Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Buffetting : 4th IVSA Asia Conference, Chiang Mai

So this was really spontaneous decision with me, Gummi bear, Bimbo and her copy FabP we had in the faculty. Within minutes we got our tickets and approvals, and here we come Thailand!

            The first night on the 9th was really brief because the welcoming dinner started 6pm after our Chiang Mai University (CMU) hosts picked us up from the airport. The dinner ended at about 10pm when we were sent back to our hotel, Chateau Chiang Mai in the disco lit double decker. I got to know Bum, Meow, Pare, Ong, and Numphung who were hosting my table.

The 4 of us spent our night color coding as well as panicking over our plans post conference period, which we didn't manage to have any outcome. Oh well, we were THAT excited.
Exclusive view on Chiang Mai Airport. What more you can ask for ait?

It's nice to know that Thais actually have given names and nick names, the latter which are made easier for them to be addressed. Some would have meaning while some are just short forms of the original name. Nicknames with meaning would like : Numphung meaning honey; Fah meaning sky; Fon meaning rain.

              The 2nd day on the 10th was spent mostly indoor with ice-breaking games and lecture topics. The topic was quite interesting because the whole conference was about joining the ideas of Asian countries in solving veterinary, or even fields which integrates with the field such as law, human medicine, humanities as well as environmental studies. The topic of the day was on rabies, something which vet students from South East Asia would be more familiar with.

The concept of one world, one health emphasizes on how people from different discipline and background come together in solving a problem. With globalization at its rise, we can't really spend our time dabbling only in our grounds, while there are resources out there which can fit into our shoes in bringing us more miles further. In solving rabies, disciplines from veterinary, human medicine, public relationship, legislative and even environmental backgrounds play huge and very important roles. From the discussion of the whole day, I've finally understood that integration is really the key to one health concept.

We took a short trip around the vet faculty of CMU, a place which I found out how inferior I am:

1- I am not required to know to ride a military horse, the CMU students do.
2- I am not required to know how to deal with a horse in a stable, including cleaning it since year one, they do.
3- I have really limited skills possessed. Next sem is a skill drill semester.

Their vet fac is surrounded by a dazzling mass of greenery, with a hill just right behind them, just like the universities you see on TV. UPM is really nice, but CMU brought it up into a whole new level.

The night was spent in the night safari restaurant, which the restaurant in enclosed within animal enclosures. Something which I don't really agree to, unless they feed the animals before the humans' food is served, because of the emotional stress issue. And the tigers looked really emaciated.

I couldn't take part on the post-dinner bazaar walk because I was almost passing out from the headache and sickness I infected latent-ly from my father. I spent my night in the hotel room recuperating and, Candy Crushing hahaha.

                 The 3rd day on the 11th, we spent our day in the Thai Elephant Conservation Center(TECC), a forest region near Chiang Mai city. About half an hour ride from the main city if my memory doesn't fail me. The whole day trip was meant for us to discover and understand the whole mechanism of the center, how it works, the units, the role of veterinarians, the role of the center, their husbandry and policies. 

It's a great place to be when people go to Chiang Mai, because there are plenty of matters revolving elephants installed here. The first place we headed was the elephant hospital, in which the veterinarian on duty, also the director of the center,Dr Sittidet showed us some cases of the elephants injured brought into the custody of the center.

One of them had a shot wound because it had to be taken down for its annual musth in the forest. Another one had skin lesions which are caused by attacks and restrains of illegal poachers. The hospital is mainly attraction for the veterinarians and biologists, but tourists ought to take a good look on how veterinarians play their roles in sustaining the animal biodiversity. 

Another attraction in the center was the elephant show, spanning over 40 minutes with elephants showing different tricks. Nothing new, what the 4 Malaysians(US) really were doing was asking intensely about the animal welfare of the elephants when they are being trained.

Apparently they use the carrot and stick method to train them, so I guess(I sure hope) there is minimal stress upon the elephants during training. They do offer elephant back riding too, but I sat the session out with Bimbo instead because we simply don't really like the idea. We ended up having sisterly chats as well as snapping shots for Gummi bear and FabP.

The evening was indeed awesome. We were told to get our traditional clothes ready, which I got my SamFoo from Pasar Seni so I can wear them in future international occasions; while we get to enjoy a whole heaps of other clothes from other countries, including 20 stunning Yukata and one funky Junpei from Japan; the only Hanbuk from South Korea, Kebaya and Baju Kurung from Indonesia and Malaysia; Cheong Sam from Taiwan; and well, civilian clothing from the rest of the crowd.

We were hosted through a traditional Lanna-dinner, or also known as the Northern Thailand style dinner known as the Khantoke Dinner. I'm very impressed with the ability of the faculty to pull off this dinner for 80 participants with the good food, as well as good entertainment. 

Along the serving of khantoke dishes, there were several different Thai traditional dances and rhythmic performances shown in front of us. Even the native Thais, are still very intrigued and blown away by the performances held that night. 

Before we ended our dinner with Disco moment, we had a short lantern releasing session with the local Thai students. It was held because the CMU students wish to have us to remember the Lanna traditions, including the releasing of Khom tue with respect to Yi Peng.

This is the interesting part, apparently T noticed me during this session when I barged into the circle to join Bimbo and FabP. I was quite surprised when T told me this, simply because I felt hideous and extremely unattractive the whole night, especially that moment.

 I guess my SamFoo really did the trick.

We ended with Disco dances and several pictures, while I went back to the hotel getting acquainted with the Taiwanese vet students. 

The last day on 12th August, we had our last lecture session on One World One Health again, but this time on the issue of elephants. How are we going to solve the problems to co-exist with the elephants, when the population shrinks while they continue harm us in ways we can never think of. I liked this session because I get to see how the policies of different countries had in dealing with their wildlife, even with companion animals. In South Korea, it was mandated for all cats and dogs to be microchipped so the strays can be controlled in the minimal. Sweet right?

The half day session ended with a simple closing ceremony and plenty of picture snapping; and lo and behold; apparently I'm the only one in the whole room having birthday on 12th of August! 

12ians of August rock like that baby!

To my surprise, it was also Mother's day in Thailand, for their Queen shares the same birthday, and it was also a holiday! Wow, I feel like I'm in a whole new league in Thailand. I should call it my 3rd home, or did it become 2nd now?

The committee was really sweet and they got me a 2 pound birthday cake, with relation to our future profession as veterinarian; the cake's design was supppperr cute even the Japanese couldn't take it!!!!!!
I was really touched and happy. It shows the commitment and how genuine the Exchange officer and the committee is in organizing this conference. IF the next conference were to be held by Malaysia chapter, I feel super stressed out now!

The conference ended but our trip did not. We extended our stay till 16th, which I think I should save it for another post.

One of my FAVORITE shots*hint hint*

That night, T texted me for the first time. I didn't notice anything that night though.

On the side note, it is kind of official...? I mean, its through messaging and all you know how complicated things can get. But at least I know this is mutual, because I'm T's gorilla and T's my bear now. 

We had this chat when I was asking if T met someone new from the conference T had today, and T asked if I were jealous. 

T: Are you jealous?

Me: NO(a big fat YES), because I know where your heart belongs

T: Who is it?

Me:(Direct hit? No, its so not me) I think I know, but I'm not really sure...

T: I think you are absolutely right.

Me: (Like seriously you read my mind?) How do you know who am I thinking?

T: I don't know. Why don't you tell me?

Me: (SERIOUSLY??!!!) Well... (I struggled like nuts)

T: If you don't wanna answer the question, I won't ask you. (with a crying sticker)

Me: I want to answer!!!!!!!  But I'm scared! You want to answer for me?

T: *Love letter , love hug and kiss sticker*

Me: (Oemm GEE is this for real?) So I'm your gorilla, and you are my bear?

T: My gorilla is really warm and understanding.

Well, I guess that's enough. We have much to keep to ourselves.

I really hope this goes really well though! I'm looking forward in knowing more about T, and exploring both of ourselves for each other. I've been believing that, I would meet someone, some day, without the need to explore into dark lights and smoke smothering alcoholic venues; but just as two person who connects and really wish to spend the rest of their lives together.

I wonder how far we can make it.

Dreaming about T again tonight.


  1. ngek ngek! i think i know siapa jor? :X

  2. A new and progressive relationship is always the most exciting part. Best of luck with you and T. =)

    Also, I loved this post, thanks so much for taking the effort to blog about it. I always thought integration amongst the various sectors together with veterinary medicine was the way forward, such an exciting prospect. Their campus also looks serenely beautiful!

    Oh, one question, how do the UPM stables come into play in terms of involvement of the vet students then?

  3. Haha thanks girl, its really something I'm very excited for.

    I know right???!! CMU Vet Fac is like, damn I should have been a THAI hahahhaha. I just wish I can record down, in some ways what I've learned in different places, so I can remember them in the future.

    Stables in UPM are accessible only when we have started our rotation in our 4th year following cases in the stables. Prior to that, everything is really self-volunteered outside academic schedule.

  4. Wow. That was amazing experience! I'm so happy that you did a right decision staying in UPM for Vet. I remember your status when u first got offer for vet cuz it was kinda funny. haha.

    Hey, you must come for yinzi concert ya! Support!! My song is the last wan. But I sing my friend's chinese song too.

    1. Haha , it was! I loved it, and definitely looking forward into going to Chiang Mai again next year for practicals! It's really like my turning point staying with Vet, because it just keeps on getting more exciting!

      Yinzi on 28th right? I will do my best to go if there's no test or Dogathon meeting hahaha. BTW Can you PM me your house address? I've got a splendid postcard for you!

  5. Replies
    1. tell me about it hahahaha. but the stereo was on Thai love song though!

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