UCI News

UCI Podcast: We’re tired of COVID-19, let’s go to Thailand!

Daniel Parker takes us on a tour of Myanmar, Cambodia and Thailand through his work with malaria in areas of conflict

March 12, 2021
UCI Podcast: We’re tired of COVID-19, let’s go to Thailand!
Daniel Parker’s work in infectious diseases has taken him to Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand.

Tired of talking about COVID-19? We are, so as we approach the one-year anniversary of California’s shutdown, we are taking a break.

On this special episode of the UCI Podcast, Infectious Disease Specialist Daniel Parker and Communications Officer Nicole Feldman take you on a tour of Myanmar, Cambodia and Thailand. They talk about Parker’s work with diseases that affect millions of people each year but are rarely discussed in the United States.

In this episode:

Daniel Parker, assistant professor of public health at UCI

School of Public Health

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Transcript

NICOLE FELDMAN, HOST

Today, we’re going to do something a little different on the UCI podcast. When the pandemic hit last year, a bunch of our scholars got pulled away from their normal research to focus on COVID-19. I think a lot of the rest of us did too. Here at UCI we’ve been really trying to make sure we can still have our classes, and our research, and everything going as the pandemic progresses. But now it’s been over a year, the vaccines are being distributed, including here at UCI, and a lot of us are still working pretty nonstop to fight the pandemic, particularly in our College of Health Sciences and at UCI Health. And while I think we’re all very happy to be able to help, just like everybody else, we’re getting pretty tired of talking about coronaviruses, and we’re ready to get back to our normal lives.

So today we are taking a break. We are not going to talk about COVID. Instead, we are going to take you to Thailand.

I’m joined today by Daniel Parker, who is one of our infectious disease specialists here at UCI who dropped his normal research and really focused on COVID over the last year. And he’s done a ton for our local communities here in Orange County, and particularly in Santa Ana. But we’re not going to talk about that today. Instead, we are going to talk about his work with malaria and dengue and other diseases that are prevalent in Southeast Asia.

And I’m Nicole Feldman. I work with our UCI news team to cover health affairs. So if you’ve read an article over the last six months or so about COVID research, chances are pretty good that I wrote it. But when the pandemic started, I was actually living in Cambodia and had lived in Thailand for a little while before that. And Daniel and I actually both lived in Chiang Mai, which is the biggest city in Northern Thailand. So today we are going to take you on a little tour of Southeast Asia in Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia, while we talk about Daniel’s work on diseases in the region that I’d say are actually just as bad as COVID, but don’t get talked about as much here in the U.S. because here, they’ve largely been eliminated.

So without further ado, Daniel, welcome to the UCI podcast.

DANIEL PARKER

Thank you. I’m happy to be here and to talk about something other than COVID. We are all sick of this virus.

FELDMAN

Aren’t we all? I’ve really been looking forward to this as well, so I’m glad we could make it happen.

So I thought we might start by giving people an idea of what Northern Thailand is like. So you have lived in two parts of that area that are pretty different from each other in Mae Sot and in Chiang Mai. So give us a sense of what it was like living on the ground in these places and maybe some of the differences between them.

PARKER

Right. Okay, so I grew up in West Texas, so border towns are not new to me, and probably the best description I could give of Mae Sot is it’s a border town. And like other border towns that I’ve visited in the U.S. and all over the place, it’s got a really unique mixture of different cultures and languages, and lots of interesting economic activities, and it’s kind of got a Wild West feel to it even though it’s in Southeast Asia. Whereas Chiang Mai is also quite diverse. You have a lot of the same ethnic groups; you have lots of groups from Northern Thailand, from parts of Myanmar who live there, and a foreigner community from Europe and North America. Chiang Mai is more of a tourist destination, and not like Bangkok which is kind of famous for nightclubs and that sort of stuff. You go to Chiang Mai to go up into the mountains and stay at a wellness resort or something like that. It’s cool, it’s green, it rains a lot in the wet season, but it’s kind of nice and peaceful. Mae Sot, you’ve got mountains close by, but it’s more of a Wild West feel. That’s the best way I could describe it.

FELDMAN

Yeah. I think one of the things that kind of illustrates that for me at least is, you know Mae Sot and most of the areas around that area in Thailand are pretty rural. Is still has this – the way that we in the West I think would look at it is older way of life, whereas in Chiang Mai, you can’t turn around without hitting a shopping mall anymore.

PARKER

Yes, for sure. I guess one other big difference too is that in Mae Sot there is, I guess you could call it an expat community there too. But the expat community in Mae Sot is more people who are related to humanitarian work because of refugee camps that have been on the borders for a long time. So you have people that are there to work with refugees, people that are there to work with migrants, maybe working in schools or in healthcare, with public health and that sort of thing. That’s kind of how I wound up there too. But it’s not as developed as Chiang Mai by any means, I think Chiang Mai has like six really nice fancy malls and quite a few international schools and things of that nature. Mae Sot does not have any of that.

FELDMAN

Yeah, and a very large population of expats who are there just sort of working remotely; or were before the pandemic, I guess now, I have no idea how it is now. When I was there, I was working on a UN project that was based in Bangkok, but I was moving my way around the country. But I was surrounded at the place I went to get internet and work by digital nomads who are folks, often in the tech industry, but other industries too, that just kind of travel around the world, working on their laptops when they can. Definitely a different vibe than the humanitarian work, which – I think you guys are cooler, but that’s just me.

PARKER

Chiang Mai is definitely a nice place to sit in a coffee shop and do some work.

FELDMAN

It definitely is. Actually the place I found to work there was really, really nice. Lots of big windows, so that was cool.

So that gives us a little bit of a view into the region that we’re talking about, but I want to make sure our listeners understand where it is that we’re talking about. So Southeast Asia is usually defined as being between India and China. That’s not exactly the case. The border of Southeast Asia on the east side is the Philippines, which sticks out into the Pacific Ocean a little bit. And then on the west side Myanmar is the furthest west, but also Malaysia brings down the lower part. So those places are geographically more or less between India and China, but culturally, these are places that are very much influenced by those two big powerhouses over history too. And your work, I believe, is in the Golden Triangle area. So that is this place where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet, and then in Cambodia as well, which is on the other side of Thailand, but that’s a separate deal. So I think most of your work is either in or near that Golden Triangle area, is that correct?

PARKER

Yeah, that’s correct.

FELDMAN

All right, cool. So tell us a little bit about that. Why is this region a place where malaria is still very prevalent and very much a problem?

PARKER

I’m going to give you a relatively short and easy answer, but the reality is that it’s quite complex. But in some ways it’s not. Malaria – especially Falciparum Malaria, the one that’s really deadly – just really thrives on the edges of society. So if you have places where healthcare facilities aren’t functioning very well or don’t even exist or where it’s hard for people to get to a doctor to get diagnosed and treated, those are the places where Falciparum Malaria really just thrives. So if you look at a map of malaria in Southeast Asia, Thailand – which has a pretty strong healthcare system – Thailand almost has no malaria. But where it does have malaria is along international borders with Myanmar, with Laos and Cambodia. And the reason is that those nations and in those areas, there are large chunks of the country that still don’t have a good healthcare facilities. And so those places are kind of hotspots for malaria, and you get some spillover into Thailand from those places because of movement of humans and likely because of mosquitoes too. Mosquitoes don’t pay much attention to international borders. So really I think that has a lot to do with it. As I said, there’s more complexity to it than that, but basically that’s the short answer.

FELDMAN

So tell us a bit about why these border places are places where these diseases like malaria are still coming up.

PARKER

Yeah, okay. So I’ll start with Myanmar. It used to be named Burma and has since been formally changed to Myanmar. There’s been civil conflict in Myanmar for a very long time. And on the border with Thailand, the biggest group there is the Karen, the Karen ethnicity. And there’s a state called Karen State. And the Karen have been fighting for their own country for a very long time. There’s been some form of civil war there for over half a century. And that has resulted in a lack of infrastructure, a lack of health services and big population movements, refugee camps, IDP camps – that’s internally displaced camps – and all of this kind of a situation where malaria and other diseases just continue to thrive, largely because of a lack of good access to healthcare. It is changing a bit more recently, but you still have little pockets of places that still have quite a bit of malaria. But it is decreasing quite a bit recently.

I could move over to Cambodia as well, so jump on the other side of Thailand. You have, in some ways, a similar situation. They of course had a genocide. The Khmer Rouge took over and killed many, many, many people. And one last stronghold for the Khmer Rouge after they were defeated was along the border with Thailand and within Battenberg Province in a place that’s now called Pailin Province. That was a stronghold for the remaining Khmer Rouge but also was another one of these kind of wacky border areas where you had lots of ruby mining and all sorts of other strange things going on, and it has kind of remained a hotspot for malaria as well.

FELDMAN

Yeah, I’d like to expand on that a little bit for our listeners because the NGO that I was working for in Cambodia – the Documentation Center of Cambodia – actually is the premier research institute for Khmer Rouge research in the country, and probably in the world actually. So I think most Americans, they’ve heard of the Khmer Rouge, they know it was bad, but they might not know much else besides that. So I want to take a minute to give us a little history lesson about this.

So Cambodia was part of a French colony until the 1950s, and then they gained independence but very shortly after that got swept up in the Vietnam War. And there was unrest and bombings and all sorts of nasty stuff going on in Cambodia through the 1960s, leading up to a coup that ousted their King in 1970. Then they had a five-year civil war, and then the Khmer Rouge came into power.

So this was a group of individuals who were Cambodian but had learned a lot about communism in France and wanted to try building this agrarian utopia where everyone would farm and everything would be great like it used to be thousands of years ago, that was the idea anyway. But what actually happened when they came to power in 1975 was that the leaders, well, a) killed a lot of people who they thought were political opponents that were brought into prisons like Tuol Sleng which is the one in Phnom Penh, the capitol. But really the majority of the deaths during the Khmer Rouge time were from starvation or being worked to death in these work camps that were out in the country because even though the leaders – and leaders out in these more rural areas – wanted to create this farming country, none of them really knew how to do it. And the same was true for a lot of people who had come from the cities working in the camps. So 1.7 to 2.3 million people died during that time, mostly by starving to death. And then the Khmer Rouge actually left power in 1979 when the Vietnamese came and took over the country until the 1990s.

So really at the end of the day, the current government in Cambodia has only been in place for about 25 years, which is less time than the time that they were basically at war before that. And so I feel like that example kind of illustrates for us what we’re dealing with, why it’s so hard to build a healthcare system when the average age in your country is only about 25. Because they’re dealing with so many things that have happened over this time. And I think that that’s similar in the rest of the region. Is that kind of what you found over there, Daniel, that most of this is coming out of unrest that’s been going on for decades?

PARKER

Yes. A lot of it points back to colonialism. It’s played out in slightly different ways because of different contexts in different countries, but the effect of colonialism has been huge throughout Southeast Asia. So thinking about Cambodia in particular, one of the field staff that we work with, he’s a doctor, and he was telling me about surviving the Khmer Rouge genocide, and coming out of it. And they had targeted intellectuals during this process too, so lawyers, doctors, people who seemed to be doing well – who had advanced degrees and that sort of thing – they were all targeted and killed. And so coming out of that afterwards, he was selected as one of three people who would become the new doctors for the country afterwards, and there was nobody to train them to be doctors. So they went through medical school essentially on their own, just reading books and learning what they could with help from Vietnamese and likely others. And I think the impact of that – first, the collective trauma for people who’ve gone through that. If you could imagine almost an entire generation of a nation that has PTSD, but then also just the lack of the education and that sort of thing that comes out of it. You lost all of your intellectual leaders. That just has a major impact. It’s really hard to overcome. It takes time.

FELDMAN

It does. And there hasn’t been a lot of time. And while Cambodia has been… lucky doesn’t seem like the right word given their history, but at least over the last 25 years – or a little bit longer than that now – has had a stable government, that hasn’t been the case in a lot of these places. I think we just heard this week about news in Myanmar of their recent coup and some of the things that are coming out of that, and Myanmar is still dealing with a lot of this unrest. Is that something that you experienced while you were there, firsthand?

PARKER

Yes. So first off, the reason I was based in Thailand, while working mostly in Myanmar at that time, was because it’s quite nice to live in Thailand. There are places in Myanmar that are really nice too; the scenery’s beautiful, the people are great. But there’s a lot of unrest and conflict, and it’s less well-developed. So having my family there, for example, would have been quite difficult. We spent time there, but raising my child there would have been very difficult, it’s much safer in Thailand.

And it is similar. It’s not as easy to point to one group like the Khmer Rouge and how they just tried to wipe out all the intellectuals. You have lots of different ethnic groups that have their own militias or their own military organizations, many of whom want their own nation. And that’s really complicated in Myanmar, that’s a little bit different from what you see in Cambodia. But it absolutely has a major impact on trying to do anything there. And so for us, we were doing lots of cross-border work, right? So we get funding to do malaria projects, and then we drive up and down the border and cross the border and go in and work with communities that don’t have malaria services.

But around the time that I was living there, they had a move towards a more democratic government there, so Aung San Suu Kyi was elected, they let her out of house arrest after I don’t even remember how long –many, many years. And so there were a move for – it looked like a really positive move. But what that meant for funding, for humanitarian work and public health work, was that increasingly these international organizations, like the WHO and the Global Fund, they wanted to fund groups that were going straight into the government and working directly for the government and stopped funding cross-border groups; they wanted to legitimize the government. Which makes some sense too, but now they must be in a lot of trouble because again, we’ve had a coup in the last couple of weeks, the military has taken back over, and so essentially now, if you’re funding things that are going through the government, that money is going straight into the military that’s taken over the government. And has not stopped fighting on the border with Thailand, the Karen people, and on the other border with Bangladesh, the Rohingya people. And so it’s just incredibly complex, I guess that’s the only way I could really describe it. It’s just incredibly complex and difficult.

FELDMAN

Yeah, definitely. I remember when I was in Cambodia – so I was working on documenting the Khmer Rouge Tribunal while I was there, which is still going on – and talking to a lot of lawyers and judges who work in international tribunals – others that have happened, like what happened in Rwanda and in Bosnia. And some of them were heading over to work on the investigative mechanism, looking into what happened with the Rohingya massacre a few years back. And it really does bring home to you hearing about these things, how… now it all is, how much these sorts of atrocity-type things are still happening to people around the world, and particularly in Southeast Asia.

So I want to take a minute though, while we have you, to talk about Dengue. Because we’ve talked a bit about malaria, which I know is kind of your first focus, but you also do a lot of work on Dengue and other mosquito-borne illnesses in this area. And I think most of our listeners probably have a sense of what malaria is, but probably not as much of Dengue. So if I remember correctly, the mosquitoes that spread Dengue are the same ones that spreads Zika, from the outbreak a few years ago, is that correct?

PARKER

Yes, that’s correct.

FELDMAN

Great. The World Health Organization has noted that they think about 400 million people around the world contract Dengue a year, which, by the way listeners, is about four times as many as have had COVID-19 since it started last year. And Dengue was far and away the thing that I was most scared about when I lived in Southeast Asia because it’s very prevalent in the region, and I’ve known people who came very close to dying from it, and it does kill thousands of people a year. So, talk to us a little bit about Dengue and what’s going on with that and why we’re not hearing more about it here in the U.S.

PARKER

Yeah, so it must be the world’s most prevalent arbovirus. And the mosquitoes that spread it, these Aedes mosquitoes, they’re different from the mosquitoes that spread malaria in that they tend to thrive in urban environments. So as you have much of Southeast Asia urbanizing – which is a combination of the landscape changing, people there building up lots of concrete and streets and buildings and that sort of thing, so you have more of that landscape that these mosquitoes thrive in. And then you also have a lot of rural to urban migrations, people moving to urban places so that they can get, or hope to get, a better job and that sort of thing. And you just wind up with more people coming into contact with more of these mosquitoes that spread it.

And living in Southeast Asia, it’s just something that you kind of deal with. When you’re in Thailand, most places you don’t need to worry about malaria, but Dengue is everywhere. And most people who are an adult have already had Dengue and have some immunity to it, unless they become infected with a new strain, which tends to happen every three or four years or so. So it’s an increasing problem. When you have it – I’ve had at least once – when you have it, it’s kind of like a bad flu. You tend to have a bad headache. It kind of feels like you’re got a headache behind your eyeballs – I don’t know how to explain it otherwise. You get really high fever. A lot of people get a rash afterwards, several weeks later, that’s what happened to me. It just doesn’t make you feel very well. And re-infection with a different strain can make you much more ill than the first time around, so you probably have immunity to one strain, but if you get infected by another string in the next year or so, you can become like deathly ill.

The reason that people don’t hear about it, I think it’s just not in our backyards yet. But it could be. We have the mosquitoes even here in Orange County. So it wouldn’t surprise me with the changing climate if we you start seeing a lot more Dengue fever in the U.S. as well.

FELDMAN

Well, I hope we finish this whole COVID pandemic soon so that you can get back to saving us from Dengue because that’s definitely something I have a personal stake in.

PARKER

There’s another one too. So Aedes mosquitoes, they spread Dengue, they spread chikungunya, and Zika. Zika had everybody freaked out a couple of years ago because of pregnant women who have children with microcephaly. Chikungunya has similar symptoms to Dengue, except it’s a little bit worse, and you end up with arthritis in your joints, and it can last for a very long time, even after you’ve recovered from it.

FELDMAN

Yeah, you know, I’d never even heard of chikungunya until I went to Guatemala a few years ago. How prevalent is that one around the world?

PARKER

We don’t really know is the honest answer. In 2019, there were major outbreaks, a lot of Aedes-borne diseases. Dengue cases everywhere were through the roof. At the same time, you had chikungunya outbreaks that were kind of through the roof too. And the symptoms for Dengue and chikungunya are relatively similar except for chikungunya tends to be a little bit more severe. It’s hard to tell the difference, and a lot of times when you’re being diagnosed with one or the other, especially for Dengue, it’s not a confirmed diagnosis. You show up at a remote clinic somewhere, and you’ve got this high fever, you’ve got a headache, and you wind up having a rash, and they say, “Oh, well it’s Dengue season. This person lives in a place with Dengue and has all the symptoms. We’re going to diagnosis as Dengue.” But it doesn’t mean that you’ve actually had a confirmed diagnosis. So it could just as well be chikungunya, and we just don’t know it. Until you start really looking, it’s hard to say. So the real answer is, “We don’t know,” honestly.

FELDMAN

Right. And to give our listeners a sense of what we’re talking about when we talk about field hospitals, I actually – I know we said we weren’t going to talk about COVID – but the first time I got tested for COVID-19 was in Cambodia. It was in March. It ended up being about a week before we ended up evacuating back to the United States – which side note, I regret immensely because Cambodia, even with all of these other diseases, has had less than 500 cases total in that time, whereas here in California we’re in the millions – but I got tested in one of these field hospitals. And it was a nicer one because I was in Siem Reap which is the biggest tourist destination in Cambodia. And so this is the hospital that’s in one of the more affluent areas of Cambodia, although affluent might be a strong word. And still I was waiting in the sun in 90-degree heat behind the tuberculosis ward to be tested. There was no sanitizing done in the area. I sat in the same chair as the person who was also being tested before me, without any kind of cleaning in between. And looking into the buildings inside, they’re open to the air; there’s no air conditioning. These are not the same kinds of conditions that we experience in the U.S. And there are definitely hospitals that are different. Like you said, Bangkok is actually kind of a destination for people in the area who need to have medical procedures done. I went to a very nice hospital in Phnom Penh for other conditions; I had a parasite when I was there, and they treated me really well. But a lot of these places more out in the field, they don’t have a lot to work with, to put it mildly. So I feel that perhaps illustrates why we don’t have a better idea of where these things are coming from.

PARKER

For sure. I feel like a lot of global health work is actually just about doing as much as you can with very little.

FELDMAN

Yes, absolutely. All right, well I want to end us on a high note after all of these talks about diseases that can kill us and genocide and all of that fun stuff. So let’s talk a little bit about holidays in Thailand, because they’re amazing. Living in Chiang Mai, there are a lot of big festivals that are kind of centered there; it’s known as the cultural center of Thailand. So why don’t you tell us about your favorite?

PARKER

Yeah, so I think my favorite holiday is Loy Krathong. And if you should kind of look into the history, it’s not clear where it comes from. But essentially, it’s in the fall, so the weather is really nice. You’ve just come through the rainy season – their rainy season corresponds to our summer. And so at the end of the rainy season, Chiang Mai is just fluorescent green, and you’re going into like October, November, and it’s nice and cool, and it’s just the best time of year to be there. And this holiday falls within that time.

It’s celebrated on a full moon. And basically what people do is they make these little rafts – the size of maybe both of your hands, made out of like banana leaves and some flowers and things like that – and they put them in the water, and they just float down the river, usually with candles on them as well. And it’s just really beautiful. At the same time, there’s another holiday that, I think it’s Ping Ying? I forget the name of it.

FELDMAN

Yi Peng.

PARKER

Yi Peng, yes. So it roughly corresponds with Loy Krathong. This is the one where they do the lantern balloon things. And that one’s kind of beautiful too, but I’m less fond of it because I wound up getting stuck at airports all the time because the air balloon are kind of like fire bombs for airplanes, so they have to shut down the airports if they start floating too close to them. But it’s just a beautiful time of year, and it’s a beautiful holiday.

FELDMAN

Yeah, I actually went to Chiang Mai for Yi Peng and Loy Krathong too, and I was so excited because I’m a huge Disney fan. And I had seen the floating lanterns in pictures and stuff before I watched Rapunzel, but of course after seeing that, I even more wanted to go. I liked the lanterns floating up into the air, but they do definitely cause a lot of traffic, both in the air and in the city. It was… well, let’s just say it didn’t happen during COVID, and if it had, it would have been a super-spreader event.

But my favorite Thai holiday is actually their new year, which happens in April, which is the hottest time of the year in Southeast Asia. It’s in the nineties and hundreds and really humid and pretty miserable, but Songkran, which is the Thai New Year, it’s like a giant water fight over the entire country. So you go out into the streets, and people have water guns or hoses or buckets full of water. I actually saw one person there with a power washer. He got me pretty good. And they’ll just throw water on people who are heading down the street. And so, you know, you could walk, but a lot of people will get on motorbikes – which are very, very popular in Southeast Asia – or on trucks or in tuk tuks, and head down the street, and it’s just a line of people throwing water on you. And since it’s so hot, it’s great to have that to cool off, but it’s also just so much fun. But I experienced that in a more rural area in Samui, which is an island. And there’s a lot of expats there and a lot of tourists – it’s not quite as insane as some of the cities. And you experienced this in Chiang Mai, and when we chatted before, you let me know that your younger son was actually born during the festival, which sounds insane to me. I’m amazed that you are all still alive. So can you tell us a little bit about that?

PARKER

Yes, it was a concern.

FELDMAN

For sure. Yeah, I should note that a lot of people do die in traffic accidents during Songkran, but it’s still awesome.

PARKER

Yes, if you can celebrate it in a rural area, I think it’s also a beautiful holiday. I should note that they do celebrate something similar in Myanmar and Laos and Cambodia as well, it’s just nowhere near the same level as what they do…

FELDMAN

It’s not as crazy.

PARKER

Yeah. There’s a water festival that corresponds with their new year as well. But in Thailand, they take it to a whole new level, including throwing ice water. When it’s 95 degrees, that gets your attention.

FELDMAN

Yeah, that wasn’t as much fun, I’m not going to lie.

PARKER

So in Chiang Mai, people travel from all over the place to Chiang Mai to celebrate this. And they especially pack the center of Chiang Mai – the old town. And there are some moats, and it was the capital of the old Lanna Kingdom. So it was a separate nation at one point. And right in the middle there, you’ve got this square, you’ve got the old walls to the fortress. And around that, you’ve got these motes, and people just kind of crowding around that for Songkran. And it’s just packed, it’s hard to drive through – almost impossible to drive through. And so my youngest son, Body, he was born there. And the hospital is right next to the square, and so we were quite concerned about when the due date would come because if it happened right in the middle of Songkran, which goes over several days, then we might not even be able to drive into it. We’re thinking, “Do we need a helicopter in? How are we even going to get there?” But fortunately, my wife, Amber, she went into labor late at night. I think it was right at the beginning of it, and so we didn’t have the crowds just yet. And we were able to go late at night and kind of lucked out. It was still in Songkran, but we were able to miss it a bit.

FELDMAN

Yeah, I’m glad you guys are okay. Because just trying to get a pregnant person onto a vehicle during that time sounds really scary, let alone one in labor.

PARKER

Just sitting at the hospital, people… motorcycle accidents, right? The roads are completely wet, and so people are slipping and sliding all over the place on their motorcycles. And so while you’re sitting in the hospital, you see people walking in with bashed up elbows and ice packs on their knees, all sorts of accidents from motorbikes that have happened because of all the festivities.

FELDMAN

Yeah. But in my opinion, totally worth it.

PARKER

It’s fun.

FELDMAN

It is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced anywhere else.

All right, well Daniel, thank you so much for joining us today and talking about all of your great work that you’re doing in Southeast Asia and taking this time to have a break from COVID. It’s been fun.

PARKER

Yeah. And I look forward to when we can travel again, so I can go back.

FELDMAN

That too. So hopefully our listeners have some new places on their own bucket lists, but for now we will sign off and hope that we’re able to travel again very soon.

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