Hello from warm and sunny Bangkok! Today it is Susan's turn to write the blog update.
Andy insisted that we needed to get up at a decent hour today and avoid napping to push through the worst parts of jet lag and time zone confusion for our bodies. We trusted him, so although we did not get to bed until well after 4:30 AM Friday morning, we tried to rise and shine at 9AM this morning. Well, ok, there was not much shining, but rise we did. Poor Andy and his friend Lamb were kindly waiting to meet us on our delayed flight at the airport, so none of us got much sleep. We hope to make up for it tonight.
Today we got the short version of the "2 things to never do in Thailand" lecture ( we will tell you those later upon request. Right now I can only remember one of them. I am sure that is no big deal, right?) and had a chance to ask our ignorant questions about important things like drinking water and toilets. Next we took our first showers since Chicago (ugh) and were then whisked off to a very fancy lunch with "the Doctors" who are the pastors of the Muang Thai Church. Isaac took lots of photos of this place, which was surrounded by beautiful gardens and fountains and featured very fresh seafood. Some of us took the hot pepper challenge; some of us lived to regret that decision (Isaac paid the price for his pride). I opted to push those little fiery peppers aside since the food was already hot enough to keep my nose and eyes running without biting directly into a whole pepper.
After lunch, the kids and Jen walked to the local bank to exchange some money and take a look around. Meanwhile, I joined Andy's afternoon English class. 5 elementary students came in for their English lesson with Andy after school. We practiced English prepositions by playing several games. These kids took the challenge seriously, racing across the floor, even throwing an elbow if that is what it took to win. At one point, they took turns giving me directions: Stand next to the chair. Stand in front of the chair. Sit on the chair. Stand on the chair! I obligingly did as directed. Sadly for you, dear reader, there is no video evidence of this.
We walked over to Big C,(Jen and Andy call it the Walmart of Bangkok), in the evening for a quick supper. Surprisingly in Bangkok, most people do not cook at home; it is simpler and cheaper to eat from street vendors than it is to cook for yourself. Also most Thai people do not have kitchens with stoves as we do. Jen and Andy recently purchased a new stove and oven and have been cooking for friends and neighbors, which is a rare and unusual thing to do around here. We plan to do some serious cooking tomorrow for the 2 Christmas parties we will be helping with. Jen was excited about some of the Christmas treats we brought with us to share. Andy was glad to see the beef jerky-something I noticed on their webpage as something hard to find here.
The church building reminds me a lot of Ernesto's church building in Saltillo, for those of you who remember that building. This building has more floors (5 I think), is cinder block and concrete and has many things going on during the day. Yes, there is a roof and Reuben and Jude have promised to take us up there soon for roof races. Isaac and Caleb are sleeping on the 3rd floor in a small apartment. Hillary, April and I are sleeping in Jude and Reuben's school room in Jen and Andy's apartment on the 4th floor.
Everyone started fading promptly after supper. I may be the oldest one here, and I am pretty certain I got the least amount of sleep on the trip, but I am the only one still awake at 9PM tonight. Does that mean I am the strongest or that I am not as good at sleeping away from my own bed? Maybe it is both!
We closed the day out by playing Jude and Reuben's favorite pre-bedtime game: Stop/Go. This involves turning on some music and dancing crazily around the kitchen table. It reminded me of my own kids' preschool years, racing around the dining room table and making our own fun at home. Yes, I am afraid there IS video evidence of our Stop/Go revelries!
Tomorrow will be very busy and we expect to meet many children as we share Christmas Eve with them. Please pray we recover from jet lag quickly and that our bodies adjust to the unusual food and water. We will keep the pictures and the updates coming as best we can. It promises to be the most unusual Christmas Eve ever for us!