In today’s world with all of its innovations and advance technology, you can communicate virtually from anywhere.
charm is not enough. Arriving with the proper introductions and support is
essential to developing workplace rapport. This is especially
critical if you do not fit the local people’s stereotype of the Foreign V.I.P.
are not, by way of example, “The Beautiful Italian”, but instead you are of a
respectable age with charming features, your initial reception may be less
enthusiastic than if you fit the hosts’ preconceived image.
some corporations play to the “stereotypes” and if you are a member of a
minority, racial or ethnic group, female or physically disabled, this might be
to your detriment.
When a former president of an Oil Company in Saudi Arabia said,
“This business of communicating has become as important as finding more oil,”
he stated a belief held by many.
According to a study done by Watson Wyatt of 267 U.S.
companies between 1998 and 2002, those that communicated most effectively
provided a 26% return to shareholders and those with the least-effective
communication provided a return of only 15%.
It was also concluded that those with the most effective
communicative ability also had the less employee turnover.
Our local newspapers inadvertently record daily, companies
who are constantly and consistently seeking new hire. Why is that?
Think about it! Whatever type of organization you work in,
now or in the future, your success and your organization’s success hinges on the
collaborative ability to communicate effectively.
As we gallop full speed ahead into the 21st
century, the concept of a global economy rings sharper than ever before!
Technological advances in travel and telecommunications have provided the means for accelerated integration of the world market.
Competition comes from every corner of the globe in
today’s marketplace and is forcing many businesses to look at new ways of
cutting costs while maintaining market share and high-quality levels.
I’ve also learnt that it is becoming more and more of an
asset for an individual to become proficient in foreign languages. I need to
brush up on my French. Lol!
Managers and Consultants schooled in the ways of
multinational business and multicultural service organizations are critical to
the expansion of international opportunities.
For example, if we were to glance at the job ads in any of the big city newspapers around the world, if you have international skills, many countries are in need of English-language teachers.
This trend of internationalizing business and services has
led to increasing numbers of people working in multicultural settings.
Business relationships are now being forced to overcome
cultural differences as firms strive to maintain a competitive edge in the
However, according to my studies this is not as easy as it
Working in a foreign country is, as the name implies, an
This means language and, most importantly, understanding
diverse values in the workplace or country you’re currently residing in, is
Therefore, individuals should be cognizant of their methods
of communications and note that what might be successful in one country’s
operations can and will sometimes meet with failure when transplanted into
another cultural setting.
Nevertheless, the basic communication process still remains the same.
The Communication Process
As we’ve all learnt as adolescents in school, it involves a
sender or encoder who then sends a message using various channels or mediums
(i.e. telephones, radios, televisions, computers, written memos, videotapes,
electronic mails etc.) to a receiver or
In this new age of advance technology, messages are
communicated via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Snapchat,
through the media, integrated in our songs, music videos, etc.
We have become a very interactive world!
It has become regular news in today’s society to create
products and methods which helps us to share and connect more and more with
Inventions and Patents
The Fax (Facsimile) Machine
The fax (facsimile) machine is considered one of the oldest inventions. It is even older than Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone. Patents for the first fax machine dates back nearly 150 years.
The first commercial fax system was invented and patented in
the United States in 1863 by an Italian priest, Giovanni Caselli, who helped
establish a fax line between Paris and Lyons for five years, 1865-1870. At the
time, Giovanni was considered “some kind of a nut” with his scientific “junk”
scattered all around his home. The Italian priest’s small home looked more like
a mad scientist’s workshop than the residence of a man of the cloth.
Giovanni worked alongside Alexander Bain, who was an expert
clockmaker, for seven long years from 1857-1864, refining and improving the fax
machine and Bain’s clock-driven pendulum idea.
Finally, in 1863 Giovanni Caselli made major improvements to
the fax design:
He installed a separate clock in the
transmitting end that synchronized the pendulums on each perfectly.
His fax did not require the original to be
scratched in metal or written in special ink. Ordinary ink worked.
Originals could be reproduced in the same size
Different messages could simultaneously be
transmitted through a single wire.
While decorative and flowery pictures were occasionally
faxed, the fax line was predominantly used to carry stock market information
between 1866 and 1870.
Eventually the fax caught the attention of the press, mainly
because they could clearly see its benefits to their industry. Newspapers and
magazines praised the new invention for its public service.
“Who could do better?”
Wrote a journalist at the time. But the interruption of the 1870 war and the
siege of Paris, saw the era of the mechanical fax machine with their pendulums
and clockworks coming to an end.
At the turn of the century, mankind had upgraded to the
modern fax machines that used light beams to read and write and had replaced
the swinging pendulums.
Pictures by Fax – In
1902 physicist Arthur Korn of Germany dramatically improved English inventor
Frederick Bakewell’s rotating drum idea. He constructed his cylinder out of
glass, positioned a selenium cell inside, and wrapped the intended fax around
the cylinder. By shinning a light through the picture and onto the selenium,
Korn’s machine accurately converted the picture into electrical signals. On the
other end, the signal was converted back to light and was shone on photographic
film. As a result, a permanent copy was created.
Arthur Korn’s system was an overwhelming success, especially
for the newspaper business, which was rapidly growing in circulation at the
time. The fax machine was quickly becoming indispensable to the press and
realizing the machine’s value in the competitive newspaper business, the French
newspaper at the time called L’Illustration bought out Arthur’s
rights to the machine in 1906 and monopolized its use in France.
As I said before, we have become a very interactive and open
world. Privacy is now a highly sought commodity!
Especially for Public Figures and Celebrities and I can
seriously understand all the reasons why. However, let me not deviate from my
own message which I’m trying to communicate. (Lol!)
The Telephone- Alexander Graham Bell (Patented on the 14th February 1876
Alexander Graham Bell is famous for inventing the telephone, but during Bell’s era another experienced inventor called Elisha Gray took Bell to court in the 1870s, suing for the patent rights to the talking machine.
Elisha Gray, (born Aug. 2, 1835, Barnesville, Ohio, U.S.—died Jan. 21, 1901, Newtonville, Mass).
Obviously Gray did not win the patent rights as Bell is
credited with the invention. However, history might have recorded Elisha Gray
as the inventor if Bell had not beaten him to the patent office by a few hours
on February 14th 1876.
The story is one of the most fascinating and illustrative of
the contrast in style between two different types of men: My studies claimed
that one man was steered by the promise of fortune and fame, while the other
strictly believed in the pursuit of knowledge as his own reward.
Even after winning his patent Bell could not convince big
businesses or Elisha Gray of the telephone’s usefulness. Gray was known to
refer to the invention as a “beautiful scientific toy”.
Many agree that Gray was definitely an able and diligent
scientist who had independently arrived at the same conclusion as Alexander
Bell, but the courts were convinced that Bell deserved the patent.
To Elisha Gray, as a self-assured business man, the
telephone was an annoying curiosity, almost in the same category as a hobby.
However, to Bell, an amateur inventor working virtually alone, the telephone
was his life.
The Self-Service Supermarket
Clarence Saunders (9th August 1881- 14th October
1953) was a flamboyant and innovative man who thought there was a waste in
manpower and space in the conventional stores of his time.
It might sound strange, which it did to me when I came
across this information, but the idea of a supermarket was indeed patented.
According to Inventing the 20th Century,100 Inventions that shaped
the World by Stephen Van Dulken, Saunders idea was filed on the 21st
October 1916 and published as US patent # 1242872. C. Saunders – Self Serving Store: Patented October 9th 1917
He named the new chain Piggly Wiggly ® and franchised the
format as high-volume, low-profit margin stores. The Supermarket chain is still
in operation to this day.
Apparently, there is a legend told about the unusual name of
the supermarket chain. Saunders stated that he once saw from a train several
piglets trying to get under a fence. Lol!
ked0 Smart Hy
Over the next several years Saunders patented several
improvements to the concept of a self-service store, as well as such ideas as
price tagging, a lightening system for self-service stores and tape for adding
Dispute with the New York Stock Exchange left him bankrupt
and he never was able to live in the huge house in Memphis which he had started
PINK HO– USE M– USEUM
It is now the Pink House Museum, and contains a replica of
his first supermarket.
Inventing is a very tough business. It takes a thick skin
and the ability to keep smiling after constantly hearing “no”.
With the death or departure of the founder of any innovative invention, quality often gives way to quantity.
In a survey of 480 companies and public organizations
by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the ability to
communicate ranked first among personal qualities of college graduates sought
We deliberately communicate through writing, reading,
speaking and listening and according to Henry Mintzberg in The Nature of Managerial Work, Chief Executive Officer’s (CEO),
spend allmost every minute of their day communicating.
In any organization, people communicate in many ways.
Face-to-Face communication takes place during one-on-one discussions, in
informal groups, and during meetings.
However, when individuals communicate face-to-face, they
experience the most effective form of communication. Both nonverbal cues and
verbal communication supply immediate feedback.
The critical question for you to ask yourself when
communicating is, “What is my objective?”.
Do you want to motivate others to support a new or existing
idea? Do you want to encourage healthy open dialogue or are you just disseminating
Miscommunication or no Communication
Unfortunately, there are many causes of
miscommunication. As we know, right here in the Cayman Islands, we have many
people living and working here from around the world and this can sometimes
cause personality differences, word-meaning confusion, inferences, gender
differences and intercultural differences.
However, I personally do not believe that this should be
looked upon as a “bad thing” but as a necessary catalyst for stimulation and
growth for our economy.
Individuals from different cultures bring different
perceptions, value systems and different languages to the workplace. Yes, it
may cause miscommunication but hey, most people are good people and there might
be something you can learn from them and vice versa!
I strongly believe we just need to be more sensitive and
aware of an individual’s background and experience when communicating in order
to be our most effective.
We should also check to see if there are any hidden biases
and if we are forming an opinion regarding certain people based on their sex,
religion, age, race or simply because they belong to a particular group.
Prejudging people may make it difficult to communicate with
And I can’t stress enough that we should avoid stereotyping
and the use of sexist, racist or ethnic remarks.
is best but sometimes not realistic. Feedback reports to the sender that the
receiver (the decoder) received and understood the message. When the receiver
responds to the sender, the communication process starts over again. Feedback
therefore makes communication a two-way process, allowing the sender to become
a receiver and vice versa.
reflections can be a source of feedback when you make observations of
yourself in action. You might ask yourself, “Wow, was that really me? I didn’t
think I could really do it,” or “Why didn’t I think of doing this before?” Or,
you might observe a certain scenario and state, “This didn’t really work the
way I planned it, but the reality turned out to be better than I could have
Other people are
also great for feedback, with one being the sender and the other being the
receiver. Sometimes we need constructive observations of our actions towards
others. Someone may tell you, “I didn’t think you had the guts to actually
remain in such a toxic environment for so long. I know I couldn’t. I’m very
impressed with you!” or, “Ever since you returned from college, you’re like a
different person-so strong and decisive and self-confident. I like it!”
Unfortunately, there will always be those people around you
who may be jealous of your decisive actions or your self-confidence and may
give you negative feedback without any real reason for their comments. But, if
you stop and think about it, you will realize that many times a person’s
jealousy is just a way of revealing their envy of you. Either way, the feedback
another important source of feedback. By observing the actual effects of your
actions on the intended subject, you may be able to clear up misunderstandings
and explore each other’s viewpoints. If the necessary debates and negotiations
work out well, everyone should feel as if some of their ideas were taken into
Even though technology has revolutionized the way we communicate and conduct business, the most vital element of communication remains the continued development of an organization’s most valuable resource-its people.
His Great commission to us is to, “Go into all the World and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere” (Mark 16:15).
Think about it! Sometimes God speaks to us through a friend or business associate.
Perhaps he uses a neighbor, a relative, or someone sitting next to us on a plane, a bus or even a train.
Maybe he sends a book, an article like this one or he uses a movie to speak to you. He has his methods, and his couriers.
Again, think about it! Maybe he uses symbols and statues to remind us to stay true to the purpose and the plan he has for our lives.
We can’t begin to imagine all the complex ways God manages to get his message to our ears, but everywhere we look there has been evidence in history and evidence and facts still relevant to today’s society that supports this claim.
Wow, just think about it! That’s how much he loves and cares for us!
The Cayman Islands National Heroes Day is the largest national celebration of heritage and culture in the Cayman Islands. It takes place annually in Heroes Square in George Town at the end of January.
Not so long ago, approximately 50 years in Cayman’s history, the Island was not known for being materially wealthy;
however, through the resilience and bravery of our forefathers we became recognized as great seamen internationally and now we celebrate this tradition every year.
On this day there will be uniform parades, special awards and recognition given to outstanding Caymanians who have made great contributions to the Cayman Islands.
Here’s something else to think about: Did you know that National Heroes Day 2007 had the rededication of the Cayman Islands Seaman’s Memorial Statue?
It was first located on Harbor Drive in George Town and then relocated to its new and permanent home in Heroes Square.
The statue was erected in 2003 as an enduring symbol of national pride, which celebrates a history of the love between generations of Caymanians and a life on the water.
It was dedicated by H.R.H. The Earl of Wessex in the presence of many families and friends of those whose names it carries, the 450 brave and heroic seafarers who lost their lives at sea.
The City of London also contains a great many statues, memorials, sculptures and monuments in commemoration of a variety of people and events.
Some are very large and high above on roof tops and some are tucked away in corners where you can hardly see them. There is even a memorial fountain for Princess Diana.
This unique Memorial to Diana, Princess of Wales, was opened by Her Majesty, The Queen on the 6th July 2004.
The fountain was built with the best materials, talent and technology. It contains 545 pieces of Cornish granite – each shaped by the latest computer-controlled machinery and pieced together using traditional skills. The design aims to reflect Diana’s life. Wow!
Here’s something else to think about! Auguste Rodin’s monumental sculpture The Thinker (1880) is one of the best-known works of art in the world. It has become an icon of the genius-creator or anyone lost in thought. Hhmmmm
The original sculpture was only twenty-seven inches tall. Rodin used a muscular man of about forty for his model.
The Thinker rests his chin on the back of his open right hand. His shoulders have literally sunken beneath the weight of his thoughts.
The figure was designed for the Gates of Hell, the portal commission by the French government in 1880 for the new Musée des Arts Decoratifs.
It was supposed to represent Dante, the medieval Italian poet whose Divine Comedy served as the source for the entire project.
Today, many casts of The Thinker can be seen all over the world, nearly all of them, like the original, located outdoors.
The Jamaica National Heroes dared to challenge the institution of colonialism and in so doing changed the course of Jamaica’s history giving social and political freedom to its people.
Today, the statues of Jamaica’s seven National Heroes stand in proud acknowledgment, in the National Heroes Park in Kingston where they are viewed with inspiring pride, unforgettable symbols of Jamaica’s enduring strength.
Most recently Jamaica has erected another statue. The statue, sculpted by Basil Watson, shows Usain Bolt in his trademark ‘to the world’ stance.
The Jamaican sprinter, who retired after the IAAF World Championships London 2017, was at the ceremony to show his appreciation for the statue and stated, “Never did I feel that I would be in this moment, as big as it is now, among statues at the National Stadium where it all began,”.
Usain Bolt is the winner of six individual Olympic gold medals and seven individual world titles.
He also added, “This is why I always encourage everybody. Anything is possible, no limits. Because at no point in time did I ever think I would achieve this much, but I’ve always pushed on and stayed focused on what I want.”
IAAF president Sebastian Coe acknowledges that Bolt has represented good sportsmanship, competitive excellence, extraordinary character and professional throughout his career and has made a significant impact on athletics worldwide. Wow!
Minister of Culture Olivia Grange says she is happy to receive word that Jamaican sculptor Basil Watson has been selected to create a monument in honor of the American civil rights icon, Martin Luther King Jr.
Watson, who has created sculptures of Jamaican Olympians Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Frasier Pryce under contract with the Ministry, was given the nod to design the tribute to Martin Luther King Jr, which will be erected in Atlanta, Georgia.
Then in the beautiful country of Brazil we have Christ the Redeemer, which is a statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro; which is considered the largest Art Deco statue in the world and the 5th largest statue of Jesus in the world. How amazing is that?
It is 130 feet tall, including its 31 feet pedestal, and 98 feet wide. It weighs 635 tons and is located at the peak of the 2300 feet Corcovado mountain- which is located in the Tijuca Forest National Park overlooking the city.
A symbol of Brazilian Christianity, the statue has become an icon for Rio de Janeiro and Brazil. It is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone, and was constructed between 1922 and 1931. What an interesting fact that inspires us Christians who live in another part of the world.
There is also The John the Baptist Monument which is a 62.3 feet concrete statue in downtown San Juan de los Morros, Guárico state, Venezuela, erected in honor of John the Baptist. Commonly called San Juanote, it’s one of the highest statues in Venezuela.
It was built by the command of Venezuelan dictator Juan Vicente Gómez in 1933 as a present to the city when it was declared the capital of Guárico State.
The monument was carved in the hills of Calabozo and moved to San Juan in 1935. I can already see its glorious silhouette across the city’s roof tops.
Speaking of glorious, how about the great U S A and Mt. Rushmore! Mt. Rushmore National Memorial is a huge mountain sculpture of four US Presidents, located near Keystone, in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
The Presidents depicted are: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.
These four Presidents were chosen to represent the founding, growth and preservation of the United States. The work was designed by the sculptor John Gutzon Borglum.
Over in South Africa there is The South African War Memorial (also known as the Boer War Memorial or, prior to 1931, the National War Memorial) is an equestrian memorial dedicated to the South Australians who served in the Second Boer War of 11 October 1899 to 31 May 1902.
It was the first war in which South Australians fought, and 1531 men were sent in nine contingents, with over 1500 horses to accompany them. Over 59 South Australians died in the war.
And around the world in Germany there is The Bismarck Monument.
This monument is located in the city of Hamburg, in the St. Pauli quarter.
It is dedicated to Otto von Bismarck, and is one of 250 memorials to Bismarck worldwide.
The Hamburg memorial is the largest and probably the best-known of these Bismarck towers.
The statue stands near the jetties of Hamburg port on the Elbhöhe. The architect was Johann Emil Schaudt; the sculptor was Hugo Lederer.
All of these interesting places, facts and statues are awesome and many of us will never have a statue erected in our honor after we have passed away-but while we live, move and have our being we’re here to witness and win souls.
We’ve got to use our talents and abilities to uplift one another and the places we call home.
We have this saying, “No man is an Island- no man stands alone”.
Where ever you are in the world lets not forget our greatest job.
His great commission to us is, “Go into all the World and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere!”
Thailand is a country that is located in Southeast Asia. The country’s official name is the Kingdom of Thailand, and it used to be called Siam.
Thailand’s National Flag
The National Flag has five horizontal stripes of three colors: Red, White, and Blue which has a very significant meaning.
The vibrant color red signifies the life-blood of the Thai people. The white stripe symbolizes the purity of Buddhism, the National religion and the dominant blue stripe represents the Thai King, the Monarchy and the important part it plays in the daily life of Thais.
The present national Thai flag, the “Tri-Rong” or three sacred colors, was designed by King Rama VI.
Thailand General Knowledge
There is also the magnificent capital city of Thailand called Bangkok, and it is also the largest city in the country.
The country has a population of approximately 67,959,000, making it the 20th most populous country in the world. The country has a total area of 198,120 square miles and is the 50th largest country in the world based on area.
The largest ethnic group is Central Thai and the official language spoken is also called Thai, and over 95% of Thailand’s residents practice Buddhism.
National Symbols of Thailand
Guess what else I was happy to learn? There are several National symbols of Thailand.
First is the Emblem of Thailand featuring the Garuda.
Emblem of Thailand
The National Flower is called the flower of the Ratchaphruek or Golden Rain Tree (Cassia fistula) as seen below:
Golden Rain Tree in bloom
And guess what I just learnt? We have it in the Cayman Islands too. Where? At Camana Bay of course.
If you look close enough, you will see many signs identifying Camana Bay’s unique flora and fauna from the Dart Nursery- which is home to more than 180 unique species of palms and 500 species of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. Cool!
Then we have the opulent Thai pavilion or Sala Thai as national architectural element.
Sala Thai, is an open pavilion, used as a meeting place and to protect people from sun and rain. A person who builds a sala at a temple or in a public place gains religious merit. A sala located in a temple is called a salawat. Some temples have large salas where laity can hear sermons or receive religious instruction.
These are called sala kan parian meaning ‘pavilion where monks learn for the Parian examination.
The city halls or offices of the province governors are called sala wa kan (literally meaning ‘government pavilion’) or sala klang changwat (literally meaning a ‘provincial main pavilion).
And finally, there is the National Animal which is the Thai Elephant.
Thailand’s Constitutional Monarchy
The country of Thailand is a constitutional monarchy and has been since 1932. It has also been said to be one of the few remaining countries in the world to have this type of government.
King Maha Vajiralongkorn has been on the throne since 2016.
King of Thailand, King Vajiralongkorn
The King of Thailand, King Vajiralongkorn (or Rama X), is the current monarch, reigning since the death of his father Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) on 13 October 2016. He has only exercised the role of monarch since 1 December 2016.
The constitution stipulates that although the sovereignty of the state is vested in the people, the king will exercise such powers through the three branches of the Thai government.
Under the constitution the king is given very little power, but remains a figurehead and symbol of the Thai nation.
As the head of state, however, he is given some powers and has a role to play in the workings of government.
According to the constitution, the king is head of the armed forces. He is required to be Buddhist as well as the defender of all faiths in the country.
The king also retained some traditional powers such as the power to appoint his heirs, the power to grant pardons, and the royal assent. The king is aided in his duties by the Privy Council of Thailand.
Cost of Living in Thailand
There is no magic number for the cost of living in Thailand because everyone is different. Everyone comes from a different background, has different tastes, has different spending habits and different budgets with different life styles.
I recently watched a fantastic romantic comedy called Crazy Rich Asians, which was about a poor girl who finds her Prince Charming – and is then thrown into the extravagant, glitzy, catty world of the Singapore elite.
The idea that an everyday woman could meet a dashing man and end up marrying into aristocratic society is as we all know, a well-worn, and well-loved, story convention that has built the foundation for tales like Pride and Prejudice and Cinderella.
However, in reality, for those of you considering Thailand as your premier destination for building a family, here are a few other things to consider:
• Do you have a girlfriend/boyfriend? • Are you married? • Do you have children?
Thailand’s current constitution
The country’s current constitution was put forth in April of 2017. Thailand has so far had seventeen Constitutions. Throughout, the basic structure of government has remained the same. The current (2016) constitution, drafted by a body appointed by the military junta (NCPO), states in section 4:
“The human dignity, rights, liberty and equality of the people shall be protected”.
 This is unchanged from the 2007 constitution. Sections 26 to 63 set out an extensive range of specific rights in such areas as criminal justice, education, non-discrimination, religion, and freedom of expression.
The government of Thailand is composed of three branches: the executive, the legislative, and the judiciary.
The system of government is modelled after the Westminster system.
All branches of government are concentrated in Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand.
Miss Universe Thailand “Sophida Kanchanarin
Speaking of systems and branches- did you know that recently a 23-year-old investment banker was crowned Miss Universe Thailand 2018 in a glittering finale held June 30 at the at Royal Paragon Hall, Siam Paragon.
Miss Universe Thailand “Sophida Kanchanarin”
Sophida Kanchanarin, who holds a finance degree from the University of Nevada in the USA, will now represent the Land of Smiles in the next edition of the Miss Universe pageant.
It has been said that Sophida Kanchanarin has big shoes to fill following Thailand’s recent resurgence in the Miss Universe competition.
After three consecutive placements (2015 – Top 10, 2016 – Top 6, 2017 – Top 5), and guess what? The Land of Smiles is setting its sights on winning its third Miss Universe crown.
What do you think? Is it a no brainer? Lol!
Here’s another fun fact that I found- A common greeting in Thai culture is “Have you eaten?” followed by “How are you?” Cool!
Agriculture and Tourism
Agriculture and Tourism are the two most important and lucrative industries in Thailand.
One of Thailand’s many attractions is called Udon Thani.
Image credit: @puyfai_th
Although Udon Thani is off many tourists’ radars, it’s known to have one of the largest expat populations in Thailand, making it one of the best places to visit for those who don’t speak much Thai (like me!). The best part is, it only takes a 45-minute flight to get here from Bangkok.
Muek Lek Sunflower Fields: image credit: @izzy__z
Thailand’s biggest sunflower field is called Muek Lek Sunflower Fields and it is tucked away in this little province of Lopburi in central Thailand.
According to my research, it only takes approximately 2 hours from Bangkok to get there.
Apparently, you can find all things sunflower-related there-sunflower seeds, honey, and oil just to name a few. Cool!
Mistreatment of Elephants
During my research however, I was grieved to learn that it’s common knowledge that elephants in Thailand are often abused and tortured for human gain.
The mistreatment of elephants is one of the most notorious animal welfare problems in Thailand.
There are elephant camps across the country that raise elephants in captivity (or snatch them from the wild) and use them in shows and for tourists to ride on.
For the most part, the training of these captive elephants involves wrenching young elephants from their mothers, and torturing them into submission, breaking their spirit. Even then, life isn’t good for them.
Many are kept in chains, with limited room to roam and are controlled by the use of force, and made to do unnatural tricks. If you want to see elephants in Thailand, do your research and find a responsible elephant project.
Elephant Nature Park is one of the most famous organizations and best-known elephant conservation project in Thailand. The center was founded in 1995 and is located near Chiang Mai, in Thailand’s north.
More than 35 elephants roam free here, and many of these have been saved from torturous camps that exploit elephants for tourism or logging purposes. The center is also home to dogs, cats, and other rescued animals.
Thailand is a country whose landmarks showcase its history, while its cities show the modern conveniences of today.
As I stated in my title- it’s a no brainer; the country of Thailand is a land that boasts stunning flora and fauna, natural beauty, and historical landmarks and that is what makes that country a great place to live or visit.
We all were young once. Many of us still feel that way even though our bodies have a different interpretation.
I believe education or schooling, whether its Night School or Day School, is important for everyone and the extent of schooling in any society is tied to its level of economic development.
According to my most recent studies, the word school is from a Greek root word that means “leisure”.
In ancient Greece, famous teachers such as Socrates, Aristotle and Plato taught aristocratic, upper-class men who had plenty of spare time.
Plato (429-347 BC) was born in fifth-century Athens to a wealthy family. As a young Athenian of his station, he was expected to pursue politics and such worthy matters.
Instead Plato decided to follow the path of his mentor, Socrates (470-399 BC) and became a philosopher. In ancient times Athens was home to some of the most extraordinary accomplishments of philosophy, art, and science in human history. Plato was born in a time known as the city’s “Golden Age” in the fifth century BC.
I’m delighted to also suggest a movie I’ve watched years ago which I thought was magnificently created to depict what life must have been like during that time. Even though the emphasis was placed on Sparta, which was a small city in the rugged mountains of southern Greece and was feared for its military might, we are still able to see the connection to their neighbors in Athens.
Leonidas (GERARD BUTLER) bids farewell to his son Pleistarchos (GIOVANI ANTONIO CIMMINO) and wife Gorgo (LENA HEADEY) as the 300 begin their march north in Warner Bros. Pictures, Legendary Pictures and Virtual Studios action drama 300, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. PHOTOGRAPHS TO BE — USED SOLELY FOR ADVERTISING, PROMOTION, PUBLICITY OR REVIEWS OF THIS SPECIFIC MOTION PICTURE AND TO REMAIN THE PROPERTY OF THE STUDIO. NOT FOR SALE OR REDISTRIBUTION
Based on evidence of the past and clear and continuous events experienced in the present, it has now been widely perceived that both politics and religion are still the most heated topics and note-worthy matters in our society today. Many cultures around the world and their people are passionate about these topics.
The same has been reported to be true in ancient China, where famous philosopher Confucius (K’ung Fu-tzu) was known to have only shared his wisdom with a privileged few.
Speaking of China, guess what I found out? The Musuo is a very small society in China’s Yunnan province, in which women control most property, select their sexual partners, and make most decisions about everyday life.
The Musuo appear to be operating with the Matriarchy (“rule of mothers”) type of system. This is a form of social organization in which females dominate males and have only rarely been documented in human history.
I’ve mentioned that interesting fact only because further on I will explain what Patriarchy (“rule of fathers”) is all about and how that has affected equality in our world today.
However, I strongly and passionately believe that neither one of these systems should be the standard or the social-norm in our world today.
Did you know that the limited schooling that takes place in lower-income countries reflects the national culture? The way that country is view by the rest of the world?
In Iran, for example, schooling is closely tied to Islam. Similarly, schooling in Bangladesh (Asia), Zimbabwe (Africa), and Nicaragua (Latin America) has been shaped by the distinctive cultural traditions of these nations.
Unfortunately, all lower-income countries have one trait in common when it comes to schooling. There is not much of it.
Here are the facts- According to World Bank 2011, In the world’s poorest nations (including several in Central America), about one-fourth of all children never get to go to school.
Another fact- World-wide, more than one-third of all children never reach the secondary grades or high school. As a result, about one-sixth of the world’s people cannot read or write. Research shows that reading and writing skills are widespread in high-income countries, where illiteracy rates generally are below 5 percent.
I’ve also learnt that in much of Latin America, illiteracy is unfortunately more common and one of the consequences are due to limited economic development.
Statistics also shows that in twelve nations-most of them in Africa- illiteracy is the rule rather than the exception. Many of their people rely on the oral tradition of face-to-face communication rather than the written word.
So, based on what you’ve read and after scrutinizing the above world map, do you agree or disagree and how can we help each other raise our standards?
However, saying all of that, you know what I have come to realize- its even greater odds to be educated if you’re a girl in certain countries. Many poor families depend on the earnings of their children, and in places like India where child labor has already been outlawed, many children still continue to work in factories-weaving rugs or making hand-crafted items which limits their opportunities for any time or kind of education.
Patriarchy (rule of fathers) is a form of social organization in which males dominate females and is found almost everywhere in the world. This type of system shapes Indian education and most Indians parents are joyful at the birth of a boy because he and his future wife will both contribute income to the family.
Whereas it is seen as an economic cost to raising a girl. In their culture, parents must provide a dowry (a gift of wealth to the groom’s family) and after her marriage, a daughter’s work only benefits her husband’s family. Therefore, many Indians see less reason to invest in the schooling of girls.
Did you also know that education has not always been part of the way of life for the Japanese? Before industrialization brought mandatory education in 1872, only a privileged few attended schools.
Now, Japan is a force to be reckoned with and its educational system is widely praised for producing some of the world’s highest achievers! Results continue to show that Japanese schooling continue to produce impressive results and in many notable fields such as mathematics and science, Japanese students continue to outperform students in almost every other high-income nation, including the United States. Wow!
I hope they make time for a love life eventually or there won’t be many of them left. Lol!
In Great Britain during the Middle Ages, education was a privilege of the British Nobility, who studied classical subjects, having little concern at the time for the practical skills necessary and needed to earn a living.
However, as the Industrial Revolution came around it became evident that there was a need for an educated labor force, and as working-class people demanded access to schools, a rising share of the population entered the classroom. British law now requires every child to attend school until the age of sixteen. I like that!
Now we can’t forget the United States in this article- after all they were among the first countries to set a goal of mass education for their people. Studies show that by 1850, about half of the young people between the ages of five and nineteen were enrolled in school (1 Thessalonians 5:19, “Do not quench the Spirit”). We still need the bible in our schools!
And by 1918, all states had passed a mandatory education law requiring children to attend school until the age of sixteen or completion of eight grade.
1 Thessalonians 5: 1-24 (The Day of the Lord) says,
5 Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
4 But you, brother and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet (Kind of like a Spartan Soldier).
9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good,
22 reject every kind of evil. 23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.
The United States history states that Thomas Jefferson thought the new nation could become democratic only if the people learned to read. Today, the United States has an outstanding record of higher education for its people.
Education is constantly being promoted in the United States and nearly all American’s dream of higher education and equal opportunities. National surveys show that most people think education is crucial to personal success, and more and more people are starting to believe the dream!
Everyone should have a chance to get an education, and it would be wonderful to receive one that is in line with the personal ability and talent of that individual. Oh, what a dream that would be! But we all know that is everyone’s dream around the world but not the actual reality.
Many of the countries that I have mentioned above and others that were not mention but are definitely in the mix; realize the significance of education and its crucial importance to their economic development and increased equality.
So, what’s makes schools, colleges or universities so important? There are several variables. Well, number one’s pretty easy. It’s a good place to meet new people and interact.
Now please understand, everyone is different, and some people may require or function more effectively in a different environment. We are all not the same.
However, according to the definition of Sociology, which is the systematic study of the human society and the world around us, I can see such compounds as a great place to mix and mingle.
Second variable in the equation is that schools help to or at least they should help to identify and measure a child’s intelligence or aptitude. See my previous article called: An aptitude simply to Live
Alfred Binet was a psychologist who was commissioned by the French Government to devise an objective method for identifying children who were not doing well in school. He designed the first comprehensive intelligence test in the early 20th century. Then later on in 1916, Lewis Terman and his colleagues at Stanford University revised Binet’s test for use in the United States, resulting in the administered test gaining wide acceptance during the 1940s and 1950s.
From there, the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale was introduced and is still widely used. (Fourth Edition SB-IV).
I was also intrigued to find out that as time progressed test researchers developed a formula for expressing a child’s intellectual level that made it possible to compare children of different chronological ages (CA), which apparently are expressed in how old in years and months the children are.
This measurement was called the intelligence quotient (IQ) and is defined as follows:
IQ = MA/CA X 100
The computation of IQ made it possible to understand how a child’s intellectual ability compared to that of peers of the same chronological age.
However, there were problems with this ratio approach to IQ and now IQ is assessed using the deviation IQ approach. This approach assigns an IQ score by comparing an individual’s test score with the scores of other people of the same age range. David Wechsler (Wechester, 1974) is primarily known for developing this technique and was applied to IQ tests that both he and his colleagues developed.
The test for early childhood is the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence, or WPPSI.
The test for childhood and adolescence is the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children or WISC and the test for adulthood is the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale or WAIS (“wace”).
An individual who takes any of these tests obtains a score that is compared statically to the scores of other people of the same age. The Wechsler IQ test is widely used although there are many other intelligence tests being used.
IQ is assumed to be normally distributed around an average score of 100, with about 2/3 of the general population scoring between 85 and 115 and almost 96% of the population scoring between 70 and 130. That leaves roughly 2% of the population scoring below 70 and another 2% scoring above 130, which is a popular cutoff point for defining giftedness.
However as much as we admire or perhaps despise the gifted, we can not and most not leave behind those who need us the most. Many children with disabilities around the world have either been hidden out of shame, misunderstood or mistreated.
Nevertheless, in the United States of America, the passing of the 1997 Amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA-97), the reauthorization of this act in 2004 (IDEA-04), and the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act in 2002, we can safely say that they are making considerable steps to the needs of their most vulnerable citizens.
Within the Cayman Islands, the Government and the general population has also been working diligently to make improvements were necessary in this regard and I strongly believe this will only facilitate more unity, hope and ambition for the people of the Cayman Islands.
It has been nine years since the Cayman Islands voted to adopt their modernized constitution. After an extensive period of discussion and negotiations, and the fist local Referendum, the new Cayman Islands Constitution was approved by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Privy Council on June 10, 2009 and came into force on November 6, 2009.
So, what’s in the Constitution you may ask?
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE CAYMAN ISLANDS
The people of the Cayman Islands, recalling the events that have shaped their history and made them what they are, and acknowledging their distinct history, culture and Christian heritage and its enduring influence and contribution in shaping the spiritual, moral and social values that have guided their development and brought peace, prosperity and stability to those islands, through the vision, forbearance, and leadership of their people, who are loyal to Her Majesty the Queen;
Affirm their intention to be—
• A God-fearing country based on traditional Christian values, tolerant of other religions and beliefs.
• A country with open, responsible and accountable government, that includes a working partnership with the private sector and continuing beneficial ties with the United Kingdom.
• A country in which religion finds its expression in moral living and social justice.
• A caring community based on mutual respect for all individuals and their basic human rights.
• A country committed to the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom.
• A community that practices honest and open dialogue to ensure mutual understanding and social harmony.
• A safe, secure and law-abiding community.
• A country that is free from crime and drug abuse.
• A country with an education system that identifies and develops on a continuing basis the abilities of each person, allowing them to reach their full potential and productivity.
• A community that encourages and prepares young people to assume leadership roles.
• A country that provides a comprehensive healthcare system.
• A community protective of traditional Caymanian heritage and the family unit.
• A country that honors the sacrifice of its seafaring men who left the shores of the Islands to enhance the quality of life of their people, and in doing so established themselves amongst the finest within the global maritime community of that time and through their remittances, endeavors and experiences built the foundations of the Cayman Islands’ modern economy.
• A country that honors and acknowledges the important contribution of Caymanian women who during the absence of the seafaring men of the Islands managed the affairs of their homes, businesses and communities and passed on the values and traditions of the Islands’ people.
• A country with a vibrant diversified economy, which provides full employment.
• A country that makes optimal use of modern technology.
• A country that manages growth and maintains prosperity, while protecting its social and natural environment.
• A country that respects, protects and defends its environment and natural resources as the basis of its existence.
• A country that fosters the highest standards of integrity in the dealings of the private and public sectors.
• A country with an immigration system that protects Caymanians, gives security to long-term residents and welcomes legitimate visitors and workers.
• A country that plays its full part in the region and in the international community.
Now, therefore, the following provisions shall have effect as the Constitution of the Cayman Islands.
Even though Monday’s (July 2nd 2018) Constitution Day is uniquely Caymanian, in such a multi-cultural territory as ours- were residents hail from all over the world- our holiday coincides very closely with many other countries like America’s Independence Day, Canada Day, St. Maarten Emancipation and Bahamas Independence Day.
One of the leading members of American history, Benjamin Franklin who was also an author and scientist, inventor and diplomat was deeply active in public affairs.
Apparently, he had little formal education and he still managed to start a successful printing business in Philadelphia and grew wealthy. He helped launch a lending library, hospital and college, and garnered acclaim for his experiments with electricity, among other projects.
During the American Revolution, he served in the Second Continental Congress and helped draft the Declaration of Independence in 1776. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence!
Another wonderful place to explore and know about is Canada.
Canada’s national holiday is celebrated on July 1. If it falls on a Sunday, it is moved to July 2, except in Nova Scotia and in Newfoundland and Labrador. All provincial governments observe this day. Many organizations, businesses and stores are closed, although some book stores, pharmacies and gas stations may be open. Post offices are closed. As Canada Day falls in the Canadian summer holiday period, all schools are closed.
Canadians across the country and around the world show their pride in their history, culture and achievements. It’s been a day of celebration, where many festivities are held across the country, since 1868.
Also, each year, through the Canada Day Challenge, young people aged 8 to 18 are invited to express their creativity through arts on what Canada means to them.
On July 1, 1867, Canada became a self-governing dominion of Great Britain and a federation of four provinces: Nova Scotia; New Brunswick; Ontario; and Quebec. The anniversary of this date was called Dominion Day until 1982. Since 1983, July 1 has been officially known as Canada Day.
Now right here within the beautiful Caribbean Sea we can explore the lovely Island of St. Maarten.
St. Maarten Emancipation Day is annually observed on July 1. This holiday celebrates the day, when the Netherlands abolished slavery on the island in 1863.
The island of St Maarten is administered by France (the major part) and the Netherlands.
Here’s a little history; the first border on the island was set by the Treaty of Concorida in 1648, however, during the next two centuries the border was changed sixteen times.
St Maarten was a good place for cultivation of cotton, tobacco and sugar cane, that led to the lack of working labor and the beginning of the era of slavery.
France and the Netherlands imported a massive number of slaves to work on the plantations.
Slaves were subjected to cruel treatment, that is why they often staged rebellions. Due to the overwhelming number of the slaves, the rebellions were impossible to ignore. France abolished slavery on its part of the island in 1848. The Dutch followed the suit 15 years later and abolishment took place on July 1, 1863.
Abolishment of slavery is a very important event in the history of St Maarten.
Celebration of Emancipation Day usually begins with a church service, followed by the ceremony of wreath laying to the monuments of the fighters for freedom.
Let’s not forget the fabulous countries of the Bahamas. It is officially called the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and consist of more than 700 islands. Wow!
Bahamas Independence Day is on the 10th July. This holiday commemorates the day when The Bahamas became an independent Commonwealth realm in 1973, retaining the British Monarch, then and currently Queen Elizabeth II, as its Head Of State.
The Bahamas is one of the richest countries in the Americas (following the United States and Canada), with an economy based on Tourism and Finance.
Everyone lies at one time or another including me. Lying is a universal talent. Some people can do it rather well.
Most little kids start practicing the skill as soon as they master language.
When you look at it objectively it seems the ability to lie is part of everyone’s kit of survival tools, a side effect of possessing language skills.There are a lot of situations in which the ability to lie is extremely useful.
For instance, there are times when you might have to lie to protect yourself or someone else.
Or you might have to lie just to defend your personal privacy.
People lie all the time to diffuse a tense social situation or to avoid hurting someone’s feelings or even to calm someone who is frightened.
The way I see it, if people couldn’t lie, they probably wouldn’t be able to live together in groups, at least not for long or with any degree of sociability.
The bottom line is- if humans could not lie, civilization as we know it would cease to exist.
Imparting the spirit of error however happens too easily- and more often than not without the leader even realizing it.
This is what happen with King Saul and Jonathan.
If you are in the position of a leader, you are communicating to others (even without words).
Your life is saying, “The way I’m going is the way you should follow”.
So, anything that you do incorrectly (because you have rejected the correction of the Lord), you are actually telling them, “This is the way you should act.”
If you are imparting the spirit of error to them, rebellion will multiply in the lives of your spiritual children.
In the New Testament, the apostle Paul spoke these words to Titus:
Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle (a special messenger) of Jesus Christ (the Messiah) was sent to stimulate and promote the faith of God’s chosen ones and to lead them on to accurate discernment and recognition of and acquaintance with the Truth which belongs to and harmonizes with and tends to godliness (Titus 1:1)
So basically, in common language, Paul was saying, “I’m a servant who has been ordained by God.
Understand that I have been called by God to bring correction to you.
I want you to understand that my job isn’t to be concerned with your gifts, callings, or talents.
I’m concerned with ‘cutting out’ a pattern for character in you.”
Today in the 21st century we have many in the church with wonderful talents and abilities and even during Paul’s time, some members were expressing and using their gifts but were having a hard time being true servants.
Basically, Paul was telling Titus, “You might have been an evangelist or a prophet at your old church.
But if you’re going to minister in our church, we’re going to watch your servanthood.
If you qualify as a servant, then we know you can be trusted as a prophet.”
So many believers get too anxious, asserting: “Oh, the Lord gave me a word; He gave me a word.”
If He gave you that word, it will keep.
In the meantime, your spiritual leaders will need to carve character in you to bring you to a level where you can handle the word you have received.
You must be made to understand that a true leader cannot allow your gifts to take you where your character can’t keep you.
If you are reading this and can truly identify with me, let’s pray this simple prayer together:
I want so much to be used by you in a unique way.
I want you to help me to discover my spiritual gift and unique talent so that I may use it to uplift your church and my community. Help me to be bold and persistent in my journey.
Do not let the pride of life and what society might consider relevant cause me to be ineffective for you.
Let the Queen or King in me rise up and be resolute in this mighty cause.
Once again, do not let pride, discouragement, lack of finances, or even my beloved family- basically any spirit that is not of you, deter me from my course.
This day I commit myself to you. I ask for your anointing to flow freely in my life and for you to make me a special blessing in your name.
For those of you who followed me in that prayer; may God, the source of hope, fill you with all joy and peace by means of faith in Him, so that your hope will continue to grow by the power of the Holy Spirit.