We finished work on Ajan Satien’s khu-thee a couple of days after Christmas. There was no closing ceremony, which surprised me, but we got to etch a few words into wet cement to show when we had been there and done the work.
That last night, Thip boiled me some water so I could have a hot shower. That was a luxury. She had also kept up my daily laundry, which was one of those simple pleasures that I enjoyed that most guys did not.
Next day, after Jahn Hahn, we loaded the trucks and were off, headed back to Wat Erawan in Thong Pha Phum.
I did not know I was one of the drivers entrusted with bringing us back safely until ten minutes before departure. Of course, I had hoped I would, but I did not take it for granted. That I was again chosen confirmed that I really had passed “The Kamattan School of 4-Wheel Driving.”
With greater confidence and now knowing the route in a basic way, I was able to speed up my driving. Added to this was that Lungpaw Boon Long was in the other front seat and would help me by telling me what highest gear I could go into, in particular stretches. The four truck caravan made much faster time this way and, in fact, made it out of Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary in a single day, arriving at Thong Pha Phum before midnight.
(Thip's father, Khun Paw)
The next morning, during Jahn Hahn at Wat Erawan, the temple’s head monk Lungpu Sakhon advised: To get good at anything takes a long time and patience, especially Kamattan Buddhism.