Sunday, November 25, 2007
On the proper full-moon night, small lotus-shaped baskets or boats made of banana leaves containing flowers, incense, candles and a coin are floated on Thai rivers, lakes and canals. In Chiang Mai, where the festival is called "Yi Peng", residents also launch paper hot-air balloons into the sky. The town in one continuous fireworks display during a week or two. We went to a festival where they released hundreds of these hot-air balloons/lanterns into the sky at one time. The kids loved launching these floating lanterns. It was really cool to see the sky filled with them at night. The city center was a little dangerous with all the firecrackers going off everywhere. Overall, it was a very interesting and fun holiday. Parades and floats lined the street to the festival grounds.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
There is a beautiful Wat (temple) high up on the mountain that looks down on the Chiang Mai valley. The northern part of Thailand is very mountainous. Doi Suthep is the name of this particular mountain. Doi means mountain and I'm not sure what Suthep means. We actually went here a while ago with a group of friends from language class. The day was very cloudy and overcast and I was initially bummed that we couldn't see much, but the mist gave the place a surreal quality. Now I am acutally glad is was all misty. The girls had a great time running around.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
I went on a much needed retreat to the highest point in Thailand. It was a group of 8 guys from various churches. I was nice getting to know the other guys and we all bonded. The place is called Doi Inthanon and it was a spectacular setting. We hiked around the mountain and took in breathtaking views. The pictures don't do the place justice. I'm not in many of the pictures since I was the one taking them all. It all went by too quick and I was again immersed back into the estro-tension at home. Such is life. It may take me a couple of postings to show more pictures. Enjoy!!
Monday, November 19, 2007
Acacia had a great idea to have a picnic. The weather was beautiful and it was nice to be outside. Jeem, our housekeeper joined us as well. The Thai's think it is odd to have a picnic for lunch, they usually have it for dinner. Anna got a chance to maul the cat (Lovebug),which he doesn't seem to mind too much. During the picnic Anna kept getting up to find worms and other fun stuff. Very relaxing. We usually eat noodle soup for lunch or fried rice. Delicious!!!!!
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
CAM stands for (C)hurch of Christ in Thailand (A)IDS (M)inistry. This is the place, and some of the people that I will be working with on HIV/AIDS. Right now all my time is devoted to language training. The Thai lady at the computer is Jarawan. She and her husband Sanan have been doing HIV/AIDS Ministry for the last 15-16yrs. They have several projects and programs located throughout the Chiang Mai region. I will be working closely with them to get my bearings and to really assess the HIV/AIDS problem affecting Thailand. I will be visiting various clinics, slums, AIDS orphanages and other AIDS related projects through CAM. The caucasian lady is Judy and she has been working with CAM for some time and was a nurse prior to coming to Thailand. I will be posting pictures of these locations as I visit them. I'm sure I will be seeing some things that will break my heart, but this is what we are here for. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we venture forth.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I was working on the computer when out of the corner of my eye I saw a blur of color and heard stifled giggles. Just the girls again. I went back to playing solitare, uh, I mean work on the computer. The door bell rings and Shelly and I take a look to see who it is. We are not expecting anyone. Then we get hit up by these two business sharks trying to make a fast buck. We felt bad for them since they hadn't closed a deal all day. So, we let them come in and make their pitch. They were pretty convincing so we decided to go ahead and keep them.
Friday, November 9, 2007
I think it is the humidity that makes things grow bigger and faster. I know my hair and fingernails grow at an alarming rate due to the humidity. I get my hair cut and before you know it I feel like I have a lions mane on my head again. Something like that. I heard an excited plea for help from our housekeeper Jeem. "Brett, can you help me". We both looked into the washer machine and saw this behemoth worm. Jeem was in the process of taking out the laundry when she came upon this discovery. She got the heeby jeebies and would squirm as I took a picture of it then threw it in the garbage. I don't know how the heck it got in there. I just thought it was unusual to have a huge worm in your laundry and wanted to share with everyone.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Part of our language course is to go on field trips. Unfortunately Shelly was not enrolled in this 2nd semester of language school. So, it is just me with my classmates. We went to a cultural center where we learned how to make pottery. I felt like I was in the movie "Ghost". Except Patrick Swayze wasn't behind me fondling my hands. I also learned how to plant rice, very cool. Yes, that is me on a water buffalo,and it is not photoshoped in. The classroom shot is with Shelly during the 1st semester. Our teachers name is Om. Currently we are both taking private tutors. We tried to register at the same school for reading and writing but there wasn't enough students enrolled in the course so they cancelled it. Pope gun mai (see you later).