Thursday, January 17, 2008

Our Elderly Friends

On December 12, two of CAM staff, met by invitation with 50 elderly men and women parishioners, at a small church in Chiang Dao. Through activities such as games, art, and singing CAM encouraged the group members to share their feelings about their lives and HIV/AIDS.

Many in the group were experiencing the effects of HIV/AIDS within their families. CAM staff counseled them about quality of life, how to take care of themselves and renew their energy. Some people expressed loneliness and suggestions were made about how to engage in group activities, such as talking, praying, and singing together, and in this way form new relationships and feel less lonely..

The program went from 10AM to 3PM, with coffee and lunch included. At the end of the day the group said they were happy that CAM came to talk with them and invited the staff to return and talk with them again.

Picnic Day

Each month, on a Saturday, CAM holds a support group meeting, at the office, for PLWA. On November 12, as the rainy season was over, CAM held the meeting at the Sankhampang Hot Springs, and included a picnic.

It took place from 10AM until 3PM and a lot of delicious food was prepared and eaten. People relaxed, and soaked their feet and legs in the springs, boiled eggs which they snacked on, and bathed in the bath house.

After lunch the group gathered for a meeting. There were games and laughs before the talking began, and at the end people of the day people left feeling content and satisfied.

Welcome Marcia Klein

Also, in November CAM welcomed a new volunteer from the USA. Marcia Klein came to work with CAM for three months, under the auspices of American Jewish World Service, (AJWS). She is the second volunteer they have sent to CAM.

Marcia is a retired social worker, who has had several other volunteer assignments in Africa and India. She is here to work with CAM staff on grant writing and English language skills.

Her husband, Stanley is here also, volunteering at Community Forest Group, another NGO in Chiang Mai. When the couple is not volunteering, they are living in Mexico and New York City, or traveling the world.

Goodbye Jan and Jeff

In November 2007, after four months, working with CAM, Jan and Jeff Hudson returned to their home and family in Australia.

While, here they completed an excellent DVD depicting CAM’s overall work and spirit. Jan also taught English to the CAM staff.

CAM is very appreciative of Jan and Jeff’s compassionate effort on their behalf. We hope they will return soon.