Saturday, December 22, 2007

Wrong turn

A couple of weeks ago we were told of a great outdoor market called the "Royal Project". We had our directions but ended up making a wrong turn and ended up at the foot of the mountain by a beautiful lake. You never know what lies on the road ahead. We stayed here for a little while and finally packed up and asked someone for directions to the Royal Project. Yes, I asked directions even though I am a man, it has been done before. We finally found it and walked all around. The girls got sugar cane juice served in bamboo glasses. What fun!!

Sunflower fields forever

This field of sunflowers is located at Payap University where we go to church every Sunday. We pass this field and often think it would be fun for the girls to play in there. Not to mention a great photo opportunity as well. The day was suprisingly hot, but the girls had fun tramping around the flowers. We even found a dead snake in amongst the flowers. Ok, girls I think it is time to go. I was kind of worried about snakes there. Afterwards we cooled of with a fruit shake and an iced coffee for Dad at the Coffee Bus. (Our favorite place for drinks).

Acacia's Christmas presentation at CMIS

Acacia actually had 2 different performances, one at school during the day and one a couple of days later at a outdoor theater near school. She is not as animated as Anna but she loves to perform. Lots of Christmas songs and dancing. The girls are growing up too fast. I feel like time is flying by and I'm running to keep up, sometimes literally.

Anna's Christmas presentation at Little Stars preschool

Tis the season!!! Kids dressed up all cute and all the parents jockying for position to take the best picture of their little darling. Each class did 2 presentations. It was very hot and poor Anna had to wear a fleece with a hood along with her class. They sang christmas songs and danced. It was all very cute. Once again there was a ton of food. I love this place!!!! I thought I was going to lose weight here. No chance of that. Afterwards we chatted with parents and laughed about certain performances. Anna is quite the performer. Very, very cute!

Night time Christmas celebration at Payap Church

Food, food and more food. The Thai's love to eat and thankfully so do I. The atmosphere was festive with lots of people milling about dressed in their Santa hats. The church had performers doing skits about christmas with a little twist to it, Thai style. Traditional Thai dancing was performed, sorry I didn't get any pictures of them. The whole family had a lot of fun and look forward to Christmas again next year at Payap.

Christmas celebration at Payap Church

We attend Payap Church every Sunday. It is a predominatley Thai christian church on the Payap University campus. The entire service is in Thai language. They do however, have a translator and you can hear the service in English with a earpiece. I tend to not use the earpiece even though I don't understand everything, I just want to hear Thai and do my best at understanding it. Shelly has started teaching Sunday School here too. After the service there is a lunch of delicious Thai food provided downstairs. Then the girls run around like maniacs until we rustle them up to go home. We are slowly getting to know more Thai's and feeling more like we belong here. We had a night time celebration here on the same day with food, dancing,skits and a gift exchange. The girls loved it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Working Thai

I wanted to kill 2 birds with one stone and this is what I came up with. I decided to combine a language lesson with a photo shoot. It turned out to be very fun and extremely informative. I was able to converse with some very nice people and felt more confident about my language skills. I also felt more connected with the people we are serving. The lady repairing the shoes has lived in Chiang Mai for 32 years and has 5 kids ranging from 13 years old to early 30's. She used to live in Chiang Rai. I believe her name is Pittapon (something like that)I told her about my family and what we are doing here. It was amazing because our entire conversation was in Thai. I also talked to a watch repairman for a while too and took some photos of him as well. It was a very empowering feeling to be able to converse in another language. I then meandered from place to place at the market and struck up conversations with random people working and then took pictures of them. I think this was a great way to reinforce my language classes and a way to build relationships with the Thai people. At the end of all this running around and flapping my gums I needed to eat so I gobbled down a traditional hamburger,fries and a coke and documented it with a self portrait. Enjoy!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Christmas time is here

I can't believe it is already the Christmas season. The girls couldn't wait to get a tree and decorate it. It was surprisingly easy to get a tree and decorations here. The predominant religion here is Buddhism. I thought it would be more difficult to find things for Christmas. Evidently I was wrong. That doesn't happen often. We all miss everybody and wish we could see family and friends at Christmas time. We hope everyone has a great holiday season. Remember, Jesus is the reason for the season. It looks like we will be spending the day after Christmas in Malaysia to renew our visa's for a 1 year visa. We anticipate spending around 8-9 days there and make it a combination holiday vacation and visa renewal. We are looking forward to our 1st Christmas in Thailand and wish everyone the best. God bless