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!