Saturday, July 31, 2010

Worlds collide

When we were home this summer there were a couple of things that really took us by surprise:

1. Obesity
2. Price of food
3. Portion sizes of food (refer back to #1 now)
4. Green grass and trees everywhere (we were finally out of the pavement jungle)
5. Fresh(er) air, particularly in the BWCA
6. Cost of gas
7. Driving on the right side of the road
8. Drinking water from the tap & not having to have a water bottle in the bathroom to use for our toothbrushes & rinse water (I can't tell you how many times I looked around for a water bottle in the bathroom)
9. Actually having to drive everywhere instead of being "chauffeured around" by a taxi
10. People's names weren't objects, places, or movie characters ie) Pop, Top, Ice, Jar-jar Binx, Sand, Land, Guitar, Candy, etc.
11. Lack of humidity, despite many Minnesotans complaining about how hot/humid it was (as I was wearing jeans and long sleeved shirt... it's all relative)
12. Name-person confusion... read the following phone conversation:

Me: Hello?
Friend: Hey, this is James
Me: James? (thinking: James, the MS computer teacher in Thailand??) Uhm... how'd you get this number??!? (we had just recently bought a temporary phone)
Friend: From Eric
Me: Uhm, ok. Wait, James who?
Friend: James K. Is Mike there? We want him to play softball on Sunday.
Me: Ooooooooooooh! Softball MN James!
Friend: Uhm... yes.
Me: Yeah, hold on, here's Mike.

13. The 80's apparently being back in... stretch pants, side ponies and all.
14. Bathtubs... not that I took a bath or anything, but it was nice not to have water go ALL OVER the bathroom floor and then have to squeegee it down the drain
15. No one thinking that I'm Thai and never getting some foreign language menu handed to me.
16. People putting the emphasis on the same syllable as me. For example, I would say "tower" with the natural emphasis on TOWer. Thais, however, would say, toWERRRR (and really draw out the "ER" part.

Friday, July 30, 2010

How to make a Thai person laugh...

1. Looking Thai but not actually being Thai
2. Looking Thai, trying to speak Thai, but thoroughly botching up the Thai
3. Looking Thai but perfecting saying "I am not Thai. I do not speak Thai" in Thai
4. Looking Thai, not being Thai, and being a Spanish teacher
5. Making faces when Tong Soo, the fruit dude, gives us pieces of fruit we've never had before... only to realize how sour they are.
6. Stomping on a cockroaches outside our apartment tower
7. Paying for 16 baht worth of water in 1 baht coins
8. Pretending to force open an elevator door from the inside as it opens, not realizing that there are people on the other side of the elevator waiting to get on

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Saturday, July 24, 2010

3 things...

... that make us laugh about Grandpa John:

1. He dominated at cribbage, but tried to cheat all the time by throwing in extra points or points that don't even exist in cribbage rules. We always had to double check his hand... sneaky fellow. ;)

2. When we would say goodbye, he would kiss you smack on the lips if you didn't dart out of the way and turn your head at the last second.

3. The last time we saw him, he had [accidentally] shaved off half of his mustache without knowing it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Grandpa John

Rest in peace, Grandpa John. We'll miss you.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Born in the USA

Well... I wasn't born in the USA, but it's been home to both of us for 25+ years. So back to the USA it was for a month long visit this summer. Here's a re-cap of what we did during our visit:
** Sorry if we neglected to take a picture of you while we were home...

Tempted small children with our hamburgers

Graciously accepted rock donations

Hung out with some wonderful SGF people

Said goodbye to the Thompson Family (they're moving out of state)

Held small babies

Booped small babies on the nose

Went to a few baseball games at Target Field, the new outdoor Twins stadium

Went fishing, canoeing and camping in the BWCA with my dad for a week

Had lunch at Cafe Latte with family & friends

Caught up with some TLO friends

Saw movies

Visited Pete & Sarah in Colorado (and sucked in as much fresh air and cooler weather as possible)

Went to a Rockies baseball game (which was the longest [time-wise, not inning-wise] in Rockies history and went to 15 innings)

Ate at Chick-fil-A (an unexpected, yet delectable surprise)

Met new family members

Visited Grandma

Had good times with awesome friends

Helped Ian with his fashion sense

Bought awesome, awesome burp rags for the plethora of babies being born at ICS. They were made by Dana, a friend from MHS

Played games
Ate at many different restaurants we had missed
Stamped/made a lot of cards
Played volleyball, basketball and softball
Went shopping and loaded up on things that we can't get or are too expensive to get in Bangkok
Enjoyed worshiping at SGF

It was a crazy month where we literally ran from one thing to the next most days, but it was good to be be back to catch up with family and friends that we hadn't seen for a year. We were blessed to be able to see so many people. Please forgive us if we didn't have the opportunity to see you... we would have loved to see you all, but we were limited on time.

I prayed for three things for myself during our time stateside: 1) That I would have good conversations and times with people 2) That I would feel refreshed (despite the busyness) and be ready to dive into school week upon return and 3) That I would not become overly attached to things or people, thus making it hard for me to want to go back to Bangkok joyfully. God was gracious to me in our time and home and all three prayer requests were answered. However, I was most blown away by how He answered prayer request #3: He confirmed and affirmed time and time again that Bangkok is where we are supposed to be. Places I missed and wanted to eat at didn't taste as good as I had remembered... people encouraged and affirmed us in our ministry... we were reminded time and time again about how technology (skype, blogs, e-mail, FB, chats, etc) makes it so easy to stay in touch...and MN didn't quite feel like home in a certain sense either.

Anyway, all this to say that we're back in Bangkok now, have moved into our new apartment (and are loving it), and are getting geared up and excited about the new school year. Thank you for supporting us in this ministry, for praying for us, for sending us encouraging packages/letters/e-mails/FB & blog messages, for spending time with us while we were stateside, and for being a part of our life. We are grateful for you.