Monday, December 12, 2011

Sweeping in Thailand

Trees line the streets in the "moo-baan"(neighborhood) in which we lived.  There are 2 men (one with a crippled foot) that sweep the streets with brooms.  Everyday they are somewhere in the moo-bann.  Hank started out by riding his bike (borrowed from Martin) by the sweepers.  On the first day they said some words to him in Thai.  He repeated them to Martin later to see what they said to him.  It was "red snail"!!  That day he'd had on a red shirt.  We all laughed at that!  A few days later, he went riding his bike by them again.  Soon he was back at the house getting our broom.  Hank rode to where they were sweeping and got off his bike and helped them.  The next day only one man (with the bad foot) was sweeping, so Hank used their other broom.
The sweepers both had motorbikes with side carts and one of them had another cart tied on behind.  After Hank had been helping sweep for a little, he rode his bike over to the carts and lined up with  the cart. "Uncle Une" (as Hank found out their names)  laughed and came over and tied the cart to the back of his bike.  Hank was loving it!   This was the process for the next 4 days while the other man was not around.  

Hank & Uncle Moo
Uncle Une & Hank

 Hank would go every morning for a few hours and sometimes later in the day also, depending on what all we were doing.  Then "Uncle Moo" was back and Uncle Une was gone.  Hank helped Uncle Moo for about 4 days also.  He continued to help them sweep, riding around the moo-bann till he found them.  Once  while they were sweeping by a house, a man came out that spoke some English, and talked to Hank.  He wanted to give Hank a gift for helping sweep, so this man brought a fresh coconut that he'd just chopped down off his coconut tree.  Hank brought it to the house for us to do something with.  Another day, Hank was sweeping off a ladies driveway, with the Uncles, and she came out and spoke a little English, and brought Hank some chocolates as a gift for helping.  Yummy!  Some of us got to taste those. The next to last day that Hank helped, Uncle Moo brought him a gift of sugared bread & orange juice.  Hank had a very enjoyable time helping Uncle Moo & Uncle Une sweep, but never mastered the Thai languange, so wasn't able to carry on conversation with them in words.  However, I think he communicated relationship to them well, by his example. He said they used hand motions to "talk" to each other.  What a blessing it is to have a willing hard worker.  He really likes to work & I am excited to watch him grow into a young man.  God gave us a precious gift almost 13 yrs ago!