In 2016 when Paul and I were trying to get our swim safety program off the ground in Nongyasai, we encountered a major obstacle. Our wise Thai friends advised us that traditional notions of modesty required both boys and girls to be covered with large swim suits from neck to knee. Large coverage = lots of spandex = lots of money. Our friends shrugged: since there’s no way the village could afford such swim suits for a large number of students, our swim program was doomed.
Or was it?
By Skype, we poured out our woes to world-famous master swimmer Brian Jacobson.
Brian responded immediately. It was on a Thursday that he launched his GoFundMe campaign to solicit funds to pay for the swim suits. By Sunday online donors had provided enough to buy the suits plus provide funding for scores of ten-free-swim punchcards to allow our kids to return to the pool to practice what they learned.
TODAY our wonderful Thai friends sent several videos showing the swim suits bought by American donors in use at a current training program in the very same pool Paul and I helped build (detail-oriented viewers will note additional skylights added to the roof — an effort to increase solar heating during “cool season” [75 – 85 degrees Fahrenheit]). One of those videos is included below. Also included below is a picture of the 10-swim punch cards and one of the kids showing off her card.
Thanks again, donors. You did a good thing.