Friday, March 26, 2010

REWIND - Our February Road Trip to NE Thailand

Back at the end of February, after nearly a month of exploring Bangkok and its sights, we Drury’s were ready to get out of Dodge. Thanks to our pals Jack and Ellen (who did all the planning), the eight of us hopped in a rental van and embarked upon a trip into northeastern Thailand. The itinerary was to include a visit to a national park, a Khmer temple reputed to rival Angkor Wat and a handful of days in a nice resort on the Mekong.

We left Bangkok on Sunday afternoon in order to take advantage of reduced traffic. En route to our destination, we traveled not so crowded four lane roads scattered with farmland, small towns and outlet malls. Buddhist temples, countless pictures of the king and the occasional statue of a large Buddha reminded us were still in Thailand.

We spent our first couple of days in Khao Yai National Park, which lies a couple of hours’ drive from Bangkok. Our two families shared a very basic, three bedroom bungalow inside the park. The four kids bunked in one room while the parent couples each had a suite of our own. The rooms connected to a large covered porch overlooking a small river gorge. The sounds of the river and nature were a wonderful lullaby as we slept on mattresses that were hard as rocks.

We arrived at Khao Yai late in the evening so as to have the entire next day to explore the park. We had noodle soup and fried rice for breakfast, a first for the Drury kids. Then we ventured off to one of the 50 km of park trails to do a little bit of hiking. The 4.4 km trail started on hilly grassland scattered here and there with wide elephant trails. We arrived at an observation tower overlooking a small pond and more grassy hills. Then we continued along an up and down route back to park headquarters. Along the way we saw exotic plant life specimens and great topography. We also battled with some of the park’s famous leeches. The problem is so bad that you can rent “leech socks” from the park visitor’s center. These gator-like garments are made out of the same linen-like material that recyclable grocery bags are made out and work by keeping leeches away from the skin around the feet and ankles. We all chose to “rough it” and not wear the geeky socks. As a result, we had to keep our eyes peeled for unwanted hitchhikers. Each of us fought off at least a couple leeches, which look and move like a sort of mutant inch worm. A few latched on, prompting at least one of us to label herself as a “leechophobe.” We all survived though.

Alas, we saw few hairy or feathery critters on our hike. Earlier in the day at Park HQ, we visited the visitor center and learned that we could see elephants, tigers, wild dogs, king cobras and other interesting park denizens. The kids kept their hopes up and we did see some interesting deer and many macaques, who play the role that raccoons play in National Parks in the American West. Luckily, we did not come face to face with anything big or poisonous along the trail. We did see some elephants working along the roadside on our way out of the Park though.

After lunch and a little rest, we climbed back into the van and headed to Haew Suwat Waterfalls. This beautiful 20 or so meter falls cascades into a lovely pool with a nice little stretch of rapids flowing below. The kids waded and scaled boulders while Ben took some great pictures. Other visitors had placed hundreds of sticks between the rocks, making a very interesting sight. It brought artist Andy Goldworthy’s work to my mind.

We finished our Park visit with a nice dinner at the Khao Yai Cowboy Steakhouse where the kids enjoyed some western style food and where the parents savored perhaps one too many bottles of ice cold Heineken. Ben and I loved trying the new Thai food dishes ordered by our old Thai hand Jack, who speaks the language fluently. Jack coached us in Thai, teaching such useful phrases as “One tall Heineken.”

The next day we woke early and drove to Prasat Phanom Rung, an ancient Khmer temple, along some two-lane roads. It was a white-knuckle experience at times as we witnessed the “might makes right” rule of Thai driving up close and personal. Dodging passing trucks and couples on scooters must have been very challenging for our esteemed gentlemen drivers, particularly considering it included driving on the left side of the road and using a left-handed gear shift. Navigating when all signs are in Thai was another challenge.

Before we got to the temple, we breakfasted at Cabbages and Condoms, a restaurant and resort/convention center run by the Population and Community Development Association (PDA), the brainchild of Mr. Mechai Viravaidya, of Jack’s old employer. Mr. V realized early on the importance of family planning and STD-prevention in the development of rural communities in Thailand and used his marketing skills and personal charisma to spread the word about condoms and AIDS prevention countrywide. The restaurant and resort in Nahkhon Ratchasima. Along with a popular eatery by the same name in Bangkok, are used to raise money to support PDAs work.

Prasat Phanom Rung is located on a 383 meter inactive volcano south of the city of Buriram. It has an impressive and well-worn path leading up to the main temple structures. The structures themselves are geometrically-aligned and adorned from ground to roof with depictions of stories important to the Khmer faith. The carvings were incredibly intricate but lacked the ornate color and textures so common in the Thai temples we visited back in Bangkok. Walking around the ruins, I kicked myself yet again for not having taken a comparative religions class in college.

After walking around for an hour and bribing the kids with ice creams, we climbed back into the van and headed to the Mekong. Mekong means “river” in Lao so calling this body of water “The Mekong River” is a bit redundant. Starting in the high plateau of Eastern Tibet, it flows through China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. It is the longest river in SE Asia and the 12th longest river in the world.

The Mekong's geology reminded me much of the James River, which runs through Richmond, Virginia or maybe the Potomac in DC, with many smoothed- over and silty boulders and islets scattered around. It is similarly as wide as Potomac as it runs just downstream of DC. The water is very low this time of year but you can see by the topography that it gets MUCH higher. Jack seems to think that the flow multiplies by 17 times during the rainy season, a statistic that would not surprise me as being true.

Our home for the next for days was the Tohsang Khongjiam Resort, which lies on the banks of the Mekong just down stream from Baan Woen Buk, the last village in northeastern Thailand. The river near the resort is called the bi-colored river here lies the confluence with a major tributary, the Mun, which is of a different color. It also marks the border between Thailand and Laos in this area so we were looking at a different country across the river.

We were all quite road weary at this point and so laid low over the next few days, basking in the luxury of the riverside resort, playing in the pool (“Marco!…Polo!”) and generally catching up on our respective lives and experiences since both families left Bainbridge Island last summer. We did take a lovely long tail boat ride up river from town, dodging countless fishermen in long and skinny wooden boats. They fished with gill nets mostly, from what we could tell, but we never did manage to get a look at what they were catching. From the number of boats though, it seems very clear that this river hosts a very bountiful fishery – at least for now.

Our river-level perspective also revealed more about the area than we could’ve discovered by car. There is much more development on the Thai side of the river here. Over the course of our hour-long trip we spotted quite a few houses, temples, and a giant Buddha statue. There were also many farm plots terraced into the silt below the high water line, all irrigated by hand using tin watering cans. The Lao side of the river was pretty much wild by contrast with but one or two villages or settlements along the river for the length of our hour long trip.

After a relaxing few days and way too many meals, we climbed back into the van to return to the Big City. It was a very long trip back through the dry rice fields and small towns of northeastern Thailand. Over the course of our eleven hour drive (!), we checked the news from time to time to see whether the Thai Supreme Court had issued its decision in the controversial case regarding a large sum of frozen assets of former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Thaksin was deposed in 2006 and a new government and Prime Minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva. Thaksin has remained in exile since that period and, some say, has been fomenting rebellion among the Thai people ever since. The poor, dry rice farming areas in NE Thailand are a stronghold of power as evidenced by pro-Thaksin signs and billboards at the entrance to most towns.

Thai officials were bracing for demonstrations by Thaksin supporters, the Red Shirts, in Bangkok if the Court were to rule against Thaksin in a case involving seized assets from the Thaksin family fortune. The government was arguing that the assets should be taken since they were earned illegally through Thaksin’s influence as Prime Minister. Many in the press and government feared that a Thaksin loss in the case would spur huge demonstrations in Bangkok. We were thus a bit concerned that the ensuing traffic congestion might affect our return. Luckily for everyone, the verdict did not come down until well after be got back to Bangkok and there were no demonstrations until just recently.

We arrived home to Civic Park on Friday night, frazzled, tired but having enjoyed our trip. The Drury’s had Saturday to pack and get ready for moving out of our home away from home for February. The next stop was another stay at the Hurds’.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lost in the Woods. by Tica

Chapter 1 - The Letter

“I’m finished!” Lilly called to her cousin.

‘’Okay. One minute. I am too. I just have one more picture to glue on,” Ellie replied. “There,’’ she said fondly, slapping a picture of Mia Hamm cut out from a soccer magazine onto her finished collage. “Do you like it?”

“Yeah, I love it,” Lilly replied in her loud and a little bit show-offish voice. “I really like how you did the rainbow color thingy with the picture of that elephant.”

“Lilly!” Ellie groaned. “How many times do I have to tell you to stop saying “thingy”? It is driving me CRAZY!!”

“Okay, okay. Gosh!” her tall, blonde cousin replied.

The two cousins were laying in the damp green grass with Lilly’s old German Shepherd Birdy and listening to the soft chirping of the sparrows feeding at the birdfeeder on the other side of the house. They were working on collages for their sixth grade Passion Projects for school. A weak sun shone through the clouds, lifting the girls’ spirits. It was the first sunny day that they had had for three months. Spring was on its way.

“Girls!” Lilly’s mother’s voice drifted out the open front door, “I’ve made some cookies just now and you are welcome to them, but first I would like you to go get the mail.”

“Okay auntie,” Ellie answered, standing up and brushing the grass off her front. “We will be there in a second.”

The two cousins raced off, their feet barely touching the damp ground as they leapt over puddles and dips in the old dirt road. Ellie’s brown braids bobbed while Lilly’s blond hair flew out behind her like golden fire. They dashed around different sides of the great maple tree that was plopped down in the middle of the driveway like a ancient weather-beaten sculpture. It had been there as long as the girls could remember. Down the hill they ran to the large black mailbox. The mailbox was not special. Its black paint was chipping with age and its rusty red flag carelessly pushed up indicating that the mailman hadn’t come yet.

The girls were just about to turn around to run home when the sound of the mail truck’s horn met their ears. There it was, trundling up the dirt road as it had so many times before, its shiny new paint job glistening in the early afternoon sun. The girls ran to meet it. Mr. Belkins the mailman was old and tired, not unlike the mailbox he was delivering to. He grinned as he saw the girls racing down the road to meet him.

“Do you have any thing for us, Mr. Belkins?’’ Ellie asked politely.

“Why yes.” Mr. Belkins replied, “I have one magazine, three bills and one letter from Seattle addressed to you, Miss Lilly.”

“Okay, thank you very much.” Lilly said

“You’re quite welcome,” he replied.

The girls said their goodbyes and ran up the to the house. They dropped the stack of mail on the table, except for the letter addressed to Lilly. They each grabbed a cookie and dashed outside again. This time, instead of going straight as if to go down the driveway, they turned right towards the yurt that Lilly’s mother used for teaching yoga. They crept through some tall grass and over a fallen barbed wire fence into the woods. They disappeared through a gap in the ivy to reach the top of a large ravine. They then bounded down an old muddy path to a small stream called Whiskey Creek, the site of their secret fort.

The girls had discovered the site when they were very small. There was a hollow log that was perfect for use as a table and a storage place. Over the years they had added furnishings they had collected from around the property. It was a wonderful hide out that the girls spent almost all of their time in. They pulled up two river rock chairs and got comfortable.

“The bird feeder is almost empty,’’ Lilly remarked.

“I know.” Ellie replied, “Now lets open that letter!”

“Birdy!” Lilly called behind her, “Come here girl!” Birdy came slowly waddling up and collapsed in her bed in the corner of the fort. Lilly happily plopped down at the table and tore open her letter while Ellie refilled the bird feeder.

“Ahhhhhh!!!!!!” Lilly screamed, jumping up and down and almost turning over the rock that she was sitting on.

‘’Oh my gosh! What is it?!” Ellie said excitedly.

“Listen to this!”

On official letterhead from the outdoor sporting goods giant Recreational Equipment Incorporated, the letter read,

February 2, 2010

Miss Lilly Jane Chase

5752 New Wiggins Road NE

Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

RE: Whistler-Blackcomb Vacation Drawing

Dear Lilly:

Congratulations! You have won a week-long trip to Whistler-Blackcomb Ski and Snowboard Resort thanks to a special REI drawing for members that took place on January 5th. This package includes: lift tickets for you and a friend (and a parent or guardian if you are under the age of sixteen), a week’s lodging at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler hotel, passes to use the Village ice rink, pool, gym, and other amenities, meals and beverages, a new set of skis or a new snowboard and helmet, and a new ski outfit and boots from REI. Please contact your local REI store for further details and to get geared up for the trip. You can visit our website at to find the number for your local REI store.

Once again congratulations on winning a the drawing. Have a great time at Whistler/Blackcomb!

Sincerely yours,

Sally Jewel, CEO of Recreational Equipment Incorporated

“Whoa!” said Ellie in a state of shock. “Oh my gosh!” She started jumping up and down, yelling “That is so awesome!!! You are so lucky!” Then she stopped with a start. “Who are you going to bring?!”

“Hmmmm,” Lilly said, pretending to think. “I think I’ll bring Angela Adams. Do you think that’s a good idea?”

“Oh,” answered Ellie, her face falling. “I thought you….” her voice faded away into nothingness.

“Ha Ha!” Lilly laughed. “I tricked you! I was just kidding. You’re the only one I want to come on this trip.”

Ellie fake-punched her cousin.

“Besides,” added Lilly, “I can’t believe that you would think that I would invite Angela Adams! Don’t you remember that I have had a bit of a grudge towards her ever since she pushed me into that dumpster on the field trip to the art museum last year? She said trying to suppress a sneeze.”

Ellie laughed. “Oh, I remember that,” she exclaimed, “And then there was that other time where she stuck some silly-putty onto your chair and you sat in it and it got suck onto your jeans. She then convinced the entire class to call you “Putty Butty” for the rest of the year. That was so funny!”

“Oh don’t remind me,” Lilly groaned. “I had tried to block one that out!”

“Now come on.” Ellie said excitedly. “Let’s go on the computer and find out the number of the store in Seattle.

“Wait a minute,” Lilly said. “Remember? My dad goes there at least once a week because of his work. I bet he has their number imprinted on his brain.”

“Oh yeah. I forgot,” Ellie agreed. “But you still have to tell your parents! And which one of them are you going to ask to join us?”

“My Dad, of course. Now come on.” Lilly replied.

Ellie whistled for Birdy to follow and they went racing back up the creek to the house to tell Lilly’s mother.

Flint & Steve's Amazing Transit for Penguins by Ian

Below is a creative writing piece that Ian has been working on for a few weeks. Ian enjoyed writing the story so much that he has promised to produce another Flint and Steve adventure in the near future. Stay tuned.....

Flint the inventor and Steve the monkey are best friends. They live on Chew and Swallow, a small island off the coast of Africa in the Atlantic Ocean. Steve helps Flint with his inventions. He is an 18-inch tall monkey. He is brown and his most prized possession is his monkey thought translator, which was invented by Flint. Steve’s favorite food is gummy bears. He loves helping Flint with his inventions.

Flint is an inventor. Steve is Flint's best friend and trusting colleague. He likes to tinker in his garage and come up with machines he thinks will be useful to people. His past inventions include the Flesimdepher, a portable food machine that runs on water and solar power. Flint’s favorite food is cheeseburgers.

In this story, Steve and Flint are are working on their newest invention, a submarine which takes penguins hunting and protects them from predators such as leopard seals….

Flint started work on the Amazing Transport for Penguins or ATP after watching a documentary about penguins in the Antarctic and how difficult it is for them to get food. He learned that penguins sometimes have to walk many miles to get to the ocean in search of fish or krill. Even then they are often threatened by leopard seals, which patrol the shorelines and dine on penguins whenever they can.

Flint devised the ATP to help penguins by taking them to their feeding grounds in the comfort and safety of a temperature-controlled compartment. Depending upon the size of the penguin, the Transport can carry up to 300 penguins to the water on built-in legs. At the push of a button, the sub immediately enters the water. It has four 250 horsepower engines and can go to a depth of twenty meters or 66 feet. It has a special room for the penguins that is set at the same temperature and water pressure as outside. It is 40 feet long and 15 feet wide. It took 3 years to finish and it is now finally ready for testing.

Steve was very excited. You could tell because he kept jumping up and down saying, “EXCITED! EXCITED!” They had finally finished the invention. It had taken 3 years and many sleepless nights but it was finally done!!!

Not wanting to waste another minute in the lab, that night, Flint and Steve packed up their bags. The next morning, they were heading to Antarctica to test the invention. They traveled in Flint’s flying car, the FFC, which he had built 4 years before. The ATP was too big to travel in the car so they sent it separately by sea. Even though they were traveling to Antarctica during the summer months, Flint and Steve knew it would be cold and windy so they packed the FFC with all sorts of coats, hats and other warm clothing.

The flight was smooth and uneventful. Flint and Steve watched Finding Nemo five times until they fell asleep -- well, at least Steve fell asleep as Flint needed to stay awake to drive. After fifteen hours, they landed smoothly on the ice of the new continent. The weather was sunny but the temperature was very cold, about twenty degrees below zero Farenheit. Flint and Steve stayed warm by bundling up in warm clothes and drinking hot tea with lots of sugar in it.

The icebreaker carrying the Amazing Penguin Transporter was scheduled to arrive an hour later. So Steve and Flint went to check in at the Motel 8, the place where they were staying at McMurdo Research Station. They unpacked in the warmth of their room and played games until the ATP arrived.

Word finally came that workers had unloaded the ATP off the icebreaker. Flint and Steve retrieved the sub and put it in storage in the hotel parking lot so they could prepare for the next morning’s activities. The plan was to take the ATP out on the ice in search of a colony of chinstrap penguins. At about a foot and a half tall, chinstraps would be the perfect size for the vehicle. Flint and Steve were hoping to somehow convince some of the penguins to climb aboard and give the ATP a try. Would it help them get fish and protect them from the dreaded leopard seal? They’d come all this way to find out.

That night, Flint and Steve went to the McMurdo Station Burger King. Flint got a triple cheeseburger. Steve went to the station’s 7-11 and bought ice cream and some gummy bears for the next day’s journey.

The next morning, Flint and Steve woke up early. They got out the sub and went looking for the penguins. The first colony they found was a group of fairy penguins. They were too small. Then they happened upon a colony of emperor penguins, but they were too big. The inventor and his pal began to worry that they wouldn’t find their target species.

Just as they were about to call it a day and go back to the hotel, they spotted one more colony off in the distance. As they got closer, they saw it was a large colony of chinstrap penguins. They appeared to be headed to the ocean, perhaps to catch some fish. Their luck had changed.

Flint and Steve emerged from the sub and looked around. How were they going to communicate with these penguins that they were hoping to help? Then a voice from behind them said, “Good evening, strangers!”

They whirled around and saw a chinstrap looking right at them! That is how Flint and Steve came to know Bop.

Bop is about the same size as Steve, eighteen inches or so. He is a chinstrap penguin and his favorite food is sardines. Flint and Steve were so taken aback by Bop’s sudden utterance that they were speechless for a few seconds. Flint then asked, “Was that you talking?”

“Yes indeed, it was me talking,” answered Bop.

“What is your name?”


“Hello, Bop. I am Flint and this is my monkey friend, Steve. We are inventors.”

“INVENTORS! INVENTORS!” Steve butted in.

Flint glared at Steve. “Ahem!” he said. Steve looked down at the ice and decided not to say anything more.

“Sorry for Steve’s rude interruption,” said Flint.

“Not a problem,” said Bop.

“How did you learn to speak English, Bop?” continued Flint.

“I had a tutor. He was a scientist studying penguins. He wanted to try and raise a penguin chick to communicate with humans. I worked with him until I was three and I was his best student. Unfortunately, the money ran out on his grant so he had to go home without finishing his research.”

“Oh, that’s too bad,” said Flint.

Then Flint had an idea.

“Well Bop,” he said, “How would you like to test out an invention we made just for penguins?”

“Ohhh!! I would love to! What is it designed to do?” said Bop.

“This is Flint & Steve’s Amazing Transport for Penguins. We call it the ATP for short. I designed it to help penguins such as yourself get food and protection from predators such as the leopard seal. Steve and I finished work on it a few days ago and I am anxious to see if it works.”

“Wow, that’s cool!” said Bop. “I can’t wait to try it.”

“Okay. We’ll bring you into the special Penguin Room,” said Flint, as he directed Bop to the rear of the submarine. The chamber was designed just for penguins, with little penguin seats, a holding tank for swimming and storing the day’s catch and little hills the penguins could slide down if they got bored. Flint and Steve had looked at pictures of the Antarctic and painted the walls to look like those areas.

Bop loved the room. He thought it was very realistic, a smaller version of the Antarctic tundra that he and his colony mates called home. He climbed in and made himself comfortable.

Once Bop was settled into the sub, the three testers started moving towards the ocean. It took 5 hours to get there on the sturdy legs of the sub, which were designed to climb the ice chunks with ease. Steve soon fell fast asleep in the bedroom. Bop was having fun sliding down into the swim tank in the penguin room. Once at the water, Flint pressed a blue button and the over land legs disappeared and the sub lurched into the ocean.

When they got down to 18 meters, Flint and Steve let Bop out of the penguin room. The room was designed to mimic the surrounding water pressure with an attached watertight compartment that the occupants could climb into, seal off and then exit into the water. The inventors had installed an audio-visual communications system so they could know when to open and close the doors. With a little direction from the cockpit, Bop slid into the water in search of food. Bop fished for an hour, returning to the watertight compartment from time to time to get a breath of fresh air.

After Bop had eaten his fill of fish and krill, he climbed back aboard the ATP and re-entered the penguin room. Steve and Flint drove the sub back up to the surface and headed back to the colony. Bop applauded the invention. The ATP allowed him to fish at great depths, taking advantage of the large numbers of small fish that resided there. Not having to return to the surface for air meant that he was able to avoid run ins with the dreaded leopard seal, which hangs out on the surface. In short, Bop gave the invention a five-star rating.

Back at the colony, the three friends said their goodbyes. Steve and Flint were just about to leave when Bop said, “Will you come see me tomorrow? I will get more of my friends to test your sub. In fact, if it is as big a success as I think it will be, perhaps you could you come every other day so we can use it on a regular basis?”

“Definitely Bop. See you tomorrow,” said Flint.


And with that, Flint and Steve got in the sub and went back to their hotel.

The next morning Flint and Steve had breakfast of another triple stack cheeseburger for Flint and gummy bears for Steve. They climbed back into their tundra suits and went out to the sub. When they got to Bop’s colony, they were shocked because the whole colony was out waiting with Bop. Apparently, Bop had told his friends that the day before he had gone fishing. It had taken just 11 hours and he did not see one leopard seal. It usually took the colony 5 days of travel just to get to the ocean to fish. Once there, they often suffered a lot of losses from leopard seals and whales. Bop’s fishing trip was thus nothing short of amazing.

The colony members had asked Bop how he had achieved this and he told them about Flint and Steve. He related how the sub could take them to the ocean very fast in great comfort. It could dive very deep and let you out to fish far away from where most leopard seals hang out. It would then return you home when you had eaten your fill. It was very fun, Bop said.

After such a great description, Bop’s colony mates wanted to give the ATP a try for themselves. With Bop as translator, Flint and Steve could understand what the penguins were saying and could get even more feedback about the device and any suggested improvements. So, in groups of 4 or 5 at a time, most of the colony went into the penguin room. With the added weight of 300 penguins, it took more fuel and more time to get to the ocean. Once they got there, Flint once again pressed the blue button and slipped below the waves. All the penguins were let out and went hunting. They had a lot of fun that day, eating their fill of fish and avoiding predators. They loved the pool and slides in the penguin room. It was like a portable arcade that took them to and from the ocean.

That night, Flint and Steve decided to give the sub to Bop and his colony. They spent the rest of the evening preparing to hand it over. They shut off the heaters to make all the sub’s compartments the same temperature as outside so the penguins could have run of the entire ship. Remembering that Bop also knew how to read, Flint and Steve wrote a manual explaining how the sub worked and how to use all the special tools on board.

After a long night of work, the friends headed back out for the colony first thing the next morning. To get there they took Flint’s Flying Car, which had been specially equipped with skis and a tow package. Towing the sub behind them, they drove over the tundra.

Bop and his friends were thrilled to have the sub to call their own. To thank the inventors for all their hard work, they hosted a huge party for Flint and Steve, using some of the previous day’s catch for food. Unfortunately, neither Flint nor Steve liked fish but they had brought a large supply of cheeseburgers and gummy bears to share.

After a fun party, it was time to go home. Flint and his monkey friend said goodbye to Bop and his friends for the last time and went home. They packed their bags and bade goodbye to the residents of McMurdo Research Station and flew for 24 hours until they landed back on Chew & Swallow.

Flint and Steve would never forget the adventures they had with Bop and the penguins. Bop would never forget the inventor and his buddy that came to visit and help his colony. Flint and Steve returned only once to retrofit the sub with a highly efficient motor that ran on a krill-based fuel. With an inexhaustible fuel source, the sub continued to work for years, keeping the penguins well fed, entertained and safe from harm.

Stay tuned for Creative Writing

It has been quite a while since we've updated the blog, due mostly to internet challenges, our frequent moving around in Thailand and our focus on other school projects, like getting Tica and Ian certified to Scuba dive. New blog entries are in the works though, starting with two creative writing school projects from Tica and Ian. We will post them today or tomorrow.

Thanks for your patience!