Monday, December 04, 2006

soo tired...set to paint....

I am soo tired.....and I have alot of set to paint. I need some motivation... ahhh...if you read this please pray for me. Pray that I'll get alot of help. I've just been extra tired lately. Need better discipline to get to bed and too we had play practices Saturday, all day and on Sunday after church. Got some painting done that day!

The play is calle "The Christmas Carol." I'm Mrs. Fezziwig, I have one line! to ya all later. I'm all adjusted since Thailand...I have missed the kids a number of times.

Merry Christmas! Ya'll!

p.s. I'm turning 25 on Jan. 26! Isn't that crazy! I like that age already. Sounds grown up!;)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

What do People Think of Your Face

***You Are a Newborn Soul***

You are tolerant, accepting, and willing to give anyone a chance.
On the flip side, you're easy to read and easily influenced by others.
You have a fresh perspective on life, and you can be very creative.
Noconformist and nontraditional, you've never met anyone who's like you.

Inventive and artistic, you like to be a trendsetter.
You have an upbeat spirit and you like almost everything.
You make friends easily and often have long standing friendships.
Implusive and trusting, you fall in love a little too easily.

Souls you are most compatible with: Bright Star Soul and Dreaming Soul

***You Are Lilac***

You are a very innocent and pure person. Ethics matter to you.
Your friends consider you a great listener, and you often play therapist to your friends.
You are good at drawing out truths in conversation, however painful they may be.
Non judgmental and patient - people feel like they can tell you anything!

What Color Purple Are You?

***Your Personality Is***

Idealist (NF)

You are a passionate, caring, and unique person.
You are good at expressing yourself and sharing your ideals.

You are the most compassionate of all types and connect with others easily.
Your heart tends to rule you. You can't make decisions without considering feelings.

You seek out other empathetic people to befriend.
Truth and authenticity matters in your friendships.

In love, you give everything you have to relationships. You fall in love easily.

At work, you crave personal expression and meaning in your career.

With others, you communicate well. You can spend all night talking with someone.

As far as your looks go, you've likely taken the time to develop your own personal style.

On weekends, you like to be with others. Charity work is also a favorite pastime of yours.

The Three Question Personality Test

What Kind of Soul Are You?

***The Keys to Your Heart***

You are attracted to those who are unbridled, untrammeled, and free.

In love, you feel the most alive when your lover is creative and never lets you feel bored.

You'd like to your lover to think you are optimistic and happy.

You would be forced to break up with someone who was insecure and in constant need of reassurance.

Your ideal relationship is open. Both of you can talk about everything... no secrets.

Your risk of cheating is zero. You care about society and morality. You would never break a commitment.

You think of marriage as something precious. You'll treasure marriage and treat it as sacred.

In this moment, you think of love as something you thirst for. You'll do anything for love, but you won't fall for it easily.

What Are The Keys To Your Heart?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Life is Good...

Wow! I haven't posted for awhile. I'm in the swing of things...Life is pretty normal:) I do miss the kids sometimes...I'll get a pang and miss Thailand. Like the other day I was at the Jr. High and was looking at Art Work hung up on a bulletin board and missed Thailand. Or I'll talk about one of the kids and get a little emotional...They are an emoti0nal thing for me:) This is kinda hard to express...I hope you understand.:)

I've been subbing. Tomorrow I believe I sub for a Graphic Art/Photography teacher. I have also been going to an Acrylic/Oil painting class. I'm painting "Sunset in Venice" it's either by Van Goph(how do you spell his name?!) or Monet. It's kinda scary but it's evolving...someone already offered to buy it from me...and I'm only on Day 2 with it...not sure if she was totally serious...she was like "how much do you want for the painting..." she's in my class.

Right now I'm "dog-sitting." Taking care of my friend Angela's dog. Shelby, Angela's doggy, is very old. She is blind and deaf...but really cute. Shelby is a golden retriever I think...but rather a small'd probably call her medium sized for a dog.

Right now I'm an another friend's house, Brianna and we're gonna talk more about our churches Christmas play. She wants me to be incharge of the set design...kinda scary and big! But we can do it. I'll be getting alot of help! And Brianna will know what she wants in alot of ways. Brianna is also going to write the play. It's "The Christmas Carol" but adapted...if you're in the area when we put it on you should come out! It's gonna be awesome! So I have Shelby here with me an she's sleepin' next to the fire...Shelby is rather lazy, she is an "old girl."

Well I'm gonna get goin'...Briana put her kids to bed and we'll be able to discuss more. I have a wide range of friends...from age 14 to fully grown ladies with kids:) I like people:) and they like me!

Right now life is good:) And I've been busy lately so that helps to make me happy:)

Monday, October 30, 2006

one step at a time...

I've been home almost exactly 2 weeks. I haven't done much these last two weeks. I took them off! For awhile I had bad jet lag...a coupla times I'd wake up tired after getting a nice amount of sleep, than a number of evenings I'd be really tired at like 6/7/8...weird... I think I'm over or at least mostly over jet lag.

My plan at this point is to start substitute teaching again, hmmm....
I have a job on Wed. and Fri. Friday I'll be an Art teacher at the "Rhino" school. That's the school's mascot. The ages there are kindergarten to 5th...and the lunches are really wimpy...anyways. I'm looking forward to that:) teaching Art...last time I taught Art I was teaching it at the Refugee camp.

My dream/goal is to study Art/Art Education in college...Where and when and how I don't know:)

I'm probably going to pick up an Oil painting class that happens on Wednesdays! That will be fun! I've never had any training in oil painting cept when I painted a pic and my grandma sat through the whole thing and she'd coach me along. It came out better cause she was there:)

Sometime this week I want to take the Art work the kids did to CFI. Some of the stuff they did was excellent!

I was hit by emotion last night when I was thinking about people I left back in I had Nat King Cole goin' in the back ground.... it was rough...

This weekend I helped my youth leader and her family move. And so did ALOT of people. Before I left she and some of us prayed that they'd be able to move to B___ (not my town)...before I left when we prayed, it was like it was impossible. When I came back I heard there was a house they were looking at...and then they moved...Guess it wasn't impossible huh:)

It's a sweet house. About 150 years old, a log cabin...there daughter prayed since she was 2 that God would give them a house with a fireplace...they got one... at the house they'll be able to have a dog too. They have ALOT of land! It's such a beautiful area. They are renting, but they were renting before and now they are only like 4 mins. from church instead of 30mins. BIG answer to prayer for their family. Yeah!

Marie's movie reviews:

An Affair to Remember-Don't be mislead by the title, there's nothing adulterous about it:) It's about 2 people engaged to other people and they fall in love with each other instead, oops. It's one of those good wholesome love stories... if you're the right person it will be a tear jerker or a lump in the throat maker:) It's an oldie with Cary Grant in it. I think I can say I'd recommend it:)

A Night with the King-Queen Esther's story brought to the BIG screen. We went and saw it...and enjoyed it. The costumes are beautiful... influenced by India. If's fun cause it's a story about a girl close to my age from a "normal" everyday back ground that is chosen and fallen for by a king. It's a sweet story...and they also talk about God in it. She is a Jewish girl and her upbringing comes out in who she is...a good story:) I'd recommend it.

It's kinda weird cause 2 weeks ago I was in Tropical weather now we're in Autumn...and sometimes it's COLD out there and cold in HERE!

If you want to pray for me pray that I'll have more of a spiritual perspective while subbing... that I can make a difference in some of these kids lives...that I'm not just killing time but I can be an influence...that there is a spiritual dimension to every body and to every job I have...even though I may not love it or like them:)

And pray that I will follow my dream, my goal to study Art/Art Education...and that I'll be guided however God wants to guide me...maybe I won't study Art the way I think I step at a time right?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Back to normal?

I wrote this Oct. 18...enjoy

ahhh, feel kinda yucky. I'm back from Thailand. Got home Monday...had to think about which day I came in a bit. Went to bed Monday night late, 3ish maybe and slept in till 7 the next day. Well 7 pm, without hardly waking up! When I woke up I thought it was morning! For real. Went to bed last night like close to 5 am. Got up when it was still day today like 1:30...I'm improving with my sleep cycle.

It's weird being back. Thailand was my life for 3 months. Those students at the school were my life. It was hard to say goodbye to them. I've cried a number of times since....

Now it's like what's next. It's weird being back in American culture. I came home and the house felt small and it was like we have so many things. The school I was at had like 12 foot ceilings and there wasn't tons of extra stuff there.

The students were like refugees...they don't own alot. I also went to one of the Refugee camps 3 times. They live in bamboo huts. There's almost no furniture, well ok maybe one chair or one table in the differnt families homes. Makes me think, "What is important?" Haven't figured it out yet.

Hmmm....kinda confusing. I felt really good over there alot. Some of the best time of my life. But there were times where it was really hard. Moreso at the beginning. Alot of americans came through which was a huge help and blessing. Otherwise I was the only English as a first (and only language) person at the school.

The school was surrounded by Rice paddies on the edge of Thailand about one mile from Burma. The kids are from the Karen and Karenni nations. They are people that the Burmese milatary has been fighting since WWII. It's an internal civil war that tons of people don't know about. I think alot of the fighting, killing raping, razing of villages happens more in the jungles, away from cities.

Some of the kids lost parents because of this war. A coupla sisters, Moo Nay Paw and P'zaw Paw's parents were killed by the Burmese Milatary. Moo Nay Paw and P'zaw Paw or Andrew and Joy are beautiful young woman. Ahhh, they make me smile as I think of them.

so I have to figure things out to an extent...where do I fit into this life. I want to make my life count and not just stay in one place treading water.

I am dealing with jet lag, new culture, new weather. Thailand is like a tropical climate.... 3 months of humidity and heat...thins the blood. I was shivering at the Ca. airport from the AC. I was COLD....

I like to write alot. I also keep a journal. I have many journals...even one filled up Thailand journal and another that I started over there, volume II.

My brother just called from Tx. He told me to take a walk. He said inactivity weakens the spirit...ok...hmmm....I agree with him I would benefit from a walk:)....

oh I am sluggish today.....adjusting......pray for my adjusting to "normal life." I wonder if eventually I'll just fall back into normalancy...I want to be changed..... I think deep inside I'll have changes.

I do love 31 kids in Thailand. They may not belong to any country but they have a place, in my heart.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

"It's time to say good bye."

This is my last post in Thailand:(... I fly out tomorrow morning, Oct. 13th at like 6:45 am. My flight is 25:07. Twenty-five hours and seven mins. Yikes! I have a lay over in Japan and one in Ca. I leave Thailand on Monday and get to the US on MOnday. I loose a day going back.

Right now I'm at the Dynasty hotel in Bangkok. Day-Day came with me cause I'm bringing with me a BIG bag and a big box for the org. back home. The big bag is very BIG. The height hits a little below my waist. So Day Day needed to be here to help me with that:)

I said good bye to the kids on Friday. It was very hard. Andrew said it's so hard to say good bye because we are made for eternity. Like we were made for relationship and for them to last forever.

It was weird cause some of the kids I'm closet to I didn't cry saying bye to but some I wasn't so close to I did...

When I was saying goodbye to Joy my head was right next to her head my ear right next to heres...she started singing, "It's time to say goodbye...." which made me cry, but it was very special.... It was like she the youth was comforting me the "grown up." It was very special...I know I said that already, but it was. I love her so much. I gave alot of love to these kids but they also gave me alot too.

When were were taking the truck-bus back to Mae Sot after saying good bye.... I cried many times.... While I was sitting there quietly it'd hit me or I'd remember something about one of the children and start to cry. No one could hear me...but if they looked at my face they'd see tears falling down it....It's like a grieving a cutting off to say goodbye. Some of the students asked me if I'm coming back next year.... I just don't know.

My dream would be to study art in college and go back and teach what I learned maybe.... but maybe this was a once in my lifetime season. Someday, some years down the road I'd like to see them again. See them more grown up.

I asked them to write me a letter with a beautiful picture, if they wanted to. I told them I wouldn't read it until I was on the plane or in my country. I might just read them when I'm on the plane. Yeah that might make me cry again...

This time here was some of the best time of my life. I was made for it...for this experience for these relationships. To teach, to impart to these wonderful and beautiful children.

When I said bye to Timothy he said, "bless you" it made us americans laugh, cause in a short video the kids made he was a king with many daughters. At the beginning he blesses each of his daughters and says, "bless you" as he lays his hand on their head. By the way his nick name is now "King."

It's kinda sad cause after I left Mae La camp,I remembered like 3 or 4 kids I didn't say good bye to. hmmm...

I had a chance to spend alot of time with Mindy. A volunteer my age who has taught at hte school for a year. She came back this last week. It was good to "debrief" with her. She speaks english, she's an american! So it was good to "compare notes" and talk about my experiences. She was good cause I did most of the talking.

I realize when I come back to the US, most people there won't fully comprehend my experiences. I believe I'll be doing alot of talking about my time and the kids. I hope I don't bore or annoy any one. :)

They, the 31 Karen and Karenni students, were my life for the last 3 months. I went to the school to teach Art and completed my task. They also became part of my world...they stole pieces of my heart. Part of my heart will be left here....

This experience has been unlike anything I've ever experienced.

I'll write more later.... need to get off. We're getting up I think at like 3:30 am....yikes. If you read this as I'm en route pray for my protection and that I'll sit next to a christian... any one that I need to sit by... that I'll sit by the right people.

Wow! I'm coming home. I feel like crying.... "It's time to say good bye."

Good bye my babies. I love you so much. Ya En Na (I love you in Karen.) Bye...

Saturday, September 30, 2006

School is almost over...

Sawadee Ka! From the sunny land of Thailand! It's Saturday morning. I had to go into Burma via Friendship Bridge to get my visa stamped, I believe it's the last time. So it's legal for me to be in Thailand, phew! I than walk back across the bridge and a Thai authority stamps it.

Today is a very sunny day. I put alot of sun block on before riding to Friedship bridge on the little motorcycle. There was a very nice Burmese man who walked with me as I crossed to Burma and as I came back. His name was Win. I'd guess he's in his thirties. Probably my height too. THere was a moment where he wanted to give me his umbrella and he reminded me of Tomnas in Narnia... the fawn guy with the umbrella...Win used his umbrella to block the sun and he also shared it with me. He has a one year old daughter. He said he's looking for a job. We had some good conversation.

One of the last conversations we had I basically told him God sees what happens in Burma and he will use people like me, even though I am so small to make a difference. Also that many people in the US know about Burma...not just the Karen/Karenni problem but also that Burma is so poor.... I felt like I connected with him somehow... maybe he's hungry for God. He was wicked nice:) I told him I'd been here for the last 3 months teaching Karen and Karenni children and some have had parents killed by the Burmese military. (I was in Thailand when I told him this, the safer side:) and also that I believe there are alot of very good Burmese people like him. The military government just has BIG problems.

Well, Friday was my last official day to teach ART at the school. The kids go back to one of the camps on the 9th or the 11th.... we'll know when it actually happens. They go back for 3 weeks. My plan is to also go to the camp and teach ART at the orphanage. Ben and Andrew will be going in too to follow the kids...they've been doing a documentary on the life of a Karen student. As Americans we won't be able to spend the night at the camp but during the day we can be there.

I've been to this camp only one time. The kids are glad that I'll be teaching ART at the orphanage. I think kids live there sometimes even if they aren't orphans. The students from other camps will stay at this one camp because the distance to the other camps.

My church sent money over to buy the students special sport shoes. So the girls got sneakers and the guys got soccer cleats. They have never had shoes like these shoes. The kids really like them. Thank you Emmaus...and the students Thank you! Awesome gift! Many have already used them! I've taken pictures and will take more! We were able to get shoes for the girls that were less than the budgetted money so we also got flip-flops for all the students, shorts and cheap necklaces for the girls. We got each student 2 or 3 pairs of socks too.

Boy I'm tired. It's been one of those times recently where I've had less energy than usual and too I've been out in the hot driving the when I get back to the school if the kids aren't banging on the drums I think I might take a nap:)

I called my parents today... when I was on the phone with them three of the girls came in at differnt times. I had each talk to my parents. My dad asked each of them to sing a song, and they did! "Amy", Silver Paw, was nervous talking to them. Joy wanted to talk to my mom. I had her talk to my mom one other time and since then she keeps talking about her:) So she got to talk to my mom again. And She wants to talk to her again! One time on the phone cause she didn't know what to say or something she stuck her tongue out. She and Amy were especially cute while they talked to my parents... and Joy got to talk to Adam too. Htee Ku was pretty poised as she chatted with my mom and dad and Adam was listening in:)

I'm here at an internet cafe in Mae Sot. And the two guys running it, like early 20's have their shirts off. What's with the guys in Thailand taking off their shirts! Thanks to all the American Christian guys I know who keep their shirts on;) for real. I appreiciate it:)

Talk to ya later....:)

Also Ebenezer, Hser Wah and Hser Gay, the staff that care and teach the students got new sneakers. They play sports with the kids on the new sports field. Ebenezer is 27, Hser Wah 22, Hser Gay is 21. They like em too:) That's so cool that the kids and staff got some really nice new sneakers!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Safe and Sound...update on the military coup

I am safe and sound. Yes there is a military coup that took place last night in Bangkok, Thailand. The military is in control because they do not like the Prime Minister, Thaksin. The military are "better" than Thaksin. Many Thais do not like the PM, if I'm not mistaken there's been corruption surronding his re-election etc., I think even some dealings with Burma that haven't been very good either. Check him out on the web.

So last night like at 1:20 am I was awakened from my peaceful slumber to my ringing cell phone. I slipped out of bed looked at the number on the phone and thought maybe one of the students parents or something were calling. It was Andrew and Ben's mother. She'd just seen on the news that a military coup had taken over power in Thailand that there were tanks in Bangkok and that Americans would be moved out of the country... boy was that a crazy call to get in the middle of the night... I was disoriented some too....ahhhh!

so I went downstairs and woke the boys up and let Andrew talk to his mother. My heart was pounding and my hands were shaking.... I was scared also scared for the kids... after talking with his mom we prayed... we tried to watch some news but all the stations 'cept the Kings channels have been shut down. I was imagining the worst...

Almost all that she said was true....

There was a military coup that took over the government while Thaksin, the PM was in NY actually at the UN-UN meeting... they had tanks in Bangkok, they the military are supportive of the King, which is good, they don't like Thaksin... it was a non violent take over of power.

I talked to one of the key staff over here this morning. She is a Christian Thai and said that she's been praying for this. That Thaksin would be removed from power. This is a good thing. I am safe over here. I believe the militaries plan is to get someone else as PM and give the control back to the government in Nov. around the elections. The person acting as the PM is a military guy. I believe named to head of state right now is the King. Which sounds good to me.

I even asked her sister if it'd be safe to go to a gas station to get a news paper... she said it was. I"m in town right now checking out the internet getting NEWS! I was like I want news! May try to find a newspaper but I already looked at articles on the web. If you want to know more check out the Washington POst newspaper, the US Embassy in Thailand had an update also about the situation. They are telling americans to keep an eye on the events but they are not telling us to leave.

So today all Thai schools are shut down, our school isn't having "school" but the kids are studying all day. The banks are closed too and alot of shops.

So last night I didn't need to be afraid it's safe over here and it's a pretty good thing actually that happened. I called Tad S__ last night and actually didn't wake him up, he was watching the news. He was not concerned. He is a Christian Pastor working over here. That helped me feel better:)

Just pray that God WILL be in control. That the right thing will happen and no freak thing will happen. Pray for our safety and that the military will give back the control.

I'm safe and sound and my authorities over here aren't concerned. So do not worry.:)

Monday, September 18, 2006


Here's a coupla pics from Ice Cream Day. I mention in the previous post. If you wanna know more read the post under this post:)!!

Americans, Ice Cream and Motorcycles

Sawadee Ka from the beautiful country of Thailand. The top picture was taken of me on Sunday on the porch at the school. You can see the beautiful countryside of Thailand behind me.

The second picture I took today at this very unique and gorgeous outdoor restuarant that I ate at by myself. I had my class this morning cause I thought I might be able to go into town with a coupla americans that are here...but they are going into B___ and there could only be 2 americans...I thought I could go, but I couldn' instead I took the bike to the really cool exotic restaurant, (the food's not great, but the scenery is) and now I'm here in MaeSot doing internet. Yeah for a changup of the schedule:) Some verity is great.

At the resturant most of the tables have a roof over them but there's little waterfalls and all these plants, tropical plants, like orchids and palm trees and palms, and even water, like a lake and there were even 2 big white birds making themselves at home on one of the patios where people could was roosting on a table actually:) that part was "closed off" I think cause of the birds. Since Thailand is soo mild in temperature they can have an "outdoor" restaurant like that. I was like if I ever got married in Thailand this is where I'd want my wedding reception to be (laugh at me now:) was soo cool!

Right now I have the pleasure of serving with 2 young americans over here. They are 2 brothers from North Carolina, Ben 19 and Andrew 24. They are here making a documentary on the life of a Karen Student. Last week they worked with the kids making short little movies.

They had each kid write a fiction story and then they choose or combined stories to make a "movie" and added and subtracted some stuff. One storey was the storey of Sa Ba.

One day Sa Ba was out in the field with his parents working, they are a poor family. Three Burmese soldiers come up to them and attack them while they are taking (that's how the kids refer to eating:) lunch... the mom and dad are murdered and Sa Ba gets away. Sa Ba is very upset, he comes back when the soldiers leave. He looks at his parents and knows that they are dead, he cries.

Then he tries to get some rice off a table at a rich womans house. She runs him off her land. He than sits on the side of the road crying. A nice woman comes along sees him crying and has compassion on him. She gives him food and a new shirt. She takes him home and he becomes her son.

The kids did a good job on the movies... they aren't finished yet but I think will be before too long:)

Someday I hope to get a copy of the documentary. :) and maybe the "movies."

Andrew came here a few years back for a conference held at the school for like 3 days. This time he and his bro are here for like 2 months. I thought they were comeing in Nov. but it's been really nice having people around that speak English as a first language. There are so many words the students understand and so many they don't. Also I will loose the ability to speak English correctly cause I shorten things down and leave out words (I'm exaggerating, but I am choosy what words I speak with cause there is alot they don't understand:), so I can still speak English like normal and get all the practice I need!

So with Ben and Andrew I can use my full vocabulary! and I even understand when they are talking to each other! Yeah!

Andrew had his 24th birthday a few days ago, I think Saturday. In Art class the kids made him Birthday Cards. They actually put more time into them than just my class. They are excellent workers. So at dinner one of the girls brought the cards up, in this huge envelope and he looked at them, before eating actually. He said he'd be keeping these for a while....they were very special. Ben and I bought him this tiny cake that had big candles put on it:) and he got mango for breakfast...he likes mango. It was fun celebrating a birthday in Thailand. Htee Ku (Tea Coo) brought the cake out for him with the candles lit. When I asked her to bring it out and showed it to her waiting in the refrigerator she got excited:) Tad led us in an enthusiastic singing of Happy Birthday!

My coming home time has changed since I last updated. I'll be flying home on October 16th. That is my plan at this point. Boy it will be strange getting back into the swing of things in the US. I've been living in a "Thailand/Karen" bubble for over 2 months now. I've eaten tons of rice, I think this is actually the heallthist (sp?) I've ever eaten in my life. Rice and veggies and greens... every day and eggs too and some pork and chicken, but there aren't really preservatives in alot of what I eat....

Wow not eating rice every day for breakfast and dinner....know what's funny, I went to that resturant today, first I ordered a salad with chicken, wasn't enough protein so I got RICE with chicken. Can't escape the rice:) I like rice, what can I say.

My parents sponsered an Ice Cream day. So I had Day-Day order this home made ice cream from this place. So on Friday she brought this HUGE canister of ice cream. The height of it hits a bit below my waist. It was enought ice cream for at least 100 people. So we had it for lunch...with sticky rice and bread. If you order it from this place it's served with sticky rice and bread. (They would even put bread in the bottom of the ice cream cone and top it off with ice cream...strange....but tasted fine.) Also we had these dried out little fish.... and then a number of the kids had seconds and some had thirds and fourths and fifths, etc.... (not alot at one time...small helpings) but it was amazing HOW MUCH ice cream there was! It was awesome. The flavor of the ice cream was coconut ice cream. The kids don't have ice cream alot. It was fun being a part of that. It was THE Ice Cream day. We had it for lunch on Friday than later after school they had it again, and again and than on Sat. for lunch. Yeah! Extravagant ICE CREAM!

Thanks mom and dad! I asked them how much they liked it. And some kids would put there arms out and even behind them and say "this much." One of the kids wants my parents to send me back next year and more ice cream;) (he was joking, but if that happened he'd be happy.)

Keep praying for God's blessing for the rest of my time here...the kids go back to their camps I think on the 9th. I don't have many more classes with them...

I'm goin' to go into Mae Sot, the town part and do some errands with my trusty little blue motorcycle. Yes Lisa Lou, I'd enjoy giving you a motorcycle ride:)

I actually drove a very short distance with a passanger on it. It totally changes the balance of the bike....don't have a lot of practice with passangers:) I wouldn't mind more practice. Thai people get 1-5 people on one might see 3 adults on one...thai people are smaller too, when I saw 5 people some of them were kids:) Man there have been some American men over here doing missionary stuff and some of them are of the boys had just seen a doc. that volunteered over here a coupla weeks back and he commented on the doc's size. Philip, the boy is a small boy even thought he's like 15/16... and the young american men, Andrew and Ben are very tall too.

Actually I'm taller than almost all the kids:) I'm "tall" in Thailand.

Ok! I'm off to MaeSot soon:) Cheerio!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

I'm in the Lord's Army-YES SIR!

I have basically 3 weeks left, than I'm coming home. Right now looking toward the future it seems like a let down to go back...but I'm ready to be in my own land. Where I know the food, the language, the culture.

I know I'm gonna bawl when I leave these kids. I love them. They will have been my life for 3 months.

Let me tell you a bit about the pics...
The first pic. is at a Karen School that we visited when the group of Americans were here. It's an asian thing to take off your "shoes,
or should I say sandels, before going inside... it's a common sight.

The next one is me, of course holding a gun! He, the short Karen dude, by the way he's a medic, gave me the gun to hold and I was like, "yikes" but it was fun. Boy am I sooo cool;) Riding a "motorcycle" and holding a gun...(snicker).

The kids go back to their camps on Oct. 2nd I believe. I'll be flying home around that time.

Three weeks will fly by...

The weather has been very warm, and humid recently. We haven't had rain for like 4ish days. So at night we've had some awesome Sunsets! Very beautiful. Bright orange and dark orange, pink and purple....behind the school is where it's really beautiful. Actually it's above Burma....there's this huge cloud that's not moving day in and day out that's the central cloud... it's the size of a's cool cause recently I've been painting sunsets with the kids with black silohettes and God's giving us sunsets in the natural.:)

I'm having alot of trouble uploading more pictures...maybe I'll post another blog.

Anyways thanks for praying for me when I was sick. My legs are healing up... Tad anointed me and prayed for healing and also for wisdom, when I was having my unidentified "problems." I believe God directly answered the prayer for wisdom by having one of the CFI staff here say, you need to go to the hospital (to see a doctor). I went and they were like it's "herpes" same thing that Chicken pox and shingles comes from and he put me on meds. like penicillan and it's healing really good.

Just keep praying for health protection while I'm here...and for the kids. It's great cause none of the kids are sick right now. Ever since I was here from the start someone's been sick....there's been no sickness with the kids/staff here for like 3 weeks. YEAH!

I don't feel very blog eloquent right now.:)

I'll probably go into Maesot and do a bit of shopping:) by myself.

Oh yeah I rode the motorcycle all the way here! It took me maybe 40 mins. to get here. Here being the Principles house in Mae Sot. I get out and ride the motorcycle sometimes. It's actually fun. It's a little blue motorcycle. Everyone rides them here. Sometimes you'll see up to 5 people on one! For real! It's the "family car.":)

Pray for my last 3 weeks here. That I'll fully accomplish what God wants me to and that I'll make the most of it and really connect with the kids in some special special ways.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

My first doctor's visit...

I'm in an internet cafe on Sunday. I have a monk in brillant orange sitting on my right and a young man who is at least part Indian on my left.... anyways....

Today I went with 17 of our kids to First Church in MaeSod. They were baptised there so they went today for communion. I haven't had communion forever.... It was actually kinda special to me. Me and God can have it together in my heart.:)

I went to the Hospital on Friday. Basically it's the same as going to the Doctor. I have these welts on my legs and CFI staff here thought I should go. I thought they were from bug bites, even wondered if they were from poison ivy.

It's strange cause it's actually a form of herpes.... (sounds pretty gross huh!) like cold sores on my legs. Some of them are big, like big blisters. I guess my immune system is weak right now and I have an infection. You know sometimes people get cold sores when they have colds or are sick a little, that's what it's like. They don't feel very good. At first they didn't bother me much at all, now they bother me some. I have one big one on my right leg and than a little. On my left leg I have alot of blisters way up on the back of my thigh.... Pray that I'll heal quickly and that I'll stay strong physically.

My doctor's visit and the meds cost me under $20. I went to a private hospital so there actually weren't many people around, like patients at all.

The last 2 days I got over 25 hours of sleep. Trying to get stronger. I'm not very sick just some....

Right now none of the kids are sick, only me:) Someone's been sick the whole time I've been here.

Pray for me to have energy and great ideas for classes this week. Tomorrow I have ESL....

I need to go and get some food. My rides picking me up at the Bai Fern, a nice restuarant that catars to Westerners, at 2:30...I have about 25 mins.

Things are pretty good.... just need emotional and physical energy. Oh yeah a group of 10 American doctors/dentists are coming today. They will check out the kids today, than go to a camp tomorrow and into Burma later.

Just keepin' you updated! Ne la gay!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Snapshots into the life of a "Farang"

I think, I will give you some snapshots of my life here.

Sometimes in the morning I will be awakened by 30ish children singing in the worship room next to my room. They sing at around 5:30 every morning. They sing at least one song.... than I go back to sleep.

Sometimes I help the students with English during the study time. Last night I was helping Htee Ku (Tee Coo) with saying words. She had the hardest time saying, "conscientious." The last syllable was a doozy... "shis"...she kept forgetting the last s... and we kept laughing. It was great. I also taught her the word "doozy" cause this word is a doozy. I love that word,"doozy:)" You haveta say the oo part with a Minnesota accent.:)

At night sometimes I "doctor" the boys. Last night I put ointment on an almost healed wound that Scott had on his foot. I think a soccer wound. And before that I said my good night to the girls.

When I was saying good night one girl, Debbie, told me about a dream she had. She was on the back of a man and they were swimming very fast in the water...he kept her safe. Alot of people were dying around her. Later he became her father. I don't think she recognized this man in her dream.

I almost wonder if that was actually God.... there was a time when she didn't know God, he has kept her safe and now He is her father.

Today and yesterday I worked with one of the girls on her life story. I actually ended up "co-writing" it with her.

It was a sad story. She, Joy, and her sister are orphans. Both of her parents were killed by Burmese soldiers. Her parents, sadly were animist. Joy is now a christian. She is a very special little girl. She actually had polio and was a cripple for a long time. CFI ended up sponsering surgery for her and now she can walk:)

At the end of her story, and I quote her, "God will be my ma and daddy." Special....

I have fun trying to learn Karen from the lady staff. One phrase I have learned, but am still working on the pronunciation is "Na La Gay," which means, Good night. When they were working with me one time, I said, "Na La Key" which basically means , "Good bottom," as in your posterior....they thought that was hilarious:)

These people here at the school, the Karen and Karenni staff and students are very special to me.

Today I did "P.E." with the students. We played Red word these kids are strong. There weren't that many times where people actually broke through! When they said, "Red Rover Red Rover...." the boys were soooo loud....and the students would laugh and squeal as people tried to get through. Some of the girls are squealers when they play games with running. They are so cute!

The girls make me feel good. They are always complimenting me. All Asians over here want to be lighter...they even have "xtra whitening" stuff in their deodarant! Today one of the girls told me as I was working with another student, "You are so cute!" In here own cute girly voice.:)

The other night I was in the guys study room. Htoo Eh Paw wants to learn more English. He is soo expressive and gets excited about things. He's maybe 15. He was the student that was sick when I came here at the beginning.

He wanted to know the word for virbrato. Than, after he learned the meaning, he would act out vibrato as he made his voice "vibrate" by manually making his throat vibrate by jiggling the skin on the front of the neck. (Boy does this feel strange explaining, it'd be easier to SHOW you but I can't) And also some of the other boys would act out the aforementioned word, by also singing sillily.:) These boys are great!

They were also telling me about different things that they eat. I think they eat elephant, mice, rat, snake, dog, some people eat cat... anything basically that they can find, oh yeah people here also eat frogs and eel. Ewww!

Ebenezer, our only guy staff that lives at the school, had some dogs when he was at a camp, or the family did where he stayed and one of the dogs ended up biting. The neighbors, the ones that the dog bothered, asked if they could eat that dog. Ebenezer was upset about this. He didn't give them that dog:) They don't eat their PETS.... well maybe if they had too....

I met a teacher at a boarding school down the road from us in the village. She is Karen, and she is a little petite lady. She is very sweet. Her Karen name means "cold silver." Her title is Pee, which means Grandma:) She whispered to me that she was 79 years old, which was so cute. She has taught at the school and taken care of these Karen kids for 3 years. She is a sweet heart. Alot of her english was excellent, but she didn't speak much:) She is a believer.:)

Well I hope you enjoyed looking at some of my "mental snapshots" with me this evening. Come back again and tune in at this little window into the life of your favorite world traveler! Journey Girl 4 God! (enough of the sap... thanks for listening!)

p.s. Farang means Foreigner!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Marie on a Motorcycle

ThiS has to be really quick. I drove all the way to MAE SOT on the motorcycle today. I was following Tad. YEAH!!!! I'm glad and happy and feel good about it. For me it's like a 30min ish ride. I need to get goin' to go back to the school on the motorcycle... BOy am I cool now!;))

The sick kid is getting better. Love ya'll....keep keepin' in touch.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Big Love

Well I'm here at the principal of the school's house doing e-mail. Ummm....what do I talk about.
Well we have a journalist staying at the school right now who will be doing a/some articles for the org. I'm here with. He's done some traveling around talking to people.

There are 2 of our boys who are sick so pray for them. And pray that none of the other kids will get sick. I have a minor sore throat....

Pray that God's will, will be done for this school. That the right people will be here, that the best will be done for the kids. That this school will lead to what God wants next for the students.

I've been teaching the students Pen and Ink drawing recently. Some are better at it than others. It can get messy too:)

Um, I'm tired and sweaty right now, it's humid here. Sometimes uncomfortably humid. The students adn staff have thinner blood so slight changes in weather can effect them more than it does me. Like some time it was raining and one of the girls put a sweater on, I was still in a short sleeve shirt and something like capris.

I'm thankful for the rain cause it's cooler that way:) But it may be harder for the kids.

One of the things many of the students need is more teaching in ESL.... there is someone coming for the next year who has had training in teaching ESL so I'm glad about that.

I'm getting to know the staff here better. THey let me into their world by gracing me with their English. Karen/Karenni people are touchy people at times. One of the staff, she'll be talking to me and keep touching me on my side.

I don't know if God will lead to any more time here later in the future or not...

I'm planning on coming back sometime at the beginning of OCt to the US.

One sweet thing that happened was one night I gave all the girls, after they were in bed, a kiss, a hug and an I love you (cept for the ones already asleep) know saying Good night to them... and one girl said, that this showed I had Big love for them. That it made her feel encouraged for me to hug and kiss her and tell her I loved her. It made her feel very special. It really blessed me when she told me that. Her telling me I had big love for the kids was humbling.... It's hard to fully convey the meaning of what she said to me. But I have it in my heart.

I was talking to one of the girls that night and she wouldn't get goodnights like I gave from her family. Kinda sad. So I think I'll try to say good night alot, with a hug and a kiss and an I love you....

I've done it like 2 nights already.

I do wonder why I'm here and what good it does. I know loving on the kids is important. Everyone needs love... the ART that I teach them is good, for them to broaden their horizons.

One of the girls ...the big love girl is so hungry for knowledge. She wants me to start teaching her, starting in Genesis. One night I was teaching her stuff that I have learned about the Jewish story. She loved it. I even took notes for her and wrote down some words that she didn't know.

Alot of what I said I believe she understood. She's one of the smartest if not the smartest with English here at the school. I have mentioned her earlier.

The lady staff here... have been introduced to my perfume. They really enjoy it. I have some small vials of free samples I got back in the US, some bath and body works body spray and another small perfume. They got excited about putting some on today. One of the lady staff mentioned being able to smell me ... she could smell the aroma that I left behind, it was a good thing:)

There was a singer coming to the school to teach the kids some songs... I guess the singers are kinda famous, like in Karen/Karenni Burma. The singers are from Rangoon.

If any of you get a chance you should try to come here to THailand to understand the Karen/Karenni people. Many are christians.... in Thialand there are many, many that live in Refugee camps. The do not have their freedom. They are IDPs, Internally Displaced People. Thailand doesn't want them and Burma definately doesn't want them.

They are special people.

I wish I could understand the language so I could understand better what goes on...

Talk to ya later.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Karen Camps

This will be a quickie post. I have to meet up with AMERICANS in 5 mins. A group of americans have been here since THursday, they leave tomorrow:( They were here to see what the Organizations I"m working with is doing in B____ and Thailand.

We went into B_____ the other day. It was fun.... and quite a walk. We ended up riding a long boat across.

Yesterday we went to Mai Lay, a refugee camp the largest in Asia. This camp is where most of our kids come from. It's also where Ebenezer our male staff has lived for 14 years before working at the school for 2.

It's just very differnt how they live! So close together too and they live in huts, it looks like nifty club houses that you'd make for your kid, or kinda like swiss family robinson.... without the furniture...

There were hundreds of houses built on the side of a mountain, surrounded by very lush trees...and we had to walk up the big hill to get to the church service. There was some slippery mud we had to get through...we had like 3 people fall... it's not always easy to walk in. I wore my wonderful rain boots I bought here. They are great for Karen camps!

Pray for me as I get back into the swing of things as the Americans leave and Gods direction and peace as I look toward the future. I don't know how and where GOd is leading through this opportunity.

Gotta run. Thanks for all ya'll's support.

Oh yeah I was glad to see where my kids came from.

Take care:)

Sunday, August 06, 2006

There and Back Again- a girl's tale

Right now I'm in the notorious town of Maesot. Known for drug traffiking, people trafficking... it's gem sellers and it's location so close to Burma. This is the town that I live next to. If I need to go to town this is where I'd go.

The kinda hard thing is that I hardly get into town. It's like 20 mins. from the school. I haven't gotten adept enough yet to drive the motorcycle into Mae Sot yet.

Hmmm, what to write about. I safely arrived back to the school on Wednesday evening.
I took like a 5 hourish bus ride to MaeSot. When I got to Maesot I was dropped off in a wide open alley right in front of the bus station. I was going to picked up at the Bus Station...I wanted to be waiting at a certain spot at the station. But I had 2 big bags and didn't want to drag them over there myself. When I got off the bus there was a guy there with a Rickshaw.... and he wanted to drive me for I thought 2 baht.... so I was in favor of it... but he started packing my stuff into his rick shaw before I gave my definate ok. The seat part ain't too big on the Rick Shaw, he actually hung my back pack off the back of the rickshaw. I felt kinda embarressed, me with my stuff piled high in his baggy... to drive a rickshaw there's like a bicicle attached to the front.

Anyways I thought I had communicated I wanted to go to the bus station which was right near we're so sweetly driving by the bus station...I tap on his back and tell him that's where i want to go. I knew what I was saying he didn't get it....he motioned like he was going to take me around. I thought he'd take me around to a different entrance.... la la la....we go around....but end up at the Green Guest House (that's what it's called.) It definatley wasn't where I wanted to be. So basically I was "kidnapped" by this guy! It wasn't really horrible to be taken there, just kinda frustratingly funny... so the Green Guest House was right behind the Bus Station. But! to get to the bus station I had to cross this not very sturdy man made bridge, that had wired together thin hand rails.... it was narrow, and was made of small logs cut long ways in half and nailed together. The type of bridge you'd see in the jungle possible in the national geographic mag. Anyways my ride comes and we have to carry my BIG bags across this narrow man-made bridge built high above the water. We arrived safely across! It was a memoriable little adventure to finally get back to the school. Goodness! Anything will happen in Thailand!

I finally had Phillip in class, he'd been sick for a long time. COme to find out he's one of the talented ones. Yeah! It's great to find talent. I've had him in Art.

He actually drew a pic for the fun of it of this warrior man and across the top it said something like "I will die for my peoples." I was like WOW! in my mind. I wonder if that's what he wants to be when he grows up, a soldier for his people.

Pray for Ebenezer, our only male staff, he's still sick. Pray against sickness for the kids and staff, one of the girls is working on a cold....

Americans arrive here on Thursday! Yeah! And sometime later some sort of writer will be staying with us for like 3 weeks, ands his first language is English so that will be nice and Jim said he likes to talk!

I don't get internet access don't expect updates everyday:)

Just pray for my day in day out activities. That I'll get enough variety of stuff to do that I don't get bored.... I'm at the school alot. It was really nice of Jim to bring me into town today.

If you ever think of coming here to volunteer try to get another English speaker to come with you. It would really help you.

Tad has had the kids write their life stories out to see what they've been through and what they want to do with what they've learned and if they want to study in the states. I have helped some with editing and it has been reallly interesting to get a bit more of the inside scoop in some of there lives.

I successfully made my first trip into Burma to get my visa stamped. It was very interesting and fun and adverturous.... even though not much happened. I had to walk across this long bridge from Thailand into Myanmar (Burma.) In Burma I had to pay 500 baht for the process and 5 baht for the copy or something. The Burmese men in the office seemed interested in speaking some English with me.

I was Escorted most of the time by a young Burmese man. I think the reason was that he wanted money. I did give him some. To me it wasn't much but to a Burmese I think it was a nice amount. Their economy sucks. Their govenrment is run by a military regime.

One of the beggers I saw probably was a land mine victim. He was sitting on the bridge and I looked down and prayed, "Heavenly Father." because he had a wound that was red because it wasn't healed-he was missing part of his foot.

Walking into Burma and knowing what the governement has down to the people was moving. You just get a burden for the people. It's just not good. There are many people that have been scarred and maimed for life because the military will plant land mines. It also kills it's people!

Man! It's rough. I walked around in Burma for awhile. There was one kid, he told me he was 22, he was beautiful...almond shaped eyes clear complexion, he kept hounding me on his buggy about taking me somewhere. He wanted to get some work transporting get paid. I kept telling him no. And telling him loudly with body language too. I was told not to get any rides any where. I didn't even take my camera in.

Today for breakfast I had rice, we always have rice and this fish in this red sauce. I dumped alot of the red sauce on my rice with the fish... the rice was differnt than what I was used to and in the sauce was all these fish I sat there trying to get most of the fish scales off and didn't get far with that meal, when one of the girls asked me "finished" I was ready to surrender my plate of fish food.

Most of the time I'm ok with the food, even though it is Karen cuisine. But sometimes I don't get far with some of it. I thought I wasn't picky.... I think it's ok that I don't eat everything.

June's been a blessing cause she takes care of me and has fixed me up with some extra food... because lunches often are small....I think soonish that will change though.

Lunch was small this afternoon so I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. In town I'm gonna buy a lassi... like a yougert fruit drink. Very good. After I first had one there would be times I'd think about it.... remember what it tasted like...

So this Thursday the Americans are coming, the kids have done alot of work cleaning to prepare the school for that. They are very good hard workers.

Keep checking never know when I will post:) Sawadee Ka (the Thai greeting, like Shalom is for good morning, evening , that.) Guys would say "Sawadee Kup."

p.s. I have actually read and finished the book the Hobbit for the first time. I actually enjoyed it:)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Yikes the water is everywhere!....

Boy am I tired. It's 11:28 pm Tuesday night. This is Marie reporting live in the crowded city of Chaing Mai...

ok anyways....what did I do today? I spent alot of time at the Central Airport Plaza, this big mall. I watched "The Lady in the Water" movie....for girls I'd say watch was rather interesting. Not as freaky as some of the other M. Night Shalayamain (whatever his name is).

I was able to purchase most of the stuff I had on the list for the kids and staff. Yeah! It will almost be like Christmas when I bring them home all these goodies!

I went to pick up the stuff from the lovely Indian guys, the tailors today. My WORD! I had to drive through a mini river to get there! Their road was flooded. For goodness sakes! They had sand bags lined up in front of their store.... When I got there I had to wade into the water and than find the little boards they had over the gutter so I wouldn't go even deeper in the water.

It was fun...and coming back in a tuk tuk, 3 wheeled thingy it was like being in a motor boat the way the water was splashing up away from the vehicle. CRazy!

Tailors, flooding, and great Massage!

Well this is my last full day in Chaing Mai, by myself being independant! Yesterday I did alot. Traveled around alot.... and I didn't let the city drivers take the better of me as much:) You can ride in a Song Low, Tow Song, Long Sow (whatever they are called!) For 20 baht, about 50 cents.

So I rode those alot yesterday.

God did bless my shopping! I bought alot of clothes for the kids.... one of my best deals was awesome! Bad sentence stucture, haven't eaten this morning, it's almost noon, so my blood sugar's kind low:) anyways I ended up buying alot of shorts from this one vender and told them about the kids and how the kids don't have alot of money, yada yada and they wrote a name down in Thai of a store that sells stuff at wholesale. So I went there and bought alot of boys underware....and a pack of 12 pretty nice t-shirts, for 400 baht, which comes out to about $1 a shirt! That blessed my little heart! The t-shirts are for the boys. There are 2 of the shirts that say "Cheerio!" on them! They are random shirts but colorful and will work good for my boys.

I looked around for a tailor and wasn't liking what I was finding, didn't like the price....didn't like how one guy at a shop treated me.....I ended up taking a long break from tailor hunting and ended up going to this one shop, called Milan. It's run by a couple indians...liked them better! Ha! and I ordered 2 big items. I'll be picking them up today! 24 hour service for tailored clothes, wow! That is awesome.

After I spent alot of time with the Indian brothers (I don't know if they are, but think they might be) I walked across the street to this lovelly tiny little Thai resturant. The host seemed excited to be serving me and another American couple there! He was a sweety...the Thai host.

I got a wanton appetizer a very yummy vanilla milk shake and Chicken Pauta (sp?) was pretty good. I loved the atmoshpere in the little restuarant. There was a high ceiling and warm colored walls and dark wood accents.

Yesterday roads in Chain Mai were in the gutters and certain parts of the road. I went wading through some roads to get from one curb to the other. The water was calf high in some places. Kinda fun but crazy!

Last night I went to the night bazaar...and got a foot/leg massage and a back/head/shoulders/face massage from the same older sweet spirited Thai woman. She's been doing massage for 3 years.

Tomorrow I go back to the school with my goodies for the kids.

I have one purchase I need to make for a girl and am having trouble finding it...pray I can...


Sunday, July 30, 2006

Chaing Mai

Right now I am in Chaing Mai. It's a city. I'll be ordering some things from a Tailor and doin' alot of shopping. I'll be here until Wednesday than I'll be taking a bus back to my Mae Sot.

I rode down with Tad and June on Saturday. It was like a 4 and a half hour trip. I spent the first night at T and J's place and went to an English speaking church yesterday. The pastor was from Australia. So I had a bit of trouble understanding what he was saying...but got most of it.

After church I ended up talking to the son of the guy that owns the guest house T and J are staying at. He's 17 and his name is Marcus. He's half American and half Swedish. And he's homeschooled. He's a really nice guy. When he was a baby his parents smuggled Bibles into Hong Kong. They'd bring in about 6 that he would be sitting on. Wow a "baby bible smuggler." I thought that was pretty neat!

Jim J. and his fam. and some other young people are arriving here on Thurs. Yeah! English speakers! Also I'll be getting my 30 day visa stamped on Thursday. I have to go into another country to get that done.

Haven't eaten breakfast hungry!

I'm staying at a place for 3 nights by myself. And it cost me I think 1,200 baht which is like $32...for 3 nights. Pretty cheap!

Ohh! I went and saw Pirates of the Carribean yesterday! I really enjoyed it. It cost me 120 baht....which is like $3.25 ish... isn't that awesome. Yeaha! Plus I had to pay 70 baht to get there 80 baht to get back, um...and I bought soda, 35 baht, popcorn 45 baht...the whole situation cost me under $10.00.

Going there I rode in a Tuk Tuk. It's this small little buggy...I think maybe with 3 wheels.... on the way back I had my own personal Long Tow...I always forget how to say the 2nd. I'm thinking they may be gettin' more baht out of me than they should be...frown.... But I'm an ignorant american!

I got so many donations from people and I haven't needed to tons of money into Art supplies or anything else so I asked Na-Na, she's one of the cooks there...kinda like a mother to the kids if they needed anything. So I now have a long list of things they need, so sometime I'll be shopping for that. If you think to pray that the money goes far, that I get good deals and find everything I need.

These people do not have much at all. Donations is what keeps the school running I believe.

I have been teaching some of the classes the proportions of the face. A couple of the kids did really well when I had them draw someone in the class. I was thrilled:)

My times running out on this public computar. Talk to ya later:)

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Keeping my Chin up:)

Man! I just lost alot that I had written. Bummer...oh well. Second try.

Yes I am adjusting more and feeling better about being here:) Thank you for all your prayers. There was a time when I distinctly felt that I probably was the recipienct of prayer. Does that make sense. I felt upheld.:) Thank you everyone. Found out alot of people have been praying for me. Yeah!

Ok, I teach everyday,MOnday through Friday, at least that's how the schedule is set up. I teach ESL 2 days a week and Art everyday of the week. ESL is more of a struggle to prepare for. Pray that I'll get good ideas about how to teach it.

The Art classes are going well. There are times that have been frustrating to an extent when the kids stuggle to do what I'm teaching and when they don't understand the English. But because of the classes some of the girls copied pictures from some books. They copiesdrew the pictures just by looking and no tracing. They came out really good. Some of these kids are good little artists! We did some oil pastel sunset/moonset/sunrise pictures. Some also came out very nice.:)

I have had some times with the girls in my room putting make up on em, letting them look at my pictures of my fam and friends taped up. Some have wanted to look at my collection of earrings:)

One of my good friends here is Amy, silver Paw. We click. She is funny and always laughing. Her family life isn't that wonderful. And she is one of the "outsiders" at the school. There are over 20 kids from a certain camp and she's not one of them. So she seems hungry for attention and affection.

One of my buddies is Mark. He's loud and smiles alot. Great kid.

I love these kids.

I wonder what God is doing? And what might happen becuase of this trip, where is it going to lead me...what is GOd doing? Hmmm....

Keep me in your prayers, also pray for one of the boys. His name is Phillip. He's been sick the whole time I"ve been here. He's at a clinic and was there over night. He's been sick like 3 weeks. There has been a sickness going around some of the schools that has lasted like 4 weeks...

I went and visited him at the clinic. He was anointed with some of my has a number of different oils in he was anointed with "oils" and prayed for. God commands us to anoint the sick with oil and to pray for them. It was an act of obedience and faith.

There were many sick people was an open ward. Some of what I saw was heart breaking. One boy that's on my heart was very very thin....I don't know but he may die from his sickness....pray for his soul and if it's God's will that he'll get better. There were some very sick people there.

Ok well I love ya'll and am sticking with it:)

Friday, July 21, 2006

A short blog about Soe Soe and Scott

This is a Caleb sized blog:) Here's the first installment of the weekend. Here's me lookin' happy, cause I am. This is Soe Soe "David" and "Scott." Not sure what Scott's real name is. These 2 guys are really small:) Short but like 13 or 14 I'd guess.

Soe Soe's a sweet heart. He's on the right. I've spent some time with him. Awhile back he got this goudge of skin taken off his foot when he was playing barefooted soccer with the guys, on the pavement (concrete) out front. So a number of times I've doctored him up. Put ointment on it and a bandaid a few times gauze over that. I gave him a pair of socks so he could wear it over the gauze to keep it in place. Poor kid would favor his foot alot.

One time after I was done doctoring him he keep hanging around like he wanted to spend more time with me. I was explainging differnt things in the medicine cabinet to him. Alot of the med. is English med. stuff. And than I told him about a pen and ink pen that we're gonna use sometime in art and I ended up showing it to him. And than he and I sat on the floor in the big worship room upstairs with an index card on a book as a drawing surface and drew together. It was fun:) He's a good little artist.

I drew on my card his name David and Soe Soe, and King with the David all fancy and gave it to him. This week I was in the boys room for a bit and saw that he has it taped to the front of his bed.:) I really like him. And he understands English better than alot of the kids. He definately has alot more to learn though.

Scott doesn't talk to me much. He's shy toward me but he's a sweetheart. He has fuzzy spiky hair and whenever he sees me he smiles. A sweet sincere smile....

I'll write more later. Things are better. BUt it's still not easy easy. Being as I"m the only staff at the school that lives at the school that speaks English as my first and only language.

Shabbat Sholam ya'll.... This weekend I'm at Tad and June's house. We're gonna have us some fun. Going shopping tonight at the night market!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I am here

Yes I have arrived safely to my destination finally. I got to the school Saturday afternoon. It was about a 4 day trip. Crazy! Plus I was in Chiang Mai for quite awhile. In Chiang Mai, a big city, I got a foot massage, up to below my knee and a back massage (which included neck, arms, hands, head, shoulders) and both came to about $5.00. It was nice!:) Yes, part of my trip was in the back of a pick-up truck up and down, in this mountainous area for like 2 hours.

Thailand is very different! And the school is differnt from Thailand because the kids and most of the staff are from the Karen nation... they actually aren't refugees, refugees have status. These people don't even have refugee status they are a displaced people. Burma doesn't want them at all.

There are 31 students at the school. I've already started learning their Karen/Karenni names...and also they have English nicknames which is helpful. Let me give you some of the Karen names, Ku Moo (boy age 15?), Silver Paw, um...Soe Soe (very cute, small 14 year old boy) and there's more.

They treat me as a guest in some ways....which actually makes me feel more isolated. At meals I eat at my own table if Tad and June aren't at the school. Tad and June are a couple from the US, missanaries to this school.

Also at the school we eat Karen food which is differnt than even Thai food. We have rice at the regular meals.

I have taught one day so far. There was a holiday Tues. and today they have big tests. At this point I'll be taking 2 of the 3 ESL classes and teaching art. I just bought some special pens for pen and ink drawing and the ink for about $7.00. It will be enough to start with the kids for now. Cheap:) I just want to get some good paper.

Tad and June took me out today! Yeah! It was fun! I had a hamburger and fries for lunch at a restaurant and a lassi, like a yougert fruit drink. Very good drink.

We walked through a market and stopped at different stores.

Pray for me. It's harder than I thought. I'm lonely cause I'm the only English as a first language speaker at the school. And I think I'm also dealing with Jet Lag. I'm tired right now....

Ok I should get goin' someone else is payin for the connection.

Also pray for my teaching ESL, some I haven't known how to teach them....they really need to work on actually speaking.

Love ya'll....wish differnt ones could pop over for a few mins. just so I could get a hug.

One of my friends at the school is Ebenezer, out of the staff I've talked with him the most...he's Karen, 27 years old. Has a "special friend" at his camp...that he only sees like 2/3 times a year.

The thai and Karen are beautiful people.

Ok bye again! Write me comments please! I read some comments from my last blog and got teary eyed.

I won't be able to get to the internet as much as I thought I'd be able too.

Monday, July 03, 2006

"Sabbath Hike"

Two days left....than I'm outta here!:) (Keep prayin' for me, please:)) "Bye USA, HELLO Thailand!"

We had a family over from Church Friday night and 2 other friends, Jessica and Tara. We watched "8 Below" with a projector outside on a sheet hung on the V-ball net. Which is fun, let me tell you. Also another couple from the church showed up and watched the movie with us. They left after the movie.

Than Saturday Jessica left for work...and the rest of us went on a hike. We have the appalacian trial really close to where we lived. The total hike may have been 2 miles. I don't know. At the end of the hike was this wicked neat waterfall. It's been raining alot recently so it's got some power.

Tara, Adam, my mom and I all climbed down next to the water fall where we could look up and see a big part of the waterfall pounding down. It was really fun exploring the waterfall...climbing around in my barefeet, in the mud, and wading in the water.

Here's some pics from the time:) Come and visit after I get back from Thailand and maybe we could hike it together, whatdya think?;)

Friday, June 30, 2006

Oh boy! Oh Crud! Wow!!!!!! (breath-in breath-out...)

"Oh CRUD!" I just found out my flight from Washington D.C. to Bangkok is....well as the travel itinerarys so sweetly puts it:

Flight duration: 28:50

Oh man! I'll be flying for about 29 hours! Yikes! It will be kinda fun actually:) Wow! Didn't know it was that long....(panting her tongue lolls out....)

Also my Reservation for Rama Gardens didn't work out. So I'm trying to book a room at an even nicer hotel and still it's only like $53 for one night:) The hotel is like...wait let me check...ok it's called Miracle Grand Convention Hotel. Boy that sure is a weird name for a hotel:) It's only like 10 or 15 mins. from the airport.

I wrote up 3 lesson plans yesterday, for the Art classes...and printed off more ideas from an Art Lesson website on the internet... and also printed off some pics from bigger works of art I've done. The originals are too big to bring over. So I took some digital pics. of them, and even some closer-up pics.

I can do this. Ok, square your shoulders, one step in front of the other, deep breaths...(not too many though I'll get light headed.) Just relax, smile....and talk one day at a time!

Also "The Joy of the Lord is my strength." and "I CAN do all things through Christ who strenghtens me!":))(BIG GRIN)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I leave for Thailand in a week and one day!

Wowzers! I leave for Thailand in a week and one day! My launch date is July 5th, next Wednesday at 7:15 in the morning! Yikes! Wow this is really happening. It's hard to believe. It's unreal, it's surreal. I'm excited!

I stopped in at CFI today to buy a little purse, instead of bringing my big purse to Thailand. I talked to Jim some about travel arragements in Thailand. Instead of buying domestic travel before hand here in the US, I'll buy it over there, oh yeah and I'm planning on spending my first night at the Rama Gardens, a very nice hotel. It was rated 4 stars out of 5 on it's web site. Oh yeah baby! And it will only cost me like $46 one night with breakfast in the morning.

I mentioned in the other blog that I'd be teaching Art 2 days a week, well actually at this point I'll be teaching it 5 days a week:) I won't know for sure what I'm doing everyday until I get there.

I actually started packing today. Packing alot of short sleeve shirts and skirts:) I'm even bringing the Hobbit and the Fellowship of the Ring books and Summer of the Monkeys. Maybe I'll read a book or 2 or 3 to them, I could even leave them there cause one of the kids may want to read 'em.

I watched 2 dvd's about the Karen and Karenni people today put out by CFI. There was a legend that the pale faced brother would bring the "golden book" and tell about the true God. I guess the pale brother took the book away from the other brothers so he's bringing it back. The Karen believe that Adoniram Judson fufilled that legend when he came over to Burma and shared the "golden book"-the bible, the truth of the Bible Jesus Christ with the Karen people. It's an amazing story of how he was discouraged and for 7 years was being a missionary in Burma and only had one convert. A guy who was said to have killed 30 people, he was a thief. This guy was Karen, and knew of the Karen legend and thought Adoniram was the fufillment. So today hundreds maybe even thousands of these people are Christians because of the work God started through Adoniram Judson!

One of the DVD's was about the medic backpacks that CFI sponsers. Pastors and medic people go to different villages in Burma to treat sicknesses that wouldn't kill a person in civilization but can kill these people because they haven't gotten the proper treatment.

On the dvd's they showed actually crayon drawings that kids had drawn of the junta military government's atrocites. There were soldiers killing people, shotting guns at people...and blood. This is what some of these kids have seen.

There was even a clip of beautiful little kids at a refugee orphanage.

Pray for me as I pull the last details together and as I fly. God has helped to take away some of the fear and anxiety that I had concerning this trip. Keep me in prayer for that too. Not to worry about things I shouldn't...or trying to figure out too much at once! God has made a way through for me up to this point! "He makes a way through the sea."

Remember the Persecuted! And remember to pray for me on Wed. July 5th. Here I come Thailand! Love ya'll!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Thailand-Another Journey

Just updating. I haven't posted for here I am now. Right now I'm listening to the sound track from "Phantom of the Opera."

I'm at home by myself tonight. Adam's going to an eye doc. Krista's with some friends. She got her grad. pics taken today by a girl friend.

Well I got my airplane ticket for Thailand today...may need some adjustments. But I am goin'. Crazy huh! What I know at this point is that I'll be teaching Art 2 days a week. The other days I believe I'll be teaching something else. At least one other class. Maybe ESL...English as a Second language. I won't know for sure what I'm doing until I start doing it.

Flyin' in I'll get a 30 day tourist visa when they stamp my passport....than on day 27 I need to watch the border between Burma and make sure I'll be able to cross into Burma on day 29 to get my passport stamped again so that I get another 30 days in Thailand. I won't be in Burma much at all. It's a repressed nation! Bad for Christians! It's just that there's a bridge that's close by with offices on both sides of it where I can get my stamps.

Let me tell ya a bit about Thailand. It's right under China. Near Laos, Cambodia, Burma and Vietnam. It's a Buddist nation mostly...even the government is Buddist. They have a law against proseletizing but it's not enforced strongly. I'm not suppose to touch the monks...better even be careful about brushing up against one, even just doing shopping....I guess I could get in trouble if I do...yikes!

They eat alot of rice...their money to ours is 39 baht to one of our dollars. Our money goes farther than theirs.

I've been on the computar a long time so I'll keep this blog short:)

Just a litte update...

By the way I'll be leaving July 5th. And at this point I'm thinking I'll be there like 3 months. Man...yikes the reality of it was just hitting's scary...but I know I'll like it.

If you want to pray for me about it here are some things you can pray about:

1. Protection flying over and back, and when I'm there...physical protection against sickness and accidents...
(on my mission trips sometimes things happen to my physical person that make it harder...God does use it... BAD poison ivy, sickness...wierd stuff)
2. Creativity in teaching/lesson plans
3. Smooth adjustment to culture quirks, the food etc...
4. That I'll love the kids the way they need to be loved... that I'll be the "mother" figure to them that God wants me to be-to love them with God loving them through me
5. That I'll accomplish over there everything that God wants me to
6. God's guidance for the future( I consider it when over there)

Let me know if you prayed for me and if you want to pray for me regularly when I'm there. I'd appreciate daily prayers. These are God's children and it seems sometimes when you go on mission trips...(plus this is my first mission trip that I've basically put together, and AM putting together, with alot of help...but before I was joining a group of people and I just provided the money to pay my way and did what they said...this is different.) you're more in the battle spiritually sometimes to an extent...

Thanks for listening.:)

Friday, June 02, 2006

Mom! Happy Birthday!!!

Boy... I am tired. Adam and I got up before 6 to make my mom a special BIRTHDAY breakfast. It started with a loaded omelette that Adam served with hot tea in bed. Then she got homemade fruit cocktail, with mango, watermelon, maderin oranges... watermelon, pineapple... um, than she got crepes with a yummy sweet cream cheese filling and one with a strawberry, a little pineapple, and banana with sugar filling. She was so full that she hasn't eaten them yet:)

My mom Patricia Jean is 53 years old today. This year has been kinda rough on her. Change of life, growing, changing... knowing you need to change. So pray for her.

Hmm, what does my mean mom to me?... memories?

When I was little she'd draw me 2 types of flowers, they were a daisy and a tulip. I liked them. They were simple.
I remember at least one time, (probably more) she woke me up to try some, in the process of being made, culottes on, to see if they fit/to work on the hem... I think so that I could wear them the next day at school. She's made me a number of pairs of culottes:)

One year the night before my birthday I was just down and unhappy. It was the night before I'd guess my 17th birthday(?) and she came downstairs to the basement, probably my bedroom at the time. And she sat and listened to me for a long time and talked with me about whatever was bothering me. I think I cried some. And she prayed with me.

My mom has been an example of reading the Bible and praying. Since I know that she does:)

She is a hard worker. One time when she was sick she was washing the dishes than would got to throw up than come back and wash some more... I wouldn't have done that, I don't think.

There have been times where I've been sick and she'd care for me. Bring me toast, orange juice... :)

She gets up many many mornings to make my dad lunch. She's done this for YEARS. She's cooked and cleaned for us for YEARS too.

If I ask her to pray with me she will then and there.

I am who I am partly because of her. She isn't a quitter. She's a fighter. A woman of vision.

She was the one who first caught the dream of all of us kids goin' on a mission trip the summer before our Senior years. Dana went to Equador. Matt went to England. I went to Russia. Adam went to Japan and Krista went to Romania. Isn't that awesome... it started with a dream... which lead to Action, which became fufilled reality.

I'd say because of my mom's initial vision and both parents support, Adam and I have pursued even more mission trips. You can't underestimate the power, the influence of mothers (especially the ones that follow Christ), on the destiny and life's journey of their children.

It will be amazing to see my mom in the eyes of heaven, to see what Jesus truly made her as. She is a warrior in brillant glowing white. You'll see the scars on her heart...but even more you'll see the flashing fire of victory in her eyes. She will fight for those she loves... She will stand by what she believes. She is a woman of strengh, of boldness and authority in Jesus. She is a fiercesome thing to behold!

Right now all we see, with eyes of flesh, is a 53 year old mother of 5 who is still lovely all dressed up...:) She has earned the expression lines, the character of who she is- you can see in her face. These have come through hardships, commitment, hanging on, being tossed to and fro by the storms of life, and the laugher and tears. Her life hasn't been easy, but it also has had really good times... she is a fighter, a winner, an overcomer....

This is my mother and this is the legacy she has given me.