I'll start there too. This could have been much worse, and we are overwhelmed with gratitude that, in fact, that no one was harmed and there was comparatively minimal damage.
A very old oven caught fire, the first analysis being it was electrical in origin. That would be dangerous enough without the fact that the kitchen also housed propane tanks used in the gas stove top appliance. Pause for somber reflection here.
There was no explosion.
Yes, this could have been so much worse.
While it's obvious from the pictures that the fire was certainly underway, it was caught in time to be contained by Suradet and some of our older boys, using the fire extinguishers we have on hand for just such a circumstance. Three large units were completely discharged to put out the blaze.
Anyone who has been to Hot Springs will recognize the kitchen. We've had our meals prepared for us there, and I would be bold enough to say that the best and most authentic Thai food any of us has ever eaten has been prepared on these counters. Some of us have learned a few Thai dishes, washed some dishes (when we could get away with it), sat on the floor and ate a snack from banana leaves, watched live crabs destined for tomorrow's meal run around on the counter, made a cup of tea, removed a six foot snake, or even chased a chicken around in that room. So while we are glad it wasn't any worse, it's still hard to see the mess midst all the memories.
This comes as the children are in the middle of mid term exams, sitting for them at home under the supervision of a teacher from the school. For all of them, especially for the older ones who were directly involved in fighting the fire, it will be hard to concentrate today.
A replacement oven will need to be purchased and the wiring inspected. We will also be replacing the extinguishers immediately. We will be looking at the insurance policy and considering a claim. And of course, there's the clean up. All of this will be extra work on top of the already "extra" load of online learning, and grief recovery happening for our beloveds there right now.
We ask for your prayers for recovery and stamina and perseverance. For concentration on our studies. For protection from any lingering trauma for children who have only just recently found a safe place within our family.
While COVID numbers are holding their own in Thailand right now, there was a recent positive case close by in their immediate village that has brought a new level of that concern to the forefront. We are grateful that Pfizer vaccines are available to our children age 12 and up by virtue of being enrolled in a government school. And we have made arrangements for our adult staff to be vaccinated as well, their appointment being October 21st. As a point of reference, the Pfizer vaccine costs approximately half a month's salary for adults, helping to explain the low vaccination rate in Thailand so far.
For those of you who support us financially, we cannot say thank you enough. All your contributions, whether as a monthly Sponsor of one child, or a regular contributor to the general operating funds, are drastically easing the strains of all of this.
The children are receiving vaccines, protecting themselves and their nation, because your sponsorship allows them to be in school. Stop right here for a second and let our gratitude wash over you, please.
The fire extinguishers that prevented an explosion were purchased with your money. Stop right here for a second and realize that you may very well have saved a life. Please, absorb this.
You have a direct impact on what's happening half a world away, and it is making more of a difference that you can't possibly imagine. Every day that's true. It's just on days like today it's a bit more alarmingly obvious.
With gratitude I can't possibly articulate.