|2nd Lopburi house - Church was held here years ago|
We then went to the center of the old town to see the monkeys. Many years ago there were only a hundred or so monkeys and they were mainly resident in the large traffic Circle that had trees and a shrine. Now there are thousands of monkeys which roam most of the old city. They are everywhere, crossing streets, getting into the backs of pickups stopped for a train, on the roofs of building on the power poles on the wires, on the balconies and all over the ruins that occupy this section of town.
|Sister Meeker and Sister Seppi with one of the monkey wranglers|
The Monkey Wranglers will sell you slices of corn cobs to feed the monkeys. They then use a stick or slingshot to threaten the monkeys to keep from getting too aggressive when you feed them. I saw several monkeys climbing on those who bought food and decided to not get into the feeding business. Several Elders have been bitten here. And the treatment for a monkey bite includes rabies shots. Something I am not interested in.
|Note the monkey wrangler at the top of the steps ready to be hired.|
|Elder Seppi taking pictures of the Monkeys entertaining themselves on the hillside|
|A mature monkey watching over the proceedings|
After watching the monkeys for a short while. I called the Sister (Somnug who is an active member) of my former maid here in Lopburi. After a few tries - it started to downpour - we finally got enough directions and help and we found Somkhid's home. Somkhid joined the church after I returned to the States. I was unaware of this until a few weeks ago when Elder Cutler - Missionary currently serving in Lopburi found her. She has been inactive for about 6 or 7 years. She stayed home to care for here ailing parents. They have now passed away. 37 years ago when she worked for us missionaries, she had a 2 to 3 year old daughter. Her husband had died of a brain tumor. The daughter of course has now grown up married and has a 5 year old daughter of her own.
Somkhid was fun to be around. We teased her a lot and she had a great smile. She worked 6 days a week. She cleaned our home, washed our clothes (by hand in a tub), and prepared two meals a day for us. I remember one time I was trying to teach her to say in English " the food is ready". I had been working with her for several days on this phrase trying to help her get it correct. One afternoon after several days working on the new phrase, I hear her call from downstairs " Elder - food's on". Apparently a previous elder had taught her to say this easier phrase. We had a refrigerator in our home, but in the Thai tradition she would go to the market every morning to buy food to cook our two meals a day. Breakfast was served at 10 AM and Dinner about 4 PM. We would always have some kind of snack on our own at the end of the day. Quite often I would come home in the afternoon and she would pull out of the freezer a popsicle for us. She was very kind and thoughtful.
I had talked to Somkhid twice Since my return to Thailand. But honestly, I do not think she remembered exactly who I was. She must of had dozens of Missionaries that she served over the years. But when I pulled up into her driveway - and she saw me behind the wheel of the van - she remembered me and even let me give her a hug. It was a great experience seeing her again and visiting Lopburi. On the way out of town we stopped at a Big C shopping center (kind of like a Fred Meyer store) and had dinner. While we were there eating dinner - Somkhid called me and asked when am I going to visit again.
Some unedited Videos of Monkeys for your viewing pleasure