Saturday, October 24, 2009

Koh Chang Alphabet

Amazing scenery
Bad Mexican food
Chatty, crying, and content children
Deep friend bananas with ice cream
Elephant trekking
Food, fun, friends, fellowship, football
Gulf of Thailand
Heated football disputes on the beach between the men folk
Indian food
Jack and Jana’s near miss motorbike accident
Kids playing on the beach
Lively laughter
Motorbike gang adventures
Nice game of cribbage (Stacy & Karly vs. George & Mike)
Opportunity to relax
Poolside conversations while picture taking
Quiet, restful nights in a gigantic bed
Roti with bananas and chocolate
Swings and seafood along the beach
Twilight & A Tale of Two Cities (books we read)
Unbelievable sunsets
Vivid colors
Waterfall nĂºmero uno and dos
X-ceptionally wonderful weather
Yucky “steak” from the Italian restaurant (Jack)
Zippy motorbikes

Now without further ado... lovely pics from the trip. Though, if we are friends on facebook, I would recommend checking out the pics there, as I have posted many more in a photo album. As always, you can click directly on the two picture collages to see a larger image.

Needless to say, we had a ridiculously fantastic time. We were grateful for a restful week to regain our sanity strength, catch up on work, relax, and prepare ourselves for the next month and a half before Christmas break. It was so wonderful to spend some time with some great families and get to know them better. I'm already missing the beach, but am looking forward to going back to the routine of school and seeing my students again on Monday. :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Birthday Haiku

First Bangkok Birthday
Had a great time with my friends
Ate way too much food

My birthday was great! School was canceled due to flooding, so I even got to sleep in on my birthday! Granted, I only slept in until 7, but who can complain about 40 minutes of extra sleep!? I had a lazy morning doing a little bit of school work, and then went to go watch a movie and eat Tony Roma's ribs with Diana. Holly and I went to go get a massage mid-afternoon, and then a gang of us went out to eat at Sizzler. It was great. Thank you friends for making my 27th birthday special! Here are some pictures from the evening. :)

Holly and me trying to be "extra Asian"

Helen, me, & Kristi W.

Kim, Diana, Joy

The gang at dinner: Jonny, Mike, Joanna, Holly, Kim, Diana, Joy, Karly, Helen, Kristi W., Kristi S., Catherine, Chiara, Heidi, Brad

Karly & Kim

Jonny & Mike

Chiara & Heidi

Kristi S. & Catherine

Joanna & Holly

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Snow day??

So I just received this picture in my e-mail inbox from my mother-in-law. Crazy... the earliest snowfall in MN in 20+ years, and early it was, making its nasty appearance on Oct 10!

Well, needless to say, we don't have snow days here in Thailand, but we do in fact have rain/flood days, like tomorrow! It rained like a banshee today for several hours, which is really unusual (despite it being the rainy season), but we're experiencing the side effects of the hurricanes in other parts of Asia, the recent full moon that is affecting the tides, and complete saturation from previous rainy days.

We left for school this morning around 6:50 and it was already starting to sprinkle, which then turned into a downpour for the next 5+ hours. It was crazy. The soccer field is completed flooded... it looks more like a lake than a field, parts of the school ceiling on the 4th floor were actually falling down, and the streets at certain points during the day had 2+ feet of standing water.

Traffic was slow today, as you can probably imagine from the next series of photos. So they decided to cancel school tomorrow with the pending rain predictions for tonight in order to prevent a nightmare for some students, parents and teachers (some travel over 1 hour to get to school when the traffic is pretty good), and small and unproductive classes tomorrow for teachers. Apparently, this is the worst flooding that Bangkok has had in the last 20 years.

Check out the dude's mo-ped wake in the second to the last picture. And then I love how in the last picture, he turns around as if to say, "Am I really making a wake? Sweet, I am!!"

Anyway, I am actually quite thankful for the flood day that we have tomorrow, as I will have the opportunity to get farther ahead in my lesson planning so that I really don't have to think about school over October break when I'm at the beach for 6 days! I'm looking forward to the much needed rest. But in the meantime, pray for no more rain!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

God of This City

One of my new favorite songs is called God of This City. It was written by an Irish band called Bluetree, but has also been sung by Chris Tomlin on his Hello Love CD.

This song hits close to home for me in that it was divinely inspired when the Bluetree was on a mission trip to Pattaya, Thailand. Pattaya is well known for prostitution and sex change operations... needless to say, it's a dark, dark city. The owner of a bar/brothel wanted the band to sing at his bar to attract customers-- so they did. They sang worship songs for two hours, and this song came to be.

It is so comforting to know that God IS the God of not only this city, but every city. But it's even more comforting to know that God is at work: He is changing lives, opening eyes, softening hearts, drawing people to Him, and stirring their affections for Him... but greater things are still to come and be done as He continues to work, bless, and reign over all of His creation for His glory and purpose.

I think of my students and how so many of them are not Christians, and this song and His word give me hope. For if God's work here on earth is not done quite yet, then He is still moving and working to draw my students to Him... and maybe one day in heaven, my students and I will be rejoicing together in the gift of salvation. Until then, I will keep praying for them, reaching out to them, trying to set an example for them, and trusting that God IS the God of this city and that He is mightily working in Bangkok.