Friday, November 25, 2011

Toothless in Thailand

Aspen turned 6 this past July.  She has enjoyed watching Hank, Nikita, & Brandy get loose teeth and cheering them on when they are wanting Mom or Dad to pull them out.  Finally, the day came when Aspen realized she had a loose tooth!!  Oh what fun! It wasn’t long until Mommy had to feel it to see.  After investigating, we figured out she had 5 loose teeth!  She worked that first one back and forth.  It was slow moving and soon we began saying, maybe, just maybe, she would loose her first tooth in Thailand.  So one day last week, we were eating lunch, and she barely pulled on it then began saying, “Brandy, Brandy, here’s my tooth, here’s my tooth!”  With much celebrating, we all exclaimed over the first lost tooth in Thailand!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Compassion Home

Sat Nov 19th
            Rode motorbikes & Martin’s van over to the CLC bookstore to borrow their van.  I drove a motorbike over and it was kinda scary going that far, but it was good to do it.  I had to keep reminding myself that I wasn’t out just cutting up on a motorbike, just being dangerous.  It is the Thai mode of travel!!  Was kinda fun too!! 
The view as we headed to the orphanage
   We got in vans, Martin, Rachel, Dad, Mom, Hank, Titus, Andrew, & Austin in the borrowed van.  Shane & I, Bree, Nikita, Brandy, Dinah, Aspen, Lacy, & Hunter all went in Martin’s van.  This was Shane’s first experience driving a vehicle here.  He did great!  We went a couple hours out of Chaing Mia to the Compassion Home, an orphanage in the mountains.

William & Sylvia, the couple that started it were there.  Currently they have 41 children. 20 girls & 21 boys.  We ate lunch with the children, played with them, and took a tour of the place.  William & Sylvia are Mennonite from Virginia, and live both places.  Right now they will be in Thailand for the winter months.  The children were so cute.

Some of them hugged us when we got there & hugged us when we left.  On the way home, we went past a random traffic stop that the police just motioned the vehicles they wanted to check off to the side.  Martin’s van went through okay, but they motioned ours off to the side.  The police officer came to the window, rattled off something in Thai, so Shane told him we spoke English.  He wanted to see Shane’s international drivers license, (which he doesn’t have).  Shane got out his Washington drivers license and then he gave the police officer the Governor of Chaing Mia’s business card & said he was Shane’s friend.  This policeman waved us on.  The policeman on the end flagged us to stop. (again) This one spoke better English.  We went through the same thing and the Governor’s card was whipped out again.  The policeman was impressed that the Governor was our friend!  We were soon on our way again. Then we dropped off the borrowed van, and stopped at Big C to eat supper.  Our family ate at Pizza Hut.   

Blessing Festival

Fri Nov 18th

            Shane went with Martin for the morning.   Our children had a waterfight and played in the water for awhile this morning.  Hunter loves it!  This afternoon, Dinah & the boys came over and they all played soccer in the street.   Got take out for supper, then Dad & Mom stayed with the children.  Shane & I, Bree, Marcy, and Martin all rode motorbikes to the middle of Chaing Mia for the Christian Blessing Festival.
We worshipped God together.  Had lots of singing & some of the songs we knew & could sing along in English.
How Great Thou Art is my favorite song to sing together with other languages.  Was so awesome!  They had several times of prayer.  The Governor was there and was recognized & had a speech, and was given a gift.

Fabric Shopping

Thurs Nov. 17th

            Mom, Bree, Nikita, & I went with Joyce (a lady from IGo) to go to the market for fabric shopping.  Was a very interesting experience!  The smells of the food market as we walked through were gut wrenching.  They sold all kinds of meat, fish, & the like.  There were live fish in tubs, snakes or eels in buckets..LIVE.. to buy.

There were several fabric stores.  All the fabric is measured in meters, and you can’t get half or third of a meter.  We had to convert the baht to dollars to see if we wanted to buy, then look for the good deals. We all got some fabric.
 For lunch, Joyce headed down an alley where some food carts were set up.  We went by a couple carts that were selling things that I had no idea what it was.  We came to one that had chicken legs & halves on the grill.  As we were making our purchase, we saw on the grill, a whole chicken head.
 Bummer, that we’d already got legs!!  Ha! Ha!  On down the line, there was a drink cart.  Nikita & I got fresh squeezed orange juice.  It was delicious! 

The chicken & sticky rice was good too.  There is no where to sit, so we sat on the step in front of a fabric store.  We were just getting done, when people from the store told us to move on.   One thing I noticed about the market, was that there was no where to sit.  No benches, chairs, walls..  When we left the market, we took our fabric to the seamstress.  She doesn’t need a pattern, just a dress of the style you want.  I left a piece & dress for Brandy & Aspen to have matching.  Mom & Bree left skirts, and Nikita left a dress.  We are to pick them up in 2 weeks.
            We went to Martin’s for supper.  Afterwards, we had worship right away and came home, because of the late night last night.  Everyone was ready for bed.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monday Nov 21

Mon Nov 21
            Shane & Dad went with Martin to meet with Val, who started IGo,  this morning, and met with Raymond from IGo this afternoon.   We washed clothes here all morning.  Rachel took me to Macro to get groceries.  Macro is like a Costco or Sam’s Club.  I spent 2,600!!!  Of course that is baht.   Converted to about $89.  Wasn’t really cheaper than at home.  We had grilled chicken in stir fry veggies over white rice.  Dad grilled & Mom fixed the rest.  Rachel let us borrow her rice cooker.  Was a great meal that we had here at home!  After supper we watched a dvd called Home Beyond The Sun.  It is a true story that happened in China years ago.  A very good story!

Food Packing for Bangkok

Wed Nov 16th
            Shane & Hank, Dad & Mom went to IGo to sit in on a class again this morning.  We were just around here today doing the normal things that consist of family living.  Played a few games, got meals, took care of children etc.. The motorbike that I share with Bree needed gas, so Shane led me to the gas station.  That’t the first that I had driven out on the road.  I have practiced here in the village, but there is a lot of speed bumps, so you never get up speed.  Dad & Mom took a long drive and brought back some stuff to fix for supper.  We had a Chef salad with chicken.  Yummy!  This evening we went with Martin’s to the church that the CLC bookstore owner attends to package food for the flood victims at Bangkok.  There were about 12 or so Thai people, Martin’s, Dad’s, & our family.  WOW!!  We went at 6:30 and they had started cooking the food.
Cooking the meat
The first pot of meat..cooked
 First pot of rice
Rice in the 'freezer' box to keep warm
Filling bags with rice
Lacy found a friend
The bags of meat tied with rubber band
 Packing rice 
Ready for the meat bags

They cooked meat in big kettles, cooked rice in big kettles, then put the rice in an insulated box that looked like a freezer, to keep it warm.  To package the food, they use small plastic bags fold them over for the rice, but for the meat and curry mixtures, they close the bag so that some air is still in and they use rubber bands to fasten the bags.  It is an art to it and took awhile for some to get it.  Rachel, Bree, & I, her children, & my children, except Hank & Nikita, left around 9:30pm (in the van) and the others were just getting started packaging.  I heard the next morning that the cooks kept the rice and the kettles of meat, fish , or curry coming and finally Marcy & Nikita led Dad & Mom, Shane & Hank home on the motorbikes.  They got home at 4:00am!!  Martin got home at 5:00am.  Figured up later that they had cooked 200-300 pounds of rice!  Around 2,500 meals were packaged and when Martin left the Thai’s were getting ready to take the meals to the airport to go to Bangkok. 

Monday 14th & Tuesday 15th

Mon Nov 14th 
     Shane, Dad & Bree went at 7:00 to IGo to sit in on a class.  This is the last week for the students to be there , because  the semester is finished. 
      We washed today, pretty much all day.  Feel very blessed to have a washer.  It is out on the back porch with the stove.  (no oven)  The owners came today and collected the rent money.  After naps, the children all played in the street and rode bikes with Dinah, Titus & Andrew.
     Shane took me a ride on the motorbike.  We went to get supper.  Had fried noodles and fried rice. 

Tues Nov 15th
     Dad, Mom, & Bree went to IGo again this morning to sit in on that class.  Shane went with Martin to CLC bookstore.  The owner of the bookstore, Martin, Shane, and a few other Thai men went a meeting with the Governor of Chaing Mia.  Shane listened while they all talked in Thai, then the Governor looked right at him and addressed him in good English.  The Governor ended up giving Shane his business card (the writing is in gold) and told him to call if we needed anything while on our trip and also if we have any trouble.  Shane tucked it away in his wallet.
   The sun was shining so bright this morning, that Bree suggested the children have a water fight.  So the excitement was high as they changed and filled up a couple of totes and got cups ready.  Cooled them off and let them run off some energy & steam.
Hunter Lee loves the water
Group pose
All together now!
            We had cup o noodles for lunch and for supper we had take out and tried the cashew chicken, sticky rice, & fried rice. The children all played in the street and rode bikes with Dinah, Titus & Andrew again this afternoon.  It’s so fun to watch their play! 

Our first Sunday in Thailand

Sunday Nov 13
     We went to IGo for worship.  Had a wonderful service.  Martin was leading the songs & praise part of the service.  Martin & Rachel attend there about once a month.
     I wanted to explain IGo just a little bit.  It stands for Institute for Global Opportunities.  It is a school (the students are usually Anabaptist background & come for a semester, or more) in Chaing Mia, with the purpose to provide students with a cross-cultural setting in which mission work, Biblical teaching and personal discipleship can take place simultaneously.  They have 4 goals:
1 To nurture and equip missionaries with a theology & practice that brings a faith that works in love to build the church of Jesus Christ.
2 To plant & nurture churches in the uttermost parts of the world with this same theological perspective.
3 To send IGo faculty to Asian churches and conferences to instruct local leaders & students in the doctrines of Scripture as held & practiced by Anabaptism.
4 To provide Asian students & missionaries a setting in which to strengthen their doctrinal foundations and  to develop their personal spiritual lives while living & interacting with other cultures.
     Martin’s & us went out to lunch at a beautiful restaurant.  It had waterfalls, beautiful flowers and the food was really good.  Martin ordered a variety of dishes and we just passed them around.  Some of them were shrimp soup(spicy), spicy fried chicken, cashew chicken, fried rice, steamed veggies, green curry, & white rice. 
     After naps , we went with Martin’s to their small group.  We met at a couple’s house who are from Pakistan.  They had to flee their country.  For supper she cooked us Pakistan food.  It was delicious.  We were ready to call it a night.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

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Worship in Thai

Sunday Nov 20th  Our second Sunday in Thailand
Sorry for not posting sooner!  Ok, that's out of the way...I will try to do better now that Bree's computer is fixed. I will post today, then back track this past week in the next posts.
We couldn't understand the language or identify the food but our day was filled with fellowship in Jesus Christ!  We greet you all in His name.
Today we went to a Thai church Martin's have attended some. They were having their 5th year anniversary(of the church).  Had a potluck there.  We traveled as follows: on  5 motorbikes there was, Martin, Shane & Nikita, Dad T & Hank, Marcy & Dinah, and me.  In the van, Rachel, Titus, Andrew, Austin, Mom T, Bree, Brandy, Aspen, Lacy, & Hunter.  This has been our mode of transportation most of the time.  Bree & I share a motorbike, so we take turns.  In the afternoon, the children took naps while Shane & I came to a little restaurant to get online.  Iced Cappuccino & Coconut Smoothie was delicious! They were 50 baht total, which is about $1.75!
Tonight we are at Martin & Rachel's for snacks & worship.  Currently the children are playing soccer in the street. and the men are talking to the neighbors.  They have lots of company also because there was a wedding in their family.

singing praises 

Singing in Thai & English

The pastor

 Good food
The song leader