About UsGreg and Tina are currently serving with New Tribes Mission in Thailand.
- March 2012 (1)
- April 2010 (1)
- March 2010 (1)
- November 2009 (1)
- October 2009 (2)
- July 2009 (1)
- June 2009 (5)
- April 2009 (2)
- March 2009 (3)
- February 2009 (5)
- January 2009 (4)
- December 2008 (3)
- October 2008 (6)
- September 2008 (4)
- August 2008 (3)
- July 2008 (3)
- June 2008 (2)
- May 2008 (12)
- April 2008 (8)
- March 2008 (9)
- February 2008 (10)
- January 2008 (9)
- December 2007 (7)
- November 2007 (1)
- October 2007 (3)
- August 2007 (4)
- July 2007 (2)
- June 2007 (2)
- May 2007 (2)
- April 2007 (4)
- March 2007 (1)
Today I went on a field trip.
In the language learning vernacular, these are called Culture Events or CE’s for short. We use these CE’s to learn more language, develop our relationships, and have chances to be with our friends and neighbors in everyday life.
A couple of our neighbors arranged a special trip for my co-worker Dawn and I today.
We met at her house around 9 am, and heading to a village about three villages down.
Sometimes Dawn gets headaches, and our friends are concerned for her.
One of the ideas is that since Dawn had kids in Thailand, and she did not follow the prescribed actions following the birth of those children, she now gets headaches. This special trip is to help remedy this problem.
Remember in the old cartoons, someone would get stuck in, or fall asleep in, a steam box, and then come out all tiny?
Oh. My. It. Was. Hot.
We went in the morning, because of course the afternoon would be waaaaaaaay to hot to even think of sitting in a steam box.
I have never sweated so much in my entire life. And I have sweated a lot. Especially these last couple of years.
The timer was set for 30 minutes, but I could not hack it. I had to get out twice before the time was up.
It is not just steam in there, but all kinds of spices and herbs too. 15 different kinds to be exact. It did smell good. And my hair still smells all herb-y.
Our friends looked chipper and energetic afterwards, but I felt all wrung out and noodle-y. Time for nap?
I may have misunderstood, but I think we are supposed to go back next week.
My son is 12 now. My baby. The youngest. Not so much of a little one anymore.
The reality that we do not have small children anymore is plain to see by contrasting our lives with our partners.
No nap times, no board books, beginning readers, everyone takes their own showers, and can actually be left home by themselves.
And now Zachary turns twelve!
We love him so much. He is a joy to have for a son. Of course, there are times when we are less than cheerful with each other, and yes, he does get in trouble and have consequences, (can we say no computer time?), but we are very proud of him.
He is a boy that loves people. He enjoys being around others and is compassionate and kind. Even to his sisters!
Each year we can see more and more of the man he is growing into. And we pray for him that Zach would continue to allow the Lord to form him into that man and that he would want to be who God wants him to be.
Since moving to the village, Zach has had the chance to work for another family in the area, general yard work and such. He is proving himself to be a diligent worker as well, which we are proud to see.
We love you Zach, you are a joy and blessing and we are glad you are our son!
P.S. here is a peek at a couple of his presents. Snacks are perfectly appropriate to give as birthday presents. Probably the most common present in fact. Perfect for a boy who wants something to eat every 15 minutes.
Wanna see the cute note that Met attached to the present?
It’s me again…Leah!
This is gonna be a continuation of what Mom wrote about last time. We seriously did get busy as soon as we got here!
The people here are so friendly, it is wonderful. You can hardly go anywhere without being stopped to chat. Sometimes it gets frustrating when they only speak Thai Lue (the new village’s language) and not Central Thai (the national language). Of course, I can’t speak much Lue at all and hardly anyone speaks Central Thai to me except when they see that blank look come over my face and my little bobble head going up and down agreeing to whatever they say.
We just got back from our mission’s conference this past week. It was a blast! I always enjoy getting together with my friends in the mission. Already, we have been busy with village life. On Monday, we were in a parade, last night went to a wrist tying ceremony and this whole week has been gardening, gardening, and more gardening! It must be a cultural thing because everyone wanted to help with the hoeing, or bring us some sort of seed or give us some helpful tips. Ema is really the one who is the gardener out of all of us and she, with the help of Mom, Dad, and the Mae Luang (wife of the village leader) finished planting our small plot of land.
Captain Jack Sparrow showed up to conference!
About the parade….
Mom came home from visiting around that village and told us that there was a parade that afternoon and that we were gonna go and watch. Okay, nothing abnormal about being invited to something like that. And I like parades. No problem. Well, we get to the meeting place in the muubaan (village) and everyone is wearing their traditional Thai Lue outfits…and then a couple of them leave saying that they were going to get us, Mom and I, Lue shirts to wear. We look at each other with a look that says uh-oh…they aren’t just going to watch the parade are they? Then Mom asks and sure enough they are going to be walking in it. Inwardly I groan, not anticipating a long walk in the blazing hot sun with a heavy, long-sleeved black shirt on.
Mom and I waiting with the other ladies.
We were already wearing Thai-ish skirts so we didn’t need to change those but they brought us the Lue shirts that I just slipped on over my first shirt because its wasn’t very thick. Mom however was wearing a shirt that wraps around and is tied in the front, very similar to the Lue shirts, so she had to change hers. It would have gone fine except for one thing…there was no bathroom or other place that she could change in. We were waiting at a building that is the morning market location. The ladies there said, “Don’t worry about that! We have umbrellas here, we’ll cover you while you change.”
Mom says, “Um…no thanks, I’ll just go home and change.”
They say, “We’re all ladies! Don’t worry, we’ll cover you!” Mom didn’t really have a choice there, so she finally got it done and we were ready to go.
Nearly everyone left before us because we were waiting for our partner, Aunt Dawn, who had gone home to change into the Thai Lue outfit that she already had. So the Mae Luang waited with us. We drove to the place where we were supposed to, but no one was there. Then we drove around looking for a bunch of women in matching clothes but didn’t find them. We thought we had missed the start, so we went where the parade was supposed to end. I’m not sure why, but we were following the Mae Luang’s directions. She said that we would just wait here for the parade and there would be something going on afterward. There was another group of ladies there who were going to do a dance or something after the parade was over. We heard that the parade was getting started late, so we all hopped back in the car and headed back toward the meeting place. It was just starting so we just kinda sneaked in line with everyone.
Aunt Dawn, Will, Mom, me and Gwen.
It was kinda fun to see the people watching do a double take when they saw the five falangs (Thai word for white person) in line with Lue ladies. Aunt Dawn and her two youngest children came too. Gwen, 7, was all decked out in a Lue outfit too. But Will, 4, really brought a lot of stares.
It really wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, it was kinda fun! I burn after being in the sun for 2 minutes so the long sleeves really protected be from being crispy by the end. Everyone was holding umbrellas so I borrowed one to protect my face. And, miraculously, I survived without a single red mark!
Today, some ladies from ESD are coming to our house. ESD stands for Extension Services Department. They work at Grace International School and are there for the home schooling families in Thailand. You can send in your schoolwork and they look over it and, if you want them to, will give a report card out every quarter or so. They also come for home visits where they come to just help with whatever the moms need done regarding school. Sometimes they help get a schedule down or help think of different activities to do or even organizing a bookcase. This will be our, the Burt’s, first home visit, but I’m not sure if the Orwilers have had one already. We are excited to have them come and can’t wait till this afternoon when we pick them up from the bus station.
That had better be all for right now, or I’ll be sorry when I haven’t memorized my science words for my upcoming test!:)
Move in, unpack and get busy!
That was clearly our theme for this last month.
Our new village, Don Haang, is a river culture. We have rivers on two sides of us. One small one runs through the village, and the main area river, the Nan River is just almost visible out the back of the rice fields behind us.
This time of year is boat racing time.
Our village team has been practicing nearly every day for a couple of months now. It is so important to the village that at the village meeting only a couple of days after we arrived, it was voted that participation is mandatory for men up to age 55. You either row or pay money to support the rowers.
Greg even had a chance to try out his skill at rowing. He is in the yellow shirt and in the big straw hat.
So far we have been to three races. These are multi-day events, sometimes with over 100 boats competing.
Our boat is the closest to the shore in the top left. The guys are wearing blue and red shirts and orange headbands. Go Don Haang!
It has been a great way to become part of the community, to show our identification with the people of Don Haang.
Even though I could barely recognize any of the rowers, and if I had to pick them out of a line up and say if they were from our village or not, it was hard not to get into the cheering spirit when our boat went by.
That’s us in the lead!! Faster boys, faster!
A wonderful gift from a gracious God, giving us this perfect opportunity to work towards ‘becoming’Thai Lue and a member of Don Haang
The words on our shirts are the names of the two boats. Petjambii and siisoontaun You can certainly see us a ways off in these shirts. And no, it was NOT cool enough to need long sleeves.