Thank You!

Thank You!

Illustration: Patsita Apichaiviroj
Illustration: Patsita Apichaiviroj

Thailand breathed a collective sigh of relief on Monday night after a team of 12 teenage football players and their coach were found alive inside Tham Luang Cave in Chiang Rai after 10 days of being trapped inside. Though we may be able to sleep sound, there's still a long way to go (and many more dramas, rumours and photos of handsome rescuers to come) before they are evacuated to safety. It's already been reported that they may have to stay there for months so let's keep our fingers crossed and our hopes alive.

However, what's so heartwarming is the fact that Thais and foreigners worked together to make the rescue operations possible. And, at the risk of sounding sentimental, I feel like there's nothing better or more fitting to do this week than celebrate these heroes here in Guru. I can only list those who have been confirmed by respectable sources, as I'm sure there are many more we can thank. And, from those who risked their lives diving to the uncle who cooked free guay tiew onsite, I would like to say thank you!

1. The Thai Squad. 84 Thai Navy Seal divers. Around 1,000 soldiers deployed by the Royal Thai Armed Forces. 100 medical staff from the Ministry of Public Health. (Bangkok Post, Jul 3) And Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osotthanakorn.

2. International rescue squad from seven countries. They are three cave diving experts from the Derbyshire Cave Rescue Organisation under The British Cave Rescue Council, 30 military personnel from the United States Pacific Command, two water drainage experts from JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency), six rescue experts from Beijing Peaceland Foundation, three Laotian dive and rescue experts, a Myanmar rescue team (who explored shafts and possible entry points to the cave from their country) and six diving experts from Australia's Department of Defence. (Bangkok Post, Jul 3)

3. Chan Jaichantra is one of many farmers who let their fields be flooded with water diverted from the cave to make the rescue mission easier. Chan said, "Let's get them out first. Let the rice die. I can replant it." (, Jul 3)

4. Somsak Sripetch and his team drove in two Humvees from Nonthaburi to cook food and serve coffee for people working at the rescue site. (Thai Rath, Jun 30). His team is just one of several who serve free food to the rescuers and volunteers.

5. Eight bird-nest collectors from Trang flew into Chiang Rai to help with the rescue mission as they are adapt at climbing and exploring shafts. AirAsia will pay for their flight tickets home later. (Matichon, Jul 2)

6. The aunties from a local herbal centre called Huen Pa-yha Spa Phuen Ban in Mae Sai set up a shop to provide free massages to those who participate in the rescue mission at Wat Ban Chong. (Thai Rath, Jul 1)

7. The many illustrators who helped keep our hopes alive with their artwork, while we were unsure of the football team's fate, including Patsita Apichaiviroj (, who has kindly allowed us to use her work, which she published on Jul 3.

In the words of Oscar Wilde "The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention."

Pornchai Sereemongkonpol

Guru section Editor

Guru section Editor

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