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Raju Guruvanich

Hello and welcome back everyone to Salem,
even though most of you would still rather be at home playing video games and eating chips with salsa (my favorite). I hope you all had a fantastic break. As the price of airline ticket to Thailand is extremely costly, I did not go home. Instead, I decided to go back to upstate New York where I had spent a year as a high school exchange student in 2000-2001. As much as I’d like to say that my whole break was awesome, I can’t really say that. It has some good and bad parts. The good part was visiting my host families, friends, and teachers there. It had been four years since I last saw them. For the most part, my break was a very restful and relaxing one, just what I needed after four months of nonstop schooling here at Willamette. For the last week of my vacation, I went up to stay with my dad’s friend in New Hampshire. It was really sweet, the area was stunningly beautiful. Everywhere I looked I saw snow, on the ground, on top of mountains, just simply beautiful. I honestly did not want to come back to Salem : )
As I said earlier, there was one bad part of my vacation. It was the catastrophe that happened back at home in Thailand. On the Boxing Day
morning (local time), the massive seismic waves simply smashed the southwestern coast of Thailand. It was, by far, the worst natural disaster that ever happened to Thailand. Although my country was not as badly hit as some other countries in the region, the whole thing was simply unimaginable for me. I called my dad as soon as I found out, and it was such a relief to hear his voice and him saying “we’re all safe and sound.” Although my family was not directly affected by this tragic incident, it was still very tough for me to be away from them during the time like this. Anyway, the vacation is over and we are now back to our normal lifestyle, I hope you all did not have as hard of time as I did getting myself motivated, focused on school. I am having a very busy and difficult semester; all my classes are three hundred levels. Yuck! However, I want to make a promise to you all that I will bring you interesting articles about Thailand consistently. With my selection of articles, please, if you can, email me some feedbacks. I’d love to read them. I think this is it for now, I’ll see you soon.
What you missed in Thailand:
Thailand to turn the tragedy around
This article is very interesting as it talks about how instead of viewing it as a soul-shaking incident, the Thai government should look at the tsunami tragedy in a positive way. According to this news article, the tsunami is indeed a golden opportunity that the government should seize to re-think and rebuild the country to be an even better place than it was
prior to the catastrophe.
Tsunami’s political impact
While for some the Tsunami incident maybe the end of everything, for others it paves the way for a new beginning. With the upcoming General Election scheduled on February 6, an incumbent Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his Thai Rak Thai Party is expected to win this election easily. Recent polls have shown that the prime minister’s party, alone, is
likely to win the majority of seats in the parliament; the party is expected to gain as many as 250 seats out of 400 available seats. You guys might not find this interesting, but it is indeed. Thailand has a multi-party system, so it is really hard for any single party to win a majority of seats in parliament. As the matter of fact, I don’t recall this happening before. We’ve always had coalition governments. Anyway, the Thai Rak Thai party, according to many political analysts, owes so much to
the prime minister’s handling of the tsunami. (This whole story certainly reminds me of President Bush’s popularity in the post-9/11 America)
A bowl of Thai curry may help fight cancer
A lot of people here love Thai food, and so do I! I must say that food is one of the things about Thailand that I have always proud of, it’s just simply delicious. If you already love Thai food, this article will make you want to pay another visit to a Thai restaurant this weekend. However, if you’re one of those people who has never tried Thai food, this article will tell you one of the reasons why Thai food is right for you. Beside the superb tastes, Thai food also keeps you healthy! The following article informs us how Thai food helps decrease the risk of cancer. Very interesting!

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