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.


At 6:42 PM, Blogger meagan said...

thanks for the update Beth. That's quite a weekend. I love the part about Rachelle...she is wonderful!!


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