Tida Woods in Thailand

Watch a narrated slideshow and hear Senior Staff Photographer Dom Furore describe Tida Woods' latest trip to Thailand.

Released on 3/7/2010

Credits

Starring: Tida Woods

Transcript

00:01
[Narrator] Several years ago I had an assignment
00:02
to go photograph a teenager that was supposedly
00:04
gonna be the next great player.
00:06
He seemed like a nice enough kid,
00:07
but what really impressed me were
00:08
how nice his parents were.
00:11
Who'd a thought that 17 years later
00:12
I'd be tagging along a trip to Thailand with his mom.
00:16
I was going to Thailand with Jaime Diaz,
00:17
who was working on a story with Golf Digest about Tita.
00:20
Along with the usual tourist stops,
00:22
we were gonna be checking in on a couple of schools
00:24
that Tita and Tiger had been helping out.
00:27
We spent a lot of time driving around in our van,
00:29
and it turns out that Bangkok
00:31
is one of the worst cities in the world for traffic.
00:33
Sometimes it could be a bit boring,
00:35
but Tita always kept it fun.
00:38
We went to the Grand Palace,
00:39
and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha,
00:41
which is the most sacred temple in Thailand.
00:44
It was full of ornate statues,
00:49
and beautiful mosaics everywhere you looked.
00:55
And of course it is also the home of the Emerald Buddha,
00:57
which is actually made of Jade, not Emerald.
01:00
One day we stopped by to visit her oldest brother,
01:02
and there was a very American looking
01:04
hat hanging on the coat rack.
01:08
We visited a nearby temple that had actually been designed
01:10
by her father, who was an architect,
01:13
but it'd only recently been finished,
01:15
after Tiger had made a donation.
01:18
One night a friend a friend of Tita's
01:19
stopped by the hotel and she brought
01:21
sticky rice and mango with her,
01:23
which became our standard dessert in Thailand.
01:25
She also brought along some unusual looking fruit,
01:27
it's what I started calling freaky fruit.
01:30
We spent time going to markets,
01:32
and there was always fresh fruit for sale there,
01:36
along with jewelry
01:43
and fresh seafood.
01:49
Fresh seafood was very popular
01:50
in all the restaurants we went to,
01:52
and when you ordered fish soup,
01:54
that's exactly what you got.
01:58
Tita grew up near the bridge over the River Kwai,
02:00
so we went by there to take a look.
02:03
We walked across the bridge and when I looked back
02:05
it seemed odd to see a red shirt following Tita
02:07
instead of Tita following a red shirt.
02:10
We also by the cemetery where the Americans
02:12
that died there are buried.
02:16
The Woods family has helped a few schools
02:17
in Thailand over the years,
02:19
and one of them is an orphanage for girls.
02:23
Needless to say they were very happy to see Tita show up.
02:29
One of the things that the school did
02:30
for food and for profit was grow mushrooms.
02:33
They put the mushroom spawns inside
02:34
these little plastic bags with some organic material,
02:37
and then they would stack them up insisde
02:39
these giant straw huts and wait for the mushrooms to grow.
02:43
All the girls and staff turned out to greet Tita,
02:46
and the truck that she had arranged
02:47
to bring supplies for them.
02:54
At all the schools we stopped at,
02:55
there was always evidence of the Woods family.
02:58
Some of it fun, and some of it a little more practical.
03:06
At one school they'd installed a computer lab,
03:08
and they all seemed pretty excited to learn how to use them.
03:14
But they all knew who Tiger was,
03:16
and they were all happy that he knew who they were.
03:20
We also stopped by a home for disadvantaged kids,
03:24
and they were very happy to see Tita as well,
03:26
especially when she started handing out the candy.
03:35
And of course, along with the candy
03:37
she brought a truckload of supplies for the orphanage.
03:50
One night she told me she had
03:51
a big surprise for me the next day.
03:53
She told me that we were going
03:54
to a place called Tiger Temple.
03:56
That she'd seen pictures of Earl with a tiger,
03:58
and she'd seen pictures of Tiger with a tiger,
04:00
and now it was time to get a picture of Mom with a tiger.
04:03
As soon as I got back to my room I googled it,
04:05
and I didn't like what I read.
04:07
A lot of people questioned the safety of the place
04:10
and the treatment of the tigers.
04:12
When we went inside there were animals roaming everywhere.
04:17
One of the things that I had read
04:18
was to be careful of the younger tigers,
04:20
that they don't know their own strength
04:22
and they can be a little too playful.
04:25
Of course my mistake was telling Tita that.
04:28
She walked up to one that looked like he was napping
04:30
and started playing with him,
04:32
and when he rolled over and took a swat at her, she laughed.
04:35
She's absolutely fearless.
04:38
We headed down the trail to the Tiger Canyon,
04:40
which is where the big tigers were.
04:43
I slipped some cash to the guy
04:44
that seemed to be running things
04:45
to make sure we had the best trainers in back of us
04:47
while I was taking the pictures.
04:50
I knew if anything happened to her
04:51
I could be killed by a tiger.
04:54
We were in Thailand during the Festival of Lights,
04:56
and one night we went on a dinner cruise.
04:58
Along with a parade of lighted boats and fireworks,
05:01
there was entertainment on board
05:03
and views of the buildings and bridges along the river.
05:11
Our last night in Thailand
05:13
Tita took us to a friend's house for a dinner party.
05:16
Everyone seemed to gravitate towards her,
05:18
and just like her son,
05:20
everybody wanted to get their picture taken with her.
05:24
One of the traditions of the Festival of Lights
05:26
is making a float out of banana leaves
05:28
or floral arrangements and putting a candle on it
05:31
and setting it on the water and watching it float away.
05:35
I wanted to get a nice picture of that,
05:37
so I took my stand in down and did a quick test shot
05:39
before everybody came down with their candles.
05:43
I've always said Tiger Woods
05:44
is one of the luckiest guys I've ever known,
05:46
and after spending some time with his mom,
05:48
I believe that now more than ever.
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