Since my last post, things have gone well here in Thailand. First we had a little break from the long two weeks in the village. Dan and I drove up with Weetun and Wirasak to visit two youth hostels for children to live in while they are in school. The first we visited was smaller, maybe about 30 children. We had dinner together there into the evening. Dan and I didn’t realize until near the end that this Christian youth hostel was run by Wirasak and his wife. He said he started it to “show kids about God’s love.” We left from there with Weetun to a larger Christian youth hostel of about 80 children and spent the night there. That evening we joined them for worship and gave our greetings to them through Weetun’s translation skills. They were mostly Lahu children who were sent there by parents who live in remote areas and villages so they can go to school every day. You should also know, they have beautiful little voices! This hostel had help from ITDP for their agriculture project, which we had a tour of the next morning. That same day I had my phone interview for my TESOL school and was accepted into the program.This little adventure was about two days.
When we got back to Chiang Mai, we wasted little time in going out again. Dan, Adrienne, and myself came with Peyut, the ITDP staff member, to a new region ITDP is working in – Mae Long Thai. There are several villages in this area. The drive was long – the dirt road to the villages was well over three hours long, steep, and we drove it at night! We stayed in the home of the pastor of the church in the village of Kotah for five nights and helped with data-gathering surveys of families and photographs. We had good time with villagers sitting in his hut in the mornings and evenings. A highlight was Sunday, when we attended their church service and youth service, gave our greetings and answered questions through Peyut’s translation. Dan also gave an excellent sermon from Psalm 73. I was sick on Monday, but it was good for me to sit back at the hut for the day to pray and spend time with the Lord.
When we returned to Chiang Mai in late in the evening on June 8th, and I spent the next several days in Chiang Mai. Dan, Adrienne, and Cynthia flew to America on June 10th, leaving Britanni, Hannah, and myself still in Thailand. We spent time at the office trying to figure things out (at least I was) for a day, then had a weekend to relax a little bit and do things in Chiang Mai. I found out I don’t swim very well, and the girls like to shop a lot. Good times!
Monday the three of us left with other ITDP staff, Tawinsak and Jet, to Ma Oh Jo (where the team did work projects in May) to spend over a week there. Hannah taught English to students at the school from grades Kindergarten to fourth grade. Britanni talked to the villagers about the handicrafts co-op, gathered information and took photos of items the women – and a elderly villager named “Clay” – made. I did random things, like help with Weetun, Boonshu, and Suriyon on Agriculture testing, take video footage, and gather information for the Garden project (a project to give villagers, especially those who have volunteered their time on the building projects, supplies to start good-quality gardens). It was not as intense of work as when the May team was here, and we had some good relational times with each other, the teachers, and villagers.
Now, the 24rd of June, I’m at the guest house recovering from stomach ailment. I worked at the ITDP office yesterday and spent the evening losing lunch and sleeping. I am feeling better today though and trying to work on random things from here. Anyway, thank you all for your prayers and I will write more as soon as I can…