When we met our host family in Chiang Mai, Thailand, our host told us that many of the Friendship Force of Chiang Mai members were professionals, e.g., doctors, professors.
But he was just a painter. Well, it turned out that he was a famous painter. His current project was a portrait of the king and queen of Thailand.
The painting was about half-life size, and the royal couple were side by side in full ceremonial dress, seated on ornamental thrones. It was almost complete. Each day he would spend several hours giving it some final touches. The painting had been commissioned by the King!
Our next home stay was in a small remote town in the northwest Thailand. There our host was a high school art teacher. When he found out who our host had been in Chiang Mai, he called him and talked for some time.
The teacher was elated, and it certainly made his day to have contacted the famous artist through an unsuspecting, but friendly, American couple!
Submitted by Jon R. Anderson, Friendship Force Northern Illinois