At Thursday’s meeting of the Carmi Rotary club, Morris McCall gave an account of his recent trip to Thailand.
In November of 2016, Morris joined with a group called “Overseas Adventures Travel” on a long trip to the far east. The trip’s first stop was Bankok, Thailand. Morris explained that the much beloved King of Thailand had just died when the group arrived, and the country was in a state of mourning. He said the city was still beautiful, although seeing crocodiles sunning themselves right beside residential houses was a bit unnerving.
From Bankok, the group travelled up the river Kwai, which is famous for the movie “A Bridge Over the River Kwai.” The group actually visited the bridge, and learned a lot about the history of the area during world war 2. Thailand had signed an agreement with Japan to allow the Imperial Army to use the area to transport troops and supplies, and in return, if Japan had won the war, Thailand would have been given the area now known as Laos as compensation. During the war, the area saw nearly 60,000 allied POW’s, along with over 200,000 forced laborers from Indonesia working on various projects for the Japanese.
While in the country, the group visited several temples and mosques. One mosque would be host to over 200,000 Muslims during Ramadan.
From the river Kwai, the group travelled to the “golden triangle” region, which at one time was the biggest opium supplying region in the world. Also in that area, the group visited an elephant camp. For many years, elephants had been used in the logging industry, but that practice has now stopped. Because of this change, there are thousands of “unemployed” elephants roaming the countryside. Morris worked for a couple of days at an elephant rehab facility, where he learned to feed the older animals who no longer had teeth!
The trip also involved stays in Bali and Singapore. Morris stated that those were the two places he could see wanting to live if he had to live anywhere from this trip.
In club business, Randy Adams was named the phantom, and Cindy Conley won the 50/50 drawing but failed in her attempt to pick the winning ball, which means the cash jackpot rolls over to next week’s meeting.
The Carmi Rotary club meets every Thursday at noon at the First United Methodist Church in Carmi. Anyone wishing to learn more about this civic organization is encouraged to attend a meeting or speak with any Carmi Rotarian.