and I immediately ‘clicked’.  She teaches me patience, tolerance and most of all compassion.  Maybe one day I’ll write a whole short story or something about our relationship. Today, the story is a long way from being finished.
A recent visit with Pang Pornsawan
I had the opportunity to spend a day on the truck rescuing and feeding dogs in Bangkok.  I am awe struck by the dedication of the volunteers, the acceptance and serenity of the people effected by this travesty.
Safe and on their way to a better life! 

Stranded on a roof, we can only feed this one.  He's in a panic
My Art Sale Event to help Pang Pornsawan has also taught me a few valuable lessons.  Timing is everything and the event was trumped by the floods in Bangkok.  It’s hard to ask the world to help one elephant when there are thousands of people and their animals trying to survive in a huge flood zone!  

Flood Dogs Reality! 
We moved the date of Pang Pornsawan's Art Sale Event to the 21st of January and expect a good turnout and are still accepting art work. You can read all about it, and even help by going to the website.
The Chiang Mai Poster for the Pang Porsawan Art Sale Event
The last two months of the year has been spent largely with what I am calling the “Mubu Products Project”.  At the moment that includes two finished books, both authored by Peter Alexander with illustrations by Sergio Paulo.  This is a great project for me because the books contain marvelous examples for children all over the world.  They are based on the childhood of Sangduen “Lek” Chailert.  Check out the website at www.mubustoriescom    We also have a Facebook Page, please go and like The Mubu Book Series - "The Little Girl Who Made a Big Difference". 

Magazine Ad, not the version that was chosen

Last night Maliwan and I were guests at the annual Elephant Nature Park Christmas Party.  It was fabulous.  Different groups put on different ‘shows’.  My two favorites were the mahouts doing a traditional bamboo stick dance, and Darricks family serenading Lek and Darrick with their own re-writes of the 12 days of Christmas. 12 ele’s, 11 pachyderms, 10 thousand acres, 9 dog cages, 8 buffalo…… and a moon bear in a tree.
Christmas is Love! 
I hope your Christmas Holidays are everything you wished and that your new year brings you everything you so richly deserve.

Abundant Blessings, 

Monday, December 05, 2011

A Letter to Santa Claus

Dear Santa Clause,

Yes!  I still believe in you and I believe in lots of other mystical magical things as well.  You well know that in life there are givers and takers. Knowing there is more joy in giving than in receiving, knowing that givers gain and knowing that we are all a part of a greater good, I’ve learned to be very careful about asking.  Self promotion has not served me well in the past, so I’ll ask you to decide if I’ve been good or bad this year.
I believe in sunsets and they are definitely magic! 
If I’ve been bad, please refrain from putting coal in my stocking; it leaves a bad carbon footprint and just isn’t useful.  I big plop of elephant dung would send the message, and I could use it for organic fertilizer!

If I’ve been good please just make a donation to the Save Elephant Foundation (SEF).   It’s really easy.  Just go to and donate.  While you are there be sure to designate the donation for Save Elephant Foundation, and maybe even send them a short email.  Did you know that the Serengeti Foundation makes sure that 100% of your gift goes to the cause of your choice?   May I tell you why I make this Christmas request?   There are many reasons:

Save Elephant Foundation (SEF) operates the Elephant Nature Park (ENP) which is home to 36 elephants who have been rescued.  These elephants eat a lot of fruit and veggies; require medical care and lots of other expensive stuff.
Hanging out at ENP
SEF rescues elephants that are in terrible condition and gives them the best life possible.   I have already told you about Pang Pornsawan but this letter isn’t about her specifically.
My introduction to Pang Pornsawan
SEF supports the elephant community in the Surin area of Thailand.  Recently, at the Thailand’s famous Surin Elephant Festival, SEF sponsored a healthy elephant contest as a way of encouraging the best care possible of the elephants.
First Place Winner - Healthy Elephant Contest
SEF has been very involved in the rescue of dog, cats and other animals from the devastating floods in the areas surrounding Bangkok.  This has been an expensive proposition that has been undertaken with just one concern. How can we best help the animals in trouble?  Some people are stranded with their pets. The SEF team brings them food.  Often the dogs are in too much of a panic to approach, so the team just feeds them where they are.
SEF Dog Rescue Team at an apartment complex
If you take the time and trouble to make a small donation it will help.
Flood dog finds food thrown to him by SEF rescue team
Are you going to pay income taxes for 2011?   Would a charitable contribution help lower your tax payment?   Well you should know that the Serengeti Foundation is a registered 501c non-profit.  Donating through them means you have helped SEF and it means that you have taken control of how some of your hard earned money is to be used.

Abundant Blessings to you and Thank you!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Flood News, Some Sad and Some Glad

The flood situation is turning into a long term ordeal. There are a lot of dark spots.  Thousands of people, thousands of acres of land and thousands of animals were, are and will be effected.  I was going to just report the good news, but before I do that, here is a brief update directly from Sangduen "Lek" Chailert which was written late last night.

Dear All
This is our eight week that we can continue to work to rescue the animals from the flood at Bangkok. The more week of flood continue , the more difficult and risky for us to do work , because  of the water become smelly, black , most animal we found are become stressed and aggressive , Many of them are also getting sick and weak . 
I will send more continue story update.


There is a few bright spots, the most significant is the massive effort that is ongoing by many local, national and international organizations who are hard a work doing what they do best. Some are rescuing animals some are working with people in neeed. The spirit of cooperation and level of effort is amazing.
Given the stress levels, the different organizational cultures and the very difficult situation, I believe the Bangkok volunteers all deserve a resounding THANK YOU!  

Let me tell you a story, a true story in fact.  A couple of days ago one of the Save Elephant Foundation SEF rescue teams came across a tortoise in need of rescue.The poor thing had ended up on one of the Bangkok area freeways. They found him in the Pratung Thani area where he had wondered out into traffic on the freeway (super highway).  This fellow would have been ran over if the SEF team hadn’t grabbed him.

Rescued from the floods and just about to be released
He's a tortoise with a history (almost completely unkown) and a destiny.  He is a three legged tortoise who gets on quite well without his right front leg. One could only speculate how he lost his leg. All I know is that the wound was long healed before SEF found him. I’m told he is actually a Black, Soft-shell Turtle which are quite uncommon. Comparing the photo I took with the ones on the internet just might be that rare specimen. He’s certainly quite similar. Actually I wasn't told about his possible identity until after his release  or I would have taken more photos, maybe many more.
I claim no expertise in this subject area.
They took the netting off, what's happening?

The turtle's new home at Wat Omung! 
The wonderful people at Wat Umong agreed to let our 3 legged friend come and live in there lake.  Wat Umong is a very serene place with lots of history.  If you come to Chiang Mai I’d encourage you to visit this wat.  It’s known for it’s history, it’s meditation center and for it’s lake where people  come to feed the fish.  We sent him off with traditional Thai well wishes.  I’m sure that the ตะพาบน้ำ as the Thai’s call him will have a long and happy life.
I'm being put in the water! 

I'll just swim to freedom 
Given that he was rescued from a flood in a city and ended up in a lake in a very spiritual place makes me think that he may be the basis for part of a future work of mythological fiction.

Abundant Blessings,

Thursday, November 10, 2011

An Urgent Message from Lek

David Hardcastle just sent me this:

"Having ensured flood-affected elephants were safe and properly fed, Save Elephant Foundation immediately began to rescue and/or feed dogs, cats and monkeys in many flooded areas of Bangkok.
SEF founder and international award winner Sangduen 'Lek' Chailert runs a shuttle service of food and volunteers from her base in Chiang Mai, using large trucks which can get through most floods. She has bought a boat and dogs are being rescued off the rooftops of their flooded homes.
Now, volunteers are needed to nurse sick and malnourished dogs and puppies at her temporary Dog Shelter in the Bang Po area. Please see the attached Appeal notice and help in any way you can to publicise this urgent need. This is an appeal for good hearted people, not for funds!
Thanks in advance,"

Many Dogs Need Your Help! 

The text of Lek's letter: 
The Foundation has set up an emergency Dog Shelter in Bang Po, Bangkok, to care for the many, many dogs we have rescued from the floods.
Now, volunteers are urgently needed to help save lives and nurse sick and malnourished dogs back to health.
If so, please call our Hotlines (English & Thai) now for full details of how we can help you to help us:
087 186 3804
085 161 3988
Make a difference! Save lives! Thanks in advance!!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Flood News

Flood waters are certainly newsworthy here in Thailand.  I just took a look at  Some of the headlines are very interesting indeed. The Bangkok Governor is Blamed on Flooding Mismanagement. The former prime minister is complaining that the new administrations' budget doesn't address the flood situation properly. I read all this stuff and wonder if I've been deported back to the United States.  Point the finger at the other guy and yell as loud as you can, maybe the blame will pass you by. Would they get more accomplished if they put their personal ambitions aside and worked togather?   It's obvious that there is plenty of work to me done!

Hey, Thanks for Saving Me! 

In the meantime there are some people doing exceptional work. Let me focus on the postive.

Boats + Volunteers = Lives Saved!
Thai Watana Panich Press has donated the use of land at their production site.  That land is being used to create a temporary shelter for more than 2,000 dogs! The generousity of Thai Watana Panich Press should be noted. They are helping to save thousands of dogs. They are a printing company and can be found at

Save Elephant Foundation (SEF) is taking the inital lead in this effort but they are not alone! SEF, Soi/Street Cats And Dogs (SCAD), Pick A Pet 4 Home, Kinship Circle
Humane Society International have formed a coalation.  The Soi Dog Foundaton, Wild Life Friends Thailand (WFFT) and many other indendent volunteers are helping. There are so many good people involved; it's really heartwarming.  Hardworking volunteers are spending countless hours trying to do all they can!

October 2011, They Will Not Forget
SEF is accepting on line donations through  Just go to that website, click donate and designate the money to go to SEF. Many people are sending them an email as well.  

Abundant Blessings

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Clarity and Credit Where it is Due

Recently I wrote an article entitled DIRTBALL SCUM BAGS in which I attacked people who would stoop so low as to take advantage of disastrous and abscond with badly needed funds.  There are such people and I make no apology for warning you about them. Be careful when you donate, make sure your money is going where it is intended!!  By excluding you from the direct list in no way insinuates that I think you are a dirtball scum bag!  Heck the venerable Elepahant Nature Foundation website didn’t even make the list.  Having said that, if I have offended a few legitimate entities by not including them in the short list of ways to donate directly to Save Elephant Foundation, I apologize.  Perhaps:
Artists for Elephants is one such case.  They are legitimate and can be found on facebook.  Just type in Artists for Elephants and their group will come up for you.  Matt & Chantelle's Elephant In The Room Rescue  is another case of good people doing good work to support. Both of these groups are being supportive of my efforts to raise money for Pang Pornsawan.  In fact Matt Rousso is one of the donating artists!

Last night I went to see Lek.  I needed to get caught up before she returned to Bangkok today. I learned that there is a gentleman in Bangkok who is allowing SEF to access to a large piece of land where they can establish proper shelter for the many animals that are being rescued.  More about that gentleman as soon as I have the information and know if he wants to remain anonymous or will be O.K. with some public recognition, which he surely deserves.

While I was talking to Lek, the phone rang and it was Karin from Care for Dogs.  They are volunteering to go to Bangkok and help. They are amazing people. Truth told, they have way too many dogs and way too few volunteers as it is!   Good on them!

There are many, many great people involved and doing all they can to help.  Many of them will never be known to me and I won’t be able to tell you about their individual good deeds.  They will, non the less, have accumulated good Karma and are loved and appreciated for their efforts.

Abundant Blessings,

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Three Ways to Help SEF Save Animals

Save Elephant Foundation has been rescuing animals as fast as we can with the limited resources available.  At this point we have three pressing needs:

1. We need more boats.  Who do you know in the Bangkok area that will loan, rent or even sell a boat?

2. The dogs and cats need medicine, especially medicine for lice, mange and just pain.  Who do you know that’s coming to Thailand?  Please ask them to bring some medicine with them.  Our volunteers will be happy to pick it up from them once they arrive in country.

 3. We need veterinarians to take care of the dogs, cats, bird and perhaps monkeys.  The foundation can help transport in country, basic accommodations and meals. If you are a vet and can volunteer a couple days of your time, it would certainly be more than appreciated.  The need for a vet is truly desperate!

If you can help, or even lead us to someone who can help, please call:
In Thai or English: Khun Sak - 086 920 1723       or Khun Patty - 086 618 8170

Again, If you can help, or even lead us to someone who can help, please call:
In Thai or English: Khun Sak - 086 920 1723 or Khun Patty - 086 618 8170

Abundant Blessings, especially to those of you who will help!


Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Plea from Sangduen "Lek" Chailert , Founder of Save Elephant Foundation

Last night Sangduen "Lek" Chailert wrote an empassioned plea on behalf of the many animals who are drowning in the floods around Bangkok, especially dogs and cats who have been abandoned in expensive areas, areas where the expensive homes are owned mostly by foreigners.  She asked me to clean up her English grammar and then send it out to everyone. I tried, but find that when I edit her words, I dilute her message. So. I'll simply make a couple of comments and include her text exactly as she has written it.

I do not care what your nationality is, Please if you have abandoned your pets in a flood area, go back and get them!! As water levels raise many are drowning locked in cages. This is not the way to treat "man's best friend", it's certainly not the way you or would want to leave this life!  Lek has offered to help. Call our hotlines and we will help you save the life of your pet.  The text unedited message follows:

Dear All
After my fifth week  helping to rescued the animals who victim from flood . Today our team still work  in the area at Nonthaburee and Pratumtanee,  province and the flood keep chasing us ,raise up high every day of our movement and try to help .
Our team has rescue between 50- 100 animal a day, someday  work from early until after midnight trying to save their life if we can , what I have learned and experience from my past week  to see the horrible picture of animals died all over around ,
The most tragedy we have seen are the big house  in the land and house project  have  left the animals dying and suffer . Some of our team can’t go to rescue when we have heard  screaming from the dogs who call us for help. We saw some of them have a couple inch to breath  before the head will reach the top of cage , some of them already die. ,most we can’t open the cage because of the lock  . We can help and manage to lift the cage to stay higher , the most worse part that some cage have build stick in the cement floor and it make our work are very difficult to remove the dog . some dogs stay up high now  but the situation are still risky because of the flood are raise up all the time . We would like all of you have help us to spread this message  to the animal lover to help us to call  ask for the owner of pet who stay around flood area and have left the  animal behind , please come back home to save them .
I would like the pet owner to remember that:
If any of you understand word “ The man Best Friend “ then you should value their loyal ,
Many house owner have argue with us that they now move to stay at the hotel and pet not allow , In this situation  if you love you animal and as I work in the field I would like all will help to save the animal life  Please attention for this message:
1 ) Please try to go back your place and bring your animal out or take them to stay at you second floor  give space for them to living , provide them enough food and water. At the moment I have report from many house owner  who   have the problem with the thief go to steal belonging  at their  home and residence  , your dog will be the best guard to look after you home , please release them free in the house and make the trip to visit them often as you can .
2) if they stay in the cage release them out immediately , if you need hand to help please call our team , to help to move your animal , but during we work we need the dog owner to be with us.
3) If your pet get sick we can help to provide the vet to look after your animals  on emergency and after that you have to bring your pet to get the  better treatment .
4) For any house   at one floor and you have no place to keep your pet  , we can provide the temporary place for your animal with free of charge and we expect you to have them back  them back after the flood have gone
You need help please call to our help center at : our organization  at :             087-1801062       ,            085-6520756      
            085-6163988        ,             087-1863804       or email at :