Sunday, July 1, 2012

Busy Weekend = pictures + LONG POST (prepare yourself for reading)

July 1.  This means that I have been here for a little over three weeks, and so starts the only month that I will be fully here, in a completely new country, then two weeks more, and I'll be home... (appx.6 weeks).

A new month and a new place to stay.  Today I moved into Scott and Sarah's house.  I am officially  in a new place, and it is lovely.  The house is beautiful, and I feel so blessed.  There is so much space, and I've already "unpacked" a lot of my things, as you can see in the picture to the right! For the past three weeks I've been living out of my suitcase because me leaving seemed so eminent.  That was absolutely fine, and it made packing super easy last night, but there is something about unpacking that makes life feel more relaxed.  I know this experience from being at Keswick too, so getting to do that has caused a great feeling a peace. A change of people and houses, and I'm excited to look back in another three weeks and see how the differences have impacted me - the lessons I needed to learn in these two places.  I have some ideas now, but I want to wait a little - I just moved in two hours ago!

Anyway, besides moving in today, yesterday was also quite busy.  I met with my dad's "friend of a friend," Koon Add and her husband, and they took me around Thailand and to their house.  From 11am to 9pm I was with this family - we did so much and I learned a lot as well.

10:30am I was dropped off at the Night Safari, our designated meeting place.  I've been here before, but it was nice to get a look around again.  My parents have complained to me that I don't put enough pictures so despite me walking up and down around there for only about 20 minutes, I took quite a few pictures:

I saw this moth, and thought, "wow, I've never
seen a red moth! I gotta take a picture!"
So there is this bird cage and the birds would fly to and from each side.  So close at times that I thought I could touch them.

This is out in the open, and I admit this isn't a good picture,
but the deer roamed free - also super close, like I could touch them.
There was a bulk too, and it kept "mooing"? 
Baby tiger. Super cute. End of story.

So those are just some pictures of while I waited, and then I was picked up.  First we went to a restaurant called Boat in the city area of Chiang Mai, and they treated me to Pad Thai, and some ice cream :) yum. Then we went to two temples.  First being quite a famous one here called, Qat Phrathat Doi Kham (Temple of the Golden Mountain). We had to walk up really tall steps with dragons as the handrails, as you can slightly tell from the photos here.

(Also, the woman with me in the left photo is Koon Add)

Then we got to the top. 
See my bare feet?

In the link I gave you you can see the same tower place that I have in the picture to the right, where apparently something with Buddha's relics are housed there, and there were people walking around saying some sort of prayer. I needed to take my shoes off (which isn't so odd, considering you do it whenever you go into a house ... you do it a lot here).  There were monks, and you shouldn't stare at them, so I felt really weird. Also, Koon Add kept saying something about "paying homage" ... so there is a lot to say here that I'll hold off on.  After this, we went to another temple.  In both, Koon Add bowed down, with other people there too, to worship these idols.  And again, I'll say more on this after my day's recap.

Then we went to a nice orgainic supermarket, where Koon Add bought food to cook for the night, and then we stopped at an outdoor market as we neared her house.  This was so much less touristy that I am used to and it was super cool to see the different foods being sold, including sticky rice.  When Koon Add went to buy some purple sticky rice, the woman took some out and offered some for me to try - I picked it up and ate it - super fun. This is the type of thing I would expect, with all these locals.  It also kinda reminded me of the markets in Italy.  How come we only have things like these for Street fairs and these Eastern Countries have them all the time?

Finally, we arrived at the house. Beautiful.  She has a whole garden filled with flowers, and the house filled with knick-kacks.  Outside there is a staircase that leads to an extra level, about 10feet in the air, with an extra room (picture to the *left) - a guest bedroom that is like a treehouse, it was awesome just exploring it, I can't imagine how much fun it would be like staying the night like that!  Below this little area is a nice seat where I sat as Koon Add and her husband prepared dinner. I read a little of my bible and just pondered how awesome God's creation was around me, and pondered further how many lost souls there are here - lost souls that worship nonsense... and then it was dinner time.  I couldn't tell you exactly what I had, but it was very Thai - dishes out, and we all share. Even if you don't like food you tell the host that it is delicious - but I did think it was.  Add's husband shared some Thai words with me, and we had good laughs about how my poor ability to mimic the tones, and our misunderstandings, given that he speaks no English.  

The Seat that I read on.
Oh, well before dinner we had coffee and desert (just because she wanted to have this before...) where we had these sweetened sticky rice things in banana leaves (yellow, orange and green things to the right), fruit and bread with coffee.  Yummy!

Then it was time to go.  As we drove to drop me off, we passed an accident.  With all the motorbikes, and crazy drivers, and traffic laws that seem to be "optional," accidents apparently happen a lot.  This was the first I've seen, and I saw the person.  I'm not sure if he was dead, but he did seem to be unmoving on the ground.  His leg was twisted at an odd angle, and there was a pool of blood around it.  I cried a little.  This was my second time tearing in one day, the first being when I saw the people bowing down to golden statues at the temples.
How can they be worshiping nothing? How can they be bowing down to objects, and now our wonderful creator? I had prayed for a Spirit that broke for the people here and the Lord delivered this as seen from my tears as I saw those people worshiping images made by human hands. When I saw that man lying there from the accident, all I could think about was the people worshiping idols from earlier, and my heart broke - praying that he could have known the Lord, and that the Lord's name could be known that these souls may not be lost, but found.

My day with Koon Add was eventful and a wonderful learning experience, and I can think only of how weak I was, unable to share the gospel with her.  I pray for boldness, and that doors may open to share His kingdom.  

So now I prepare to sleep my first night in a new house, with much to ponder over.  

1 comment:

  1. Hey Rachel! I am so blessed by each of your entries. I'm here at your house with your parents and grandparents- who are absolutely lovely- and my parents. I loved the pictures you took. Do you think you'll be able to add more often? That parrot was beautiful!

    I'm praying for you, beautiful!