Friday, March 31, 2006

The week is over

It's been a long week. Tim and Clair left, leaving a lot of the staff emotionally exhausted. I've been sick again, with a fever and stomache cramps (the fever is certifiable, because my mom sent me a thermometer in the care package that came with the team!). I can't seem to get back to 100% since I've been sick the first time. I'm better for a day or two and than off again for a couple of days. Then I recover and regress again. It's frustrating.

We had James Bond night tonight. We really struggled with games... I mean the movie is based on murder, deception, drinking martini's and loose relationships with gorgeous women. Well, there is more than that, but that's basically the marketable stuff. But in the end we figured it out. I also was the one to share my testimony. It was tough, because I wasn't feeling well, but it worked out in the end.

I'm supposed to go bamboo rafting tomorrow. I really hope I feel well enough. I still have this fever. Maybe a good sleep tonight will help.

Only 2 weeks left! I'll be back with you all before you know it!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Wedding

Ok, here are the pictures I promised.
This first one is of the bride and groom in their traditional attire. They look great don't they? At the beginning of the wedding they offer incense to the household altar, and then the monks start chanting. How many there are depends on how much money you have. This one had 4, which is average. The monks chat for a good hour, but I missed most of that because Pi'Kee and I came late. In fact we came an hour late, and the ceremony was still going on. Basically, they make a halo of string for the bride and for the groom that are attached together by one string. Then one string coming off of each of these goes and touches the head of all their relatives who sit around them. This signifies the exchange of families. Each one is given to the family of the other. Then there is more and more chanting. They also exchange rings at some point here.
Then they have a break and go for pictures. During the first whole hour of chanting, everyone else in the house (they get married at the house they are going to move into) is kneeling with their hands in a prayer position. And there I was, the only foreigner, running around with my camera trying not to be too obvious but still trying to record stuff and not offend anyone. There were nice.
Anyways, after that, the bride and groom come back in and are blessed by a person who has had a long and successful marriage, who then ties their hands together. Then, each person that is older than them at the marriage comes and ties a string around each of their wrists and gives a blessing - have babies, have money, have happiness, have health etc.
When that has been accomplished, they do the "most interesting" thing. Everyone that's around grabes a string the trails behind the bride and groom who are tied to each other and to the bouquet you see in this picture, and they all parade up to the marital bedroom.
Then, the same person who had such a long marriage that he tied them together also gets on the bed first. He lies down briefly to "bless" it. Then the couple lies down and gets back up. And then the elder rips apart the string binding everyone together while saying something I could not understand.
The ceremonies are over and the party begins. The ceremonies started at 7am, and it was about 11:30 by the time they finished. We ate on table set out in the street in front of their house, covered by tents. It was great food. Northern Thai, and not too spicy, except for one soup. The alcohol also flowed freely, but I think that's true of weddings everywhere.
Then we hung out until about 3. I was exhausted because of little sleep the night before, a really long two weeks and the heat from sitting outside for so long. So Pi'Kee asked if I wanted to go to her house to watch a "video". I said sure, after all, a movie is not so bad. She put in her wedding video. Which actually did two things. It helped me understand what I'd missed or only partially seen in the first hour and a half. It also made me glad the wedding I'd attended on such an exhausted day was so uncomplicated. Pi'Kee's wedding went from 7am until midnight, included a parade, a traditional "opening of the doors" bartering between the bride and groom's family, an evening reception, karaoke, a dance and probably some other things I forgetting. That would kill me in Canada, let alone in a place where I have no clue what is going on and almost no one to talk to. Yup, the 2 hour video was more than enough.

On Sunday, I biked to the railway station and saw the Vanguard team off. Now they are in Hong Kong, and doing well. Remember to pray for them too!
Tiffany came in today. She's a YWAMer from Mississippi (yup, I can spell it) who has now hit 13 different countries in two years, but this was her first time teaching English. So I had the pleasure of doing an orientation with her since all the other foreigners went to Burma for a Visa run.
We also had a wee bit of an adventure getting her from the airport. Her plane was arriving from Singapore, and so Opal and I went to domestic flights to wait for her. We were sitting in the lobby chatting and waiting, and waiting and waiting. We kept asking ourselves "where is Tiffanie?" Then it occured to me that Singapore would be an international flight, and not a domestic flight. I don't know, I just followed Opal! It wasn't my fault! Anyways, so we run to the international flight lobby and it's deserted. We actually went all the way back into the back end of customs, but still nothing. All is deserted. Then we started running around the airport, but since I didn't know what she looked like and Opal had only seen a small picture, it was kind of in vain. Especially since her description was absolutely wrong. (After Opal said "I really thought she was a blond" while we looked at her really dark brown hair) Finally, I saw a girl who looked worried, had a big suitcase and was carrying a guitar. Opal said "that's her!" so I ran up and asked if she was Tiffany. And she was! All was well.

Monday, March 27, 2006

The craziness is overwhelming!!

Hi Peoples!
I have really been bad at updating lately. I apologize. Things are getting wildly crazy around here and I never seem to be able to get what I want to do.
The wedding was great. I brought my camera, but since it's late I had to go to the cheap internet cafe where my USB doesn't work. So pictures tomorrow. It was very different from a North American wedding, but more about that later.
Sunday was fun too. At church we had a guy named Jim Thurber do a session on Cat and Dog Theology, which was actually quite a bit of fun. Then Jen and Andre, a couple from the church, took me out for lunch. It was lots of fun.
Then I biked out to the railway station and saw the team off. They returned to Bankok and took Kalen, another Vanguard intern here in Thailand back with them. I was quite jealous and almost didn't get off the train when it was time to go. (Things are a little different here, I actually got on the train and hung out there without question until the final bells. Even then, I wan't kicked off, I just didn't have time for a trip to Bangkok)
It was sad to see them go, but I can't wait to hear about all the exciting things they are going to do in China. I might be a little jealous though.
Anywyas, time for me to get to bed! Good night you all! Tifany, our new team member is arriving tomorrow, so I need to be awake and ready to go early tomorrow morning to get her from the airport.
Oh, and Jenny, our Irish teammate is sick, so please pray for her! Thanks!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Two sad goodbyes

I've had to say goodbye twice in the last two days. How much does that suck?
The first was to Yam, who is not one of my students, but is one of my friends at the Centre. She is going to Philadelphia to work as a nanny for a couple of years. That's one lucky family.
The other one is Nok, my wonderful friend. It is her birthday tomorrow. But she is going down to Bangkok for an interview at a design production company.
I took her out for Japanese food tonight, which is her favorite. We said our goodbyes which was hard. Then she drove me up the nearby mountain (where my waterfall is) and offered incense and a rose to a large golden statue of a man. On the way back she said that she has "wished" for me. That I would be "strong and happy and beautiful everyday". When she dropped me off at the Centre I had the opportunity to pray for her. Along with praying for safety for her 9 hour drive tomorrow morning, I also prayed that she would be strong, healthy, happy and beautiful everyday. Man, am I ever gonna miss her.

And so now, with two weeks left at the Centre (my last week the centre is closed for Songkran, the Thai new years/huge massive 4 day waterfight) I am left without either of the students that I had chosen to target in order to build a more significant relationship with. So, let's see what we can do!

We also have a new staff member coming in! Tifany (from either the States or Canada, no one seems to remember which) will be here on Monday. She's a fresh Bible college grad, so I'm sure we'll have lots to talk about.

What else? I don't know if I mentioned it before, but Pi'Kee, one of my students, is taking me to a Thai wedding tomorrow. It is traditional Thai wedding and will involve eating. And I hear some people will speak English too, which is great. That's about all I know. And I'm being picked up ridiculously early for a Saturday morning. Which means I should get home, because it's midnight, I'm exhausted and need some sleep for a long day tomorrow of mostly being in the dark as to what's happening.

Three weeks left! Can't wait to get back and see you all! Sorry no photos today, I forgot my camera at home, again. I'm sorry, I'll really try to be better at that in the future.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The wild weekend

Ok, so here is a quick rundown of what happened:

Friday night:

The Canadians all came out to the Centre, saw who I work with, saw what I do and helped to make the Canadian Friday night party a huge success. We returned to Baan Mai rather exhausted.


In the morning we had three hours to teach a group of about 100 children (7-12ish) some English. So we sang songs, played games and taught. In the afternoon, we had one more hour of teaching to students who were between 13 and 18. It was a lot of fun. We also did the drama puppetmaster a whole lot. The picture on the right is of us at the Centre. In the evening, we went to a bigger nearby village and did some internet checking, some shopping and even some relaxing at the spa. Unfortunately, there was not time for me to have a facial. I guess that means I'll have to find one here in the city to go to!


The big day! We got up early and the first order of business was for the team to teach me the "Jesus" part to a new drama called Eternal. Why I was Jesus the whole weekend in our dramas, I don't know. I think it must be because it was an all girls team and everyone else had their parts already. Anyways, I practiced the drama a couple of times and then it was time for church to start. Worship was led by the Thai's and it was wonderful. I've even gotten to the point where I can sing along to the simpler songs. Then we did our drama, which I got through with only one minor screw up (I dropped a prop), and the Tiffanie preached! It was a wonderful sermon, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Also, Janelle spoke about laying down your life and paying the price of being a disciple. A big congrats goes to them both.

After church, we had a quick lunch and then headed off to a youth meeting where we were just participants. We played some great games and then Ajan TomYun (ie. Pastor TomYun) shared in Thai. He was quite dynamic, but it was all in Thai so concentrating was tough. After that, we headed into Chiang Mai to go to Walking Street. It was tons of fun. In case you don't remember, Walking Street is the local handicraft market down in the old city. It's only on Sunday nights though. The girls were really excited and bought tons of stuff. Kalen and I snuck off for a quick coffee and chat, but we did a good amount of shopping too.

On the way back, our truck of people had a little adventure. As we went along one of the country roads, an off duty police officer pulled us over and started yelling at Ajan Poom who was driving us. All we heard was "passport!" and lots of Thai. Then he took Ajan into the police station. We waited and prayed. I wasn't really all that nervous, after all we are in Thailand, not in communist China, but some of the girls were a little nervous. Then the off duty officer came out and yelled at us in Thai and at two Thai girls who were with us. He yelled and yelled, getting redder and redder, while Ajan stood by giving soft answers. Then a guy in full uniform came out. He seemed pleasant and was even smiling a bit so I immediately started chatting with him, since I was sitting in the back of the truck where he walked to. I even used the local dialect as much as I could. He laughed and we chatted a bit and then he asked me some questions in English "are you a Christian?" (yes), "Are you teaching out in Baan Mai" (yes) "Do you like Thailand?" (I love it). He talked to Ajan for a bit. He then started talking to the off duty guy who mostly just yelled at him too. Then he and another officer started pulling the off duty guy across the road back to the police station while calling out to us to enjoy Thailand and have fun. The off duty guy was still struggling against them and yelling, but they just smiled and waved at us. We smiled and waved back and shouted our thanks. Ajan got in and we went home.

Turned out, the off duty guy was drunk and wanted a bribe to let these "tourists" past his station. Monday: We ran an English camp for some local high school students. We also wanted to eat breakfast with the Bible College students, who we were told ate at 6. So I was up at 5:30. We get to the breakfast hall at 6 and stare at each other for an hour waiting for the students. We were told wrong, breakfast started at 7. We mourned the loss of sleep, but had some valuable prep. time.
In the evening, we relaxed and prepared. It was fun. The camp was fun too. I'd put up pictures, but this computer is being silly and will only let me put up the one. I'll try to put more up later.
They also served the most amazing lunch, a sweet and sour pinneapple stirfry. We ate until we could eat no more and even then were sad that we had no more room. It was amazing.
Same as Monday as the camp continued. I left around 11 o'clock in order to get back to the Centre for our 1:00 meeting. It was sad to leave. I hope to see the team again at the train station on their way out. I also left my towel out there, so I really hope someone sees it and brings it.
And now it's back to the regular routine. There are some things I'm really thankful for, being back: showers with heated water. Western toilets. Toilet paper in the stall. Coffee.
At the same time, it was awesome to see how much the team has grown, and to be able to encourage and come alongside them and give them advice on living in Thailand (see the last post about naming animals). I was also impressed with the language many of them had learned in only a week. If they stayed for long, they'd be beating me in no time.
I was also blown away by the hospitality of the people out there. They literally bent over backwards to make sure we were comfortable, had lots of bottled water, were entertained and had a couple of Western extravagencies, such as a mountain of bread and condiments for breakfast and snacks. Also, Ajan TomYun gave me a wooden puzzle when I left. He said that I need to take it apart, and if I cannot figure out how to put it back together again by the time I leave Thailand, I'm not allowed to leave. I think I might accidently lose a piece or two.

oops. the computer crashed, and I can't get the picture back on. We'll try again another day.

Those crazy Vanguardians!

What a great weekend I had! Hanging out with the team was FANTASTIC! As was the care package they brought from my mom!
I don't have much time to write at this moment, because I have to teach in just a few minutes, but here's one anecdote from the weekend:
Rachelle, one of the girls from the team is really afraid of bugs and insects of all sorts. So, when the first night I was there a cockroach was discovered in the room, she wasn't doing too well with it. But then I told her my secret about dealing with unwanted room companions, which is to name them and make them a pet, in which the personification of the said creature then makes them less scary. So I told her about Rod. And we named the cockroach Bernie. I also picked it up and threw it outside. But for the next few days, she was naming everything in sight. My favorite was walking into the church for rehearsal and seeing a wasp fly around while Rachelle yelled "What's its name? What's its name?" and then calmed down completely when I replied "Jerry".
Ok, more later! And pictures are to come!

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Yeay! I will get to see the team tonight! It's been a little bit long because I haven't been able to get a hold of Tiffanie on the phone yet. Oh well, I'll see her tonight!
We are having a Canadian themed Friday Night Party tonight. The decorations are up, including a large flag, hockey sticks and the names of great Canadians (or at least, famous Canadians). It gives me great pleasure as people walk around and read the names and accomplishments of my fellow Canadians and comment "He/She is a Canadian?" or "A Canadian invented Basketball? Really?". It's great, and gives me great pleasure.
I'm also super excited to see the team tonight. I'll be spending the weekend with them, and Monday as well, so don't expect any updates for a little bit, as I won't be around.
Well, that's all for now! Remember to keep e-mailing and leaving comments! I love hearing from home!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I'm not superwoman

Sometimes I need to be reminded that I am not actually superwoman. The day after building the wall, I could hardly move because my back and shoulders were sooo sore. It's terrible really. I'm still sore today, but it's getting better. I got sick again yesterday, but it's getting better again too.
The team came into town today, but I haven't talked to them yet. I was going to go to the station to greet them on their way in, but because of my sickness yesterday, I thought that would be unwise.
Classes are going really well. I'm planning to have an open discussion on Christianity with my 6 o'clock class today, so please pray for that. It's the class with Nok, Kea, Oil (who is a Christian), Pi' Kee, Pi'Na, Pi'Keng and Pi'Pat. In case you are wondering, adding Pi' at the beggining of someone's name is a sign of respect for those who are older than you. Even though everyone is older than me, some don't want me to call them Pi because it makes them feel older.
I only have 4 1/2 weeks left, which is wild! Where has all the time gone? I thought I just started! At the same time, 4 1/2 weeks is like almost all of my last two trips. It's weird how perspective changes.
I'm starting to get Tim Hortons cravings. I'm pretty sure, however, that it's not as much for the coffee as it is for the fellowship I have at Tim Hortons. That's my hang out place. In short, I miss all you guys! But I'll be back before I know it. The last two months certainly have flown by.
Rod's gone again. Left me for another lady. You know, I'm not sure I like this come and leave and come and leave pattern that's developing. Are you with me or not Rod? I'm a girl. I need committment in my relationships!
Sorry I still haven't gotten up the pictures I promised. I'll do that soon. I just need to get organized, and bring my camera with me to these places.
Cooking night is tonight. We are making Caserole!
I'll be spending this weekend with the HMSers out in the tiny village of Bon Mai Sawaan, so I'll certainly have more pictures for you guys then! I'm really excited to see them all, and be able to come and work beside them for this time.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Rebuilding the wall, playing Nehemiah.

So, we rebuilt the wall behind the Centre. Actually, we we didn't really. We poured out concrete in the gaps underneath the wall to restabilize it because it was falling over due to the removal of a dirt pile on the other side.
I spent a good 5 or 6 hours yesterday mixing cement, carrying 60 pound bags of gravel and sand and also tending to my biggest job: that of turning on and off the water for the cement mixture. It took my a good 3 hours this morning to figure out why in the world I was soooo sore. After all, what's moving a couple hundred pounds of rock and sand? Seemingly, it's enough to make me unable to move well the next day.
So, with an aching back and hurting shoulders, I'm going back to the Centre in a couple of hours to finish what we started. And I think in a couple of days I might go for that Thai massage I keep hearing about.

Also, there is the exciting news that the team flies into my city tomorrow! Woohoo! I can't wait for that!
I'll put up a picture or two of the building process either later today or tomorrow.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Blogging is weird...

Blogging is a really strange thing. It starts kinda fun, and then it takes over your life. Everyday, as things happen, I keep thinking "Ohhhh, that'll blog well" or "I better remember to put that up, I bet people back home will find that funny". So, just so you all know, you are in my thoughts constantly. And yes, I usually forget half the things I'm planning to do.
Like today, I'm sure I had at least three things to put up, yet here I am sitting at the dimly glowing screen with nothing at all coming to mind. Soooo frustrating.
So instead, here is a picture of Rod for you. I know he's hiding, and it's a bad picture, but it's all I can get of the little guy. He doesn't like his picture taken very much.
The "making the lizards your pet" thing has really caught on. Jennifer was terrified of the wild geckos in her room and was losing sleep. Then she named hers "Lizzy" and the world has been a happy place ever since. It's no longer frightening that her pet is running around her room. Perspective is everything. I love it!
I got a new book today. I've read about 9 books since being here and am exhausting the appealing options in the Centre's library so I went to a used bookstore and grabbed Pride and Prejudice. It's one I've wanted to read for a while, mostly just to say I've read it, but that's ok too.
You know what else? I only have 5 weeks left! This is insane! Where did all the time go? It was "I've only been here two weeks" yesterday! And now it's I've been here almost 2 months! I don't know. It's so weird. But I'm getting really good at bartering! And ordering food. I really love it if I can get a chicken fried rice with pineapple. So delicious! Or even just the fresh pineapple is delicious! Hmmm... I think I'll go get some... now. Bye!

Friday, March 10, 2006

The battle is ended.

So, I think I'm better.
It's been 7 days now of struggle and pain but I think I'm finally better. I think the medications the doctor gave me at the biggining of day 5 may have something to do with that. Either way, I'm glad to have my energy back and to be eating again. Everyone else seems to be happy I'm smiling and talking again too.
My roommate came back! Yep, he came to keep me company during the last couple days of sickness. He's quite quiet, and usually keeps to himself while I'm in the room, but occasionaly I find him out on a stoll when I get into the room.
I think it might be a "Rod the second" though, since A)All these Thai geckos look the same to me (so sue me!) and B) because this Rod seems to like to hide behind the wardrobe instead of under the fridge. Either way, I'm glad to have him back.
5 more days and the Vanguard team will be in Chiang Mai. I'm more than just a little excited about that.
There are only 5 weeks left in my trip! I can hardly believe it! Only 5 weeks? That's no time at all! What happened to the "I'm here for 3 months" thing? Where did all the time go! And I feel more than a little angry at the fact that one whole week just slipped by in sickness! That's just not fair! I didn't get a chance at it!
Sigh... what can you do?
I don't know if I said before that I was asked to share on Wednesday to about teamwork in the team meeting. So I prepared out of Nehemiah chapters 3,4 and 6 about how the rebuilding of the Jerusalem wall required great teamwork. Then, after the talk, they kinda started giggling and told me that the day before at the meeting I'd missed because of sickness, they announced that they were ripping down and rebuilding the 14 foot brick wall behind the Centre this next Monday. I felt more than a little corny. But I didn't know about it! Really!
Oh well, I hear there are some foreign guys coming to help out for the building! Who knows who you might meet! ;)
Talk to you soon!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The battle continues...

I'd like to tell you about all the wonderful, exciting things I've done in the last 3 days since I last posted. I'd love to tell you about places discovered, new experiences had and wonderful new people met. But I can't. Why? Because I've spent the majority of the last 3 days laying in bed, either sleeping or moaning occasionally. I could tell you all about the drugstore across the street, but that's not so interesting.
I have made it to the Centre both yesterday and today, and yesterday I even taught both my lessons. Today, I didn't teach my first one due to an overwhelming feeling of sickness that came over me around starting time. Jenny and Beth were kind enough to teach it for me.
Yeah, I'm still sick. Yes, I'm taking medication. Yes, I'm even planning to see a doctor tomorrow (something I haven't done since I was about 9).
I have been making slight progess day by day, but Montezuma's revenge hits hard and recovers slowly. So, please keep me in your prayers! Love you and miss you all!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Ewww sickness!

Well, today was my first official day of being sick.

Yup, my body finally gave in after my long day yesterday. No, this is no mission horror story of projectiling liquids from both ends. Just that feeling of hyper-sensitivity from every nerve ending, a splitting headache and absolutely no energy.
So what am I doing posting you all ask? I'm really wondering who won my school's student council election. Nobody has yet e-mailed me with the results. So, if you read this, and know what is going on, please e-mail me, or post a comment and let me know. This suspense is killing me!

So, please pray for me to get better. I'm feeling a lot better after spending nearly the whole day in bed, alternately watching movies, reading and sleeping. But, still not at 100%. And this is my day off. I need to be functioning decently by tomorrow morning to go to church, and really need to be full strength for Monday when classes come back on.
Pray for Opal too, as she is sick too.

I still can't wait for the Vanguard team to get here. It'll be great to see them.
Sorry this is so disjointed, my head is not really making sense, and transmitting my thoughts to my fingers is even harder.

Love you all!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Wow am I ever tired!

It's only 10, but it feels like 1 am.
I went running this morning rather reluctantly. I find that while I'm sticking very closely to my Thai workout regime, it's not helping a whole lot in terms of physique. Must be the incredible amounts of food that I eat during the day offsetting that... nope, not worth changing!
Then I made "moo ping" or bbq pork with Namwaan and Opal for lunch. It was easy and tasty. And, when combined with sticky rice, quite filling too.
The day went on and on and on! Classes were slow, and then we had Friday Night Party, where I was MC and expended the last of my energy. I was about to drag myself onto my bike for the ride home (downhill slightly, bless the Lord) when some students asked me to come out to eat. Yup, I'll come. Then they asked me to go for Karaoke, but I decided my poor wasted head would not make it through that. So I came here instead to write to all you fine folks!
I've had some really great conversations tonight. I talked to a girl named PoBow about what she thought about God. She, like so many others, said "I really like Jesus. He's great. I want to be a Christian. But my parents are Buddhist, and they would be very mad". What do you say to that? I usually just talk about following Jesus as a personal choice, and let them know that I respect any choice they make. But in the end, it's up to them.

Rod is not dead under my fridge. I checked, and he's gone. If anyone missed that post, Rod is the gecko that was living in my room. He left me. Which I suppose is good, because he would have died if he had stayed. There was however a rat seen in the basement in the Centre. I didn't suggest we name it and leave food out for it though. Beth and Jenny were so scared they refused to go down there and kept the door religiously closed for a week, and would scream warnings to anyone else going down. They would have killed me if I suggested we did anything but kill it, trap it, or otherwise dispose of its presence. Poor little guy. He didn't do anything to deserve that kind of treatment.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Vanguard team is coming!

It's now March, and I'm getting quite excited that the Vanguard team is coming to town! I hope to join them for a weekend (especially if I can have some more of that wonderful "gung den" or jumping shrimp...), and hopefully they will be able to come out and see me too! See where I work, what I do, etc.

I've now reached the half way point in my internship. It seems wild to think that I'm half done. I still feel like I've only just got here.
I've been trying to think of how to answer the people who get back who will (undoubtedly) ask "How was it?" The first answer is that "It's just like life here (in Canada), except it's over there". It's funny how life just... goes on... I mean, I surrounded by beautiful mountains, I eat different food, my only friends are my coworkers, and I miss my parents, but other than everything being different... it's the same. I'm still the same me that I am everywhere else. God is still the same God he is everywhere else. And the books available to me here are many of the same available in Canada. (I think I'm working on book #9, most of them being on leadership or spiritual development)
Sometimes, my Canadian life, driving around in my big red truck and rushing from place to place in the snow seems life the surreal life, where as biking around this tropical country, speaking Thai and buying grilled pork and sticky rice seems absolutely normal. Then I usually just mentally pat myself on the head and say "there, there... it hasn't really sunk in that you are in Thailand, the Siam of old, has it?"
I'm really not sure.

Other than that, I seem to have lost Rod. I think he's either found his way out, left me for another girl, or he's dead under the fridge. I'm planning to check out that third option tonight. That would be sad, I left water out for him and everything. It was like having a friend.

Prayer requests: Please pray for clarity in my communication with the students. Some times it is difficult for us to communicate effectively.
Pray for the students as they are all taking their final exams right now and are stressed out of their minds.
Please also pray for health. Nearly everyone has gotten sick in one way or another in the past week, and Opal is really sick too.
Pray for the last preparations of the Vanguard team and their safety as they travel here.