The Daily Explorer

June 14, 2009

Return to Elephant Heaven

Chiang Mai, Thailand: June 2009

Meso FitMe So Fit profile 44pt

MOZZIE BYTE (Editor): A warm welcome back to all our Daily Explorer readers and greetings to those of you who are joining us for the first time. To our regulars, many thanks for viewing our online publication and for giving us your feedback. Over 16,000 visitors have been to see our site since the beginning of 2008. For new readers, Ray has been living nomadically for nearly three and a half years since he left England in November 2005. In that time, he has visited or lived in 15 countries and we have been publishing news and stories about his travels throughout that period. If you would like to know more about what’s in our archives, check out some of our Previous Issues.

We always aim to maintain our high standards of journalism and presentation, so please keep sending us your comments and suggestions as to how we can improve what we are doing. You can use the comments box on this site, or email Ray ( or ‘Mozzie’ or any of our correspondents at

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Above: A big thank you to all Daily Explorer readers! As you can see from our graph, May was a record month, with 2,214 visitors coming to find out what Ray is up to

Our lastest issue has been compiled for us by one of our Asian correspondents, Me So Fit (above), who brings us Ray’s latest news and pictures from Chiang Mai in Thailand. Our global adventurer is now a few weeks into his his gruelling six month training programme to be ready for the New York Marathon on 1st November. Since he started training in April, Ray has clocked up in excess of 250 miles of running! Our roving reporter Amber Solaire has been talking to Matt Campbell, Ray’s marathon coach, in an exclusive interview about how well our global nomad is doing in pursuit of his goal. And we introduce a new member of the team who will be managing Ray’s fundrasing campaign.

In our last issue, Me So Fit met up with Ray as he arrived in Bangkok and travelled with him to Chiang Mai to get more details from Ray’s coach about the 26 week training programme he has set up for Ray. On the domestic front, Ray and Nikki went house-hunting and found the place that will become their base in the city until October. And they had a special visit from two very close friends who flew in from the United States. And after making good progress in his first three weeks of training, Ray took part in his first ever competitive 10 kilometre race! If you missed it, you can read it now at: Marathon Man


Above: Ray collected his first runners medal after the Yang Nerng Minimarathon 10 kilometre race near Chiang Mai – but so did every other runner, because the organisers give a medal to everyone for taking part! But he did do exceptionally well in his first ever competitive race. You can read more about it at: Marathon Man

We said in our last issue that we would be announcing the appointment of someone to co-ordinate and manage Ray’s marathon fundraising efforts. I am delighted to let you know that Ivana Getachek has joined the team and will be on board with us until the end of this year to manage Ray’s ambitious “Calling All Angels” campaign. “I am thrilled to be given this opportunity” said Ivana, as she arrived at our office a few days ago to kick off numerous activities. “A lot of Ray’s friends know he is taking part in his first ever marathon, which in itself is quite a challenge for someone of his age, with no previous running experience” she said respectfully.

“But most people are not aware that by taking part, he is also aiming to create over $12,000 dollars for three worthy causes. Ray has been working extremely hard with me, Mozzie and the back office team at The Daily Explorer to have everything in place for our official launch on the 4th July” she told me. “I know that Ray has been in touch with some people personally during this ‘pre-launch’ phase and over the coming weeks and months, I am hoping to establish a one to one dialogue with as many of our readers as possible. If you have not seen it already, please take five minutes out of your day to find out what “Calling All Angels” is all about. And if you feel inspired, please make a donation! It doesn’t matter how much – really it doesn’t – every little bit helps” added Ivana.

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Above: Ivana Getachek, who joins The Daily Explorer team until the end of this year to manage Ray’s ambitious “Calling All Angels” campaign. “Please, please take a look and get involved. Together, we could really make such a huge difference” said our new arrival. Ray’s campaign is officially launched on the 4th July. In the meantime, if you would like to talk to Ivana, you can reach her at

Below: Our roving reporter Amber Solaire went to Chiang Mai recently to interview Ray, to find out why he has chosen to take on the challenge of running a marathon and hear more about his “Calling All Angels” campaign. If you would like to know more about the causes Ray is supporting and what kind of help he is looking for, watch his three minute video interview:

With his marathon training programme well underway, Ray was still enjoying the visit to Chiang Mai of two of his best friends from Sacramento, USA who were in town on a ‘dental’ holiday (see our last issue). I asked Ray and Nikki where they planned to take them in their last few days. “Actually, they still have quite a bit of dental work to do to complete their treatments before they head back to America, so their time is somewhat limited. However, there is one thing that is an absolute ‘must see’ kind of place for anyone coming to Chiang Mai and that is the Elephant Nature Park, so we have booked a whole day to go out there with them” Ray told me. “Isn’t that one of the three causes that you are raising funds for in your “Calling All Angels” campaign?” I asked him. “You are absolutely right, Me So – it is. When Nikki took me to this wonderful, 50 Rai area of land just outside the city about a year ago, what I discovered was both profound and disturbing in equal measure” he told me.

“Elephants are only of interest to their owners for commercial gain and consequently, they are frequently beaten, drugged, abused and made to suffer considerable stress and pain from being overworked. Young elephants have their spirits ‘broken’ by humans in order to make them obedient – a cruel and inhumane practice that has been the tradition for hundreds of years. Even the cute video’s you see on YouTube, of elephants painting pictures, have been possible because the animals have been beaten or punished in their training to make them perform. These animals are offerred no protection whatsoever by the government and there is very little motivation to change the status quo as many people make their living through the exploitation of these creatures” explained Ray. “A tiny, courageous Thai woman called Lek Chailert is changing all of this and putting herself at considerable risk in order to do so and I really wanted Nic and Regina to meet her” added our traveller.


Above: With its well attended, colourful garden, the Tip Top Thai Guest House in the old city (left) provided Ray and Nikki with an excellent temporary base upon their recent return to Chiang Mai after several months of travelling – “The owner is a very kind, generous woman called Noi, who treats us more like family than guests” said Nikki, who is pictured relaxing in the outdoor lounge area (right). “Although we are very pleased to be moving into our own house for a few months, we will miss this place” she added

Below: The Elephant Nature Park, which was founded by Lek Chailert, is a ‘must see’ for anyone visiting Chiang Mai – “Lek refers to her sanctuary as “Heaven for Elephants” said Ray, “as it is somewhere they can be loved, respected and live in peace, totally free from the fear of human attrocities that are regularly inflicted on these amazing, docile creatures”


Knowing he has made a deep connection with these animals and is a strong supporter of Lek, I asked Ray how it felt to return here. “It feels amazing to come back” he told me. “We heard before we left that a baby elephant was born here only 25 days ago and is the cutest thing you could ever see. Although elephants are intensely protective of their young offspring, we are hoping that with Lek around, we might be able to get very close to the baby” said Ray.

When our global traveller came to the park last year, our Editor (Mozzie Byte) produced a fascinating account of Ray’s visit in a special edition of The Daily Explorer, called “Elephants and Lions“. If any of our readers would like to get a deeper understanding of what this place is really about, why there is a need for it to exist and how they can help and support what Lek is doing, then it is well worth a read. In this issue, we have obtained pernission to publish some of the aforementioned photographs taken by Ray’s friend Azriel, who really captures the awesome spirit and nature of the place. We really hope you enjoy the selection we have for you here.


Above and below: When she had a vision of ‘Elephant Heaven’ many years ago, it was always Lek Chailert’s intention that the animals would be able to live in peace, exactly as they would in the wild, and that vision is being made real every day by Lek and her army of volunteers (Pictures courtesy of Azriel Cohen)



Above: This picture of these gigantic creatures (left) is pretty amazing in itself but what is even more astonishing is that the elephants allow visitors to get as close as this – “It is incredible what has emerged out of the culture of love and acknowledgement that Lek has engendered here” observed Ray. “It is the complete opposite to what these creatures would have been used to before they arrived here and after a while, it seems like their trust in humanity is completely re-established” he told me. The park is not just a wonderful home for the elephants but home to many different birds (right) and other species of wildlife (Pictures courtesy of Azriel Cohen)

Below: The arrivals area in the visitor centre displays the vast amount of media coverage that the Elephant Nature Park has generated


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Above: Ray, Nikki and their friend Regina from Sacramento, USA are all treated to a rather unusual experience as they meet some of the elephants at the feeding station –  a great big, slobbery, welcoming smacker on the cheek!

Below: These elephants get through vast quantities of food, with each one consuming around 200 kilo’s per day – “Feeding them, which is one of the highlights, is a very intimate, one to one experience of deep connection” said Nikki



Above: Ray takes a look at a huge adult elephant tooth (left), which on closer inspection, has what appear to be hundreds of tiny teeth lined up in rows on the bottom – “Its no wonder they can eat a whole pineapple in one mouthful with the skin on” observed our traveller

For readers who would like to know a bit more about her, Sangduen ‘Lek’ Chailert (below, left) was born into a remote mountain community in northern Thailand in the 1960’s. Her maternal grandfather was a tribal man of the forest and Lek’s jungle forays with him led to an early and organic understanding of the wonders of nature. Against the backdrop of poverty she obtained a university education – something practically unique considering her circumstances. Her love of the elephant began as a youngster. The family cared for an elephant which became a close companion of Lek’s. This affection led to working with elephants in the forests. With a vet they provided medical care to sick elephants in remote areas. Travel to these areas is hazardous and often involves hours of walking narrow jungle paths inaccessible to vehicles. She is often away for days at a time. The park’s current herd includes disabled, orphans, blind and rescued, elephants of all ages.

The park is close to her home village and has been supported by their family tour business which operates educational and environmental trips as well as a travel website. “Her life-quest has always been to provide a sanctuary for elephants to live in a peaceful natural environment” said Ray. “We were told that it costs about $250,000 US dollars per year to run the park at the present time and there is no government funding, so every penny needs to be created by Lek and her team. This is why there is a queue of people who pay to volunteer here, and there are many other ways in which people can contribute to her amazing work” added Ray. “Lek’s efforts have been recognised worldwide and numerous stories have appeared on TV and in print media including the National Geographic Society. The awards she has received include Guest of Honour, US Humane Society (2003), Time Magazine ‘Asian Hero of the Year’ (2005), Earth Day Award (2006) and an honourary PhD (Veterinarian Science) awarded by the HM Crown Prince of Thailand” said our well informed traveller.

Impressed with the work that Lek is doing, Nic and Regina asked if they could film an interview with her for airing on their Conscious Media Network web site, which attracts some 300-400,000 visitors per month. “Most of our readers know that I am a big fan of CMN” said Ray. “Nic and Regina are dedicated to creating awareness about significant people and events which for whatever reason, get overlooked by the mainstream media” said Ray. “Some of these ‘hidden’ stories are a bit sinister and some are truly inspirational, but all of them are likely to upset the status quo in some way” explained Ray. “As I am supporting Lek when I run the marathon, I was delighted that her interview would be seen by thousands of people on CMN. I watched my friends with great interest as they went about their work at the park to capture Lek on video” he told me.

(Editors Note: Daily Explorer readers can see the full video interview with Lek Chailert, free of charge on CMN from 1st July, or sooner if a paid subscription is taken out. For now, our readers can view a short preview of the interview below.)


Above: Nic and Regina shoot some footage of the elephants and prepare for their meeting with Lek (left). They ran into a little spot of bother (right) when they were trying to get one of the herd into the ideal position for filming – “Tell you what, honey – you get his attention and I’ll get the shot ” says Nic to Regina

Below: Lek Chailert with one of the park’s newest arrivals. Tiny Faa Mai (which means ‘New Sky’ in Thai) was born on 17th April this year, on the same day as one of their older elephants (“Max”) died – “You can see just how much these animals adore Lek” said Ray. “When you think about how hostile they would be in the wild if anyone tried to get near to a calf, it us quite unbelievable to be witnessing this – it really shouldn’t be happening” added our astounded visitor. There are some amazing pictures of Faa Mai at the time of his birth at Lek’s Elephant Nature Park Website



Above: Lek seems to have a way of communicating with the elephants that is unique and this affords her a huge amount of love from the animals (left). This amazing gift also means she has rapidly and appropriately established her identity as the “Elephant Whisperer” in the media” Ray told me

Below: Mum stands quietly and patiently as Lek tries to get Faa Mai to wear her hat so that she can get a snapshot, but like all young babies, he just wants to play!



Above: He may only be 25 days old, but Faa Mai already weighs over 1oo kilo’s, which makes him a bit of a handful for tiny Lek (left), who has to take a rest after a few minutes of playing (right)

Below: “I have seen many amazing things on my travels” said Ray, “but nothing comes even close to seeing a couple of my friends fooling around with a 25 day old baby elephant while it’s mum just stands and watches!” added Ray, who sent us these wonderful images. Faa Mai gets quite boisterous with Nic Meredith (left) who manages to keep going until Faa Mai is too tired to continue and needs to take a nap (right). Nic and Azriel sit quietly and listen to the soothing sound of a baby elephant snoring!



Above: Very few of us will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with a baby elephant. Ray’s friend Nic is a very lucky man and will probably remember his visit to the Elephant Nature Park for the rest of his life! (Picture courtesy of Azriel Cohen)

Below: As well as feeding the elephants, visitors also get the opportunity to bathe them which is an exhilirating experience. Being an old hand at it, Ray tries to help Regina by showing her how to throw the water and maintain her balance. At first, she seems to get the hang of it (left), but then she unexpectedly loses her footing as she goes to refill her bucket (centre) and then before Ray can even turn round, she is in the water! (right)



Above: Nikki, who is enjoying her third visit to the park in as many years tries not to laugh as she watches the proceedings above and sees Regina take an early dip in the river. Meanwhile, this poor elephant (right) serves as a cruel reminder as to why the Elephant Nature Park is needed – “Half of his right foot at the back was blown clean off when he stepped on a landmine near the Burmese border” Ray told me. “It makes me feel very pleased that our “Calling All Angels” campaign is starting soon and I hope that loads of our readers will make a donation so we can really help the people and animals here” added Ray

Below: Happy, free and enjoying their life as anyone should! Thanks to Lek, these wonderful creatures really seem to have found “Heaven for Elephants”. And with your support, we can help keep it that way! (Picture courtesy of Azriel Cohen)


With only a couple of days of their visit left, Nic and Regina were treated to another of Chiang Mai’s treats – Wawee Coffee! “In the three years I have been coming here, Wawee has firmly established itself as my number one destination when it comes to my daily caffeine fix” said Nikki. “Their fresh coffee is easily the best in town and until I give it up completely, I am fairly certain that me and Ray will continue to go there regularly” she told me. Being a health and fitness correspondent, I no longer drink tea or coffee myself. But I couldn’t help feeling quite excited and wishing I still did, as Ray and Nikki described to me the wonderful taste and the ambience of the place that they love so much!


Above: Ray and Nikki jump on their motorbike (left) and lead the way for Nic and Regina to Wawee Coffee in Soi 9, Nimmanhaemin Road (right) – “Just like the Carlsberg slogan, it is probably the best coffee in the world” said Nikki

Below: The Thai barista’s at Wawee show off their artistic talents to our photographer



Above: Regina (left) enjoys her coffee with Nikki (right) as they both add a touch of glamour to the general ambience

Below: Nic stands beside one of Chiang Mai’s many ancient statues at Wat Umong (left) which reminds him that he still has some last minute dental work to be done before he leaves – “Nic told me that his dentist (right) was getting quite depressed by the fact that him and Regina were leaving town, as it might mean a drop off in business for a while” said Ray. “I told Nic to tell his dentist to stop looking so down in the mouth about it” laughed our traveller



Above: What a great way to go! Prior to their departure, Nic and Regina managed to enjoy one final, hour long Thai massage session at one of the temples in the old city – “I think they are going to miss this back in Sacramento” Ray told me

After Ray’s friend’s had departed, I wondered how the 26 week, three phase training regime was going for our fledgling marathon runner? I am in Phase Two of my programme and have completed the first six weeks of a ten week endurance building block. So far, I have run 206 miles in that six week period, with 42 miles in the last week alone, so the mileages are really starting to build up to serrious levels now. Overall, I have to say that I feel pretty chuffed about my progress” he told me. “In the first two weeks when I arrived here (in my pre-training), I was only running about 15 miles per week, and that was quite a struggle at first. My heartrate, which is constantly monitored, was often hitting over 160 bpm (beats per minute)” said Ray. “This is important as the maximum number of heartbeats per minute your body will allow is more or less fixed by your age and no matter how much you train, you cannot really chnage this” he explained. “So the only way for me to improve my performance is to improve my own aerobic capacity, which means my heart has to pump a little bit less as I reach higher levels of exertion” explained our ever more knowledgable runner. “With four weels left in my ten week block, I am running between 30-40 miles per week and am more comfortable with it now than I was at the beginning. I have completed my first 10 mile run, which means I am only three more miles (or around 30 minutes) away from being able to run a half-marathon. I should be able to reach this milestone within the next two weeks” he said.


Above: Discipline is a key part of any serious athlete’s training and come rain or shine, Ray is up at 5.30-6.00 a.m., five or six days a week to train – “It’s much cooler early in the mornings, although we are right in the middle of the rainy season now, so I am quite likely to get soaked when I run” he told me. “There a couple of decent running tracks in or around the city and a couple of natural beauty spots that are pretty good routes, so there is plenty of variety. Now that I am building my endurance to serious levels, my coach is slowly starting to introduce new and different exercises into my programme, to improve my speed and power, like interval training and hill running as well as plyometrics and core strength work in the gym” explained Ray. “I like doing the work in the gym as it usually means I do not have to get up so early – they have great air conditioning there so the daytime heat is no problem! admitted Ray

Below: Our roving reporter Amber Solaire meets Ray’s marathon coach Matt Campbell at the Powerhouse Gym in Chiang Mai for an exclusive interview about how our global nomad is currently doing in pursuit of his goal


Above: Inspired by Ray, Nikki (left) has also been going to the track for a few laps – “I quite like starting the day with a good run” she told me. Diet is an important part ofthe whole equation for Ray who is no stranger to this whole area – “Several years ago, I would have described myself as completely ‘unconscious’ around food” said Ray. “Back then, I was an (overweight) businessman and basically ate whatever I fancied without understanding the full impact of what it was doing to me. Since then, I have deepened my knowledge and understanding of food and nutrition, which has really been helping me to get the carbohydrate/protein/fat/vitamins and minerals balance right as I make excessive phyiscal demands on my body” he told me over lunch at Khun Churn, Chiang Mai’s best organic vegetarian lunch buffet (right)

Below: Nikki has been very supportive of Ray’s marathon effort and has helped him by sourcing large quantities of fresh fruit and vegetables at the local markets – “She has been absolutely brilliant” said Ray. “She makes sure that I have about a litre of really healthy blended fruits every morning after I have trained, which replenishes my body straight away with a lot of the nutrients I need every day. A little bit of everything gets thrown in – bananas, mangoes, papaya, dragon fruit, oranges, melon, pineapple, spinach, cashew nuts, bee pollen (brilliant superfood) and kale – yummy!” said our grateful runner


In our last issue (Marathon Man) we published two photographs of Matt Campbell, Ray’s mentor, showing how much he had changed over a 5-6 year period as a result of radically changing his diet and becoming a long distance runner. A couple of readers wrote to me and asked if there was a similar story in Ray’s past, so I decided to find out. “Well, it’s interesting you should ask Me So, because I did go through a change very similar to Matt’s, which started around the summer of 2003” he told me. “At that time, I felt very dissatisfied with my body – overweight and quite sluggish – although I had not decided to do anything about it. I then saw one of my clients after a six month absence and he had really lost a lot of weight, looked vibrant and energised and the change was quite dramatic” recalled Ray.


“When I asked my client what had happened to him, he said he had been working with a personal trainer called Tim Bean, from The Hard Edge (pictured left with partner Anne Laing) and it had resulted in quite a physical transformation. He gave me Tim’s number and within a few weeks, I had signed up to work with him on a similar programme over six months. During that time, we went right back to basics and Tim explained to me the major components in food types, how calories work and what our bodies really need. He took me on ‘assisted’ shopping trips to the supermarket to show me how to significantly reduce the fat content in my diet and increase my intake of protein and carbohydates and generally eat more healthily. And he also spent a few evenings with me in my kitchen at home, teaching me how to prepare tasty, nutritional, balanced meals in 15-20 minutes. This had been a major barrier for me as I was always so busy with work and other things, I had formed a strong belief in my mind that preparing really healthy meals took hours, so I always avoided doing it. Plus, I was living in an area where there hundreds of take-aways just round the corner” he told me. “We did all these things before we even started a training programme at the gym, as it was Tim’s view that there was no point in working out unless I was putting the right fuel in. Once this was under control, I was training quite hard at least four times per week for a few months under his continued guidance, with a monthly meeting to check all of my vital statistics. The way he worked with me was very motivating as he let me do everything myself so that I would not be dependent on him at the end of my progarmme. And now here I am, only six years later, attempting to run a marathon! I really had no idea at the time that everything I did with Tim back then would lead to this!” recalled Ray.

Like Matt Campbell in our last issue (Marathon Man), Ray also had a few ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures tucked away and he agreed to send me a selection to share with our readers. “I don’t really mind if people see what I looked like back then” said Ray. “Many of my friends and people I meet are not satisfied with how they look and feel. Having been through the experience with Tim Bean, I know it is something that can be addressed if you know the right things to do and are able to change some habits that are not really working well for you” said our traveller.

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Above: Before and after! The pictures in the top row were taken by Tim Bean in Ray’s garden in London in the summer of 2003, just as he was beginning his programme – “The clinical definition of obesity is when 30% or greater of your total body weight is fat” said Ray. “When Tim measured by body fat using his special calipers and data tables, I discovered my measure was around 28.5%! So although I did not look really huge, for someone of my size I was in pretty bad condition” he explained. The pictures in the bottom row were taken in early 2004 and show the difference that we made in a relatively short period of time with a good diet and a regular exercise regime. “Ironically, all I wanted to do was make a lasting change in my habits so that I would eventually change shape over a long period and be able to maintain it” recalled Ray. “I was not too concerned with rapid results, and not expecting them, but they did come pretty quickly which surprised me” said our health conscious traveller

Below: A new identity! Consciousness and some hard work has transformed Ray from the successful, busy, overweight and unhealthy businessman he was in 2002 (left) into the healthy, nomadic global explorer who is approaching his fifties and attempting his first ever marathon in 2009 (right)

Head SageHead Shot Bali

Whilst he was telling me about his past, I asked Ray if he had any breaks coming up in his training schedule. “No, there are no breaks as such but I do get one full rest day every week when I am not supposed to train at all. This gives my body some time to recover and repair itself from any little niggles or being overworked. It must be my conditioning, but I really like having my ‘rest’ day on a Sunday” Ray told me. “It’s a great day for having a lay-in, a big breakfast, reading the paper and socialising – in fact, it is the best day to do the latter as everyone has the day off” he said. On one recent Sunday, Nikki and Ray travelled 40 kilometres south east of Chiang Mai on their motorbike to visit the mountain home of a couple of friends. “I got to know Katie when we were both cast in a play called “That Takes Ovaries”, which was put on to raise money for charities here in Chiang Mai” said Nikki. “From the north of England, Katie works as an English teacher and has a wicked sense of humour” she told me.


Above: Nikki and Katie share some superbly prepared Indian food on the balcony of her mountain home (left). There is a very comfortable deck overlooking the surrounding hills, which is a perfect place for our two travellers to relax after lunch (right)

Below: Katie and her partner Angela share the wooden deck at their home with neighbours Mike Meallem (left) who teaches English at the Chiang Mai University and his partner Jah (right) who also works in the faculty there



Above: Ray found this hanging on the wall inside his friend Mike’s home and thought our readers might like to see it

Editors Note: Our thanks to Me So Fit who once again has produced another superb issue of The Daily Explorer. It’s great that he is back on our team for a while. Now that Ivana Getachek is on board, media interest in Ray’s “Calling All Angels” fundraising campaign has reached fever pitch in the United Kingdom, with at least two of the major British tabloid newspapers picking up the story (see below). The campaign is officially launched on 4th July, so if you have not done so already, please get involved with us and take a look at what the campaign is all about. And if you feel inspired, please make a donation.

Ray is continuing with his training and will be entering his first half marathon (13 miles) in Pattaya on July 19th. “For me, it is an early opportunity to see how far I have progressed since I started training” said Ray. “And it will give me and Matt some very useful performance data that we can use to set our target time for the marathon in New York” added Ray. As usual, we will be bringing you exclusive coverage of Ray’s build up to the New York marathon right here in The Daily Explorer. We will keep you posted!

We always aim to maintain our high standards of journalism and presentation, so please keep sending us your comments and suggestions as to how we can improve what we are doing. You can use the comments box on this site, or email Ray ( or ‘Mozzie’ or any of our correspondents at

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Above: Both the Daily Mail (left) and the Daily Mirror (right) have heard about Ray’s “Calling All Angels” campaign – “I am so delighted to have the full support of the media” said Ray. “Now, I just hope our own readers get behind what we are doing and make a donation” he told me

Below: One reader who has got involved and made a donation is a former colleague of Ray’s called Jane Harries, who is from Northamptonshire in England – “One of the big pleasures for me in asking people to help is that I sometimes find out things about them which I didn’t know” said Ray. “For example, I have discovered that Jane is a talented artist. She painted “Bluebell Study” (left) and has her own collection of art on display at Saatchi’s Online Gallery, which is well worth a look” added Ray. After his visit to the Elephant Nature Park, Ray was inspired to create his own artistic expression of the experience and agreed to be a model for a local ‘body painting’ artist at the Chiang Mai Art School (right)

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  1. That elephant thinks you are Sum Yung Fit Guy!

    Comment by howard — June 14, 2009 @ 5:02 pm

  2. Hellllllllooooo, friends!

    I miss you both, so, so much! I’m taking a quick little Thai language course in Seattle this summer to keep my Thai up to speed (or at least my please, thank you, and negotiating skills!).

    I’m wondering if there is a way to send just your youtube Amber Solaire Angel’s video around. I was thinking that I would send it and a link to the latest Daily Explorer to encourage folks to check out the organizations your run will support. I think I’ll have to change (or add!) to the organizations to which I give money this year, so that I can be a little feather on the wing of your running-angel-self.

    Smooches to you both and to Thailand!


    Comment by Quita St. John — June 15, 2009 @ 7:00 am

  3. You are naughty Ray, or rather your artist friend is! Useful reminder of Elephant Nature Park I guess!

    Thanks for putting in my painting – it was to remind you of England – it’s just a sketch rather than the finished item.

    Good luck in the New York Marathon and I hope lots of your readers will support your causes.

    Love, Jane

    Comment by Jane Harries — June 15, 2009 @ 8:13 pm

  4. One of the best installments yet – good luck with the half marathon….

    Comment by Kate — June 16, 2009 @ 9:22 am

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