It seems hard to imagine another community where a rice teddy in a restaurant in Chiang Mai would lead to jokes about amputation and assistive devices, but I am in the company of a crowd of Leprosy Mission staff! This poor soul was displaying the classic symptoms of dropped foot, a common problem for people affected by leprosy, when they lose the ability to hold their toes up when they are walking. It can lead to injury and disability, but can be solved with reconstructive surgery. Unfortunately before we were able to arrange the operation (no surgeons in our company), the teddy's foot got worse, and amputation was the only option. To help him get around, we did want to provide him with a crutch. Necessity being the mother of invention, the fork was serving him well!
A good day of meetings, lots of interesting discussions and good company from across the TLM fellowship - Angola, Australia, Bangladesh, DR Congo, England and Wales, India, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, South Sudan and Timor Leste (I really hope I haven't missed anyone!) before heading out for some Thai food. The TLM England and Wales staff, with one honourable exception, and a member of TLM International staff rather let the side down by ordering European, so were suitably mocked. A really nice bunch we are! Actually not all the Africans are that taken with Thai food, but most of the group are loving it.