Better Late Than Never…

Here are a few shots from Easter morning. I went to a Thai/International sunrise service. A Thai pastor shared the message, then an English pastor translated. After…an Easter parade…of which I participated…my very first Easter parade…and imagine…it happened in Thailand. 🙂 

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The beginning of the service was dark…just a hint of color popping up behind the church. 

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With the light also came glimpses of the “empty tomb” and balloons and a banister (a Thai addition)…

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The view above me as the sun brought different shades and colors…some of which there are no names…

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And yes…the parade included a marching band, people holding banners, bicyclists, the rest of the congregation walking behind, followed by folks in tuk tuk’s. We took up one whole side of the road…I don’t know how they even got permission to do this. Who knows…maybe they didn’t get permission. 🙂 We held small flags and handed out tracts along the way. It was great! 🙂 

Blessings!

Comforting…

“I know I need You. I need to love You. I’d love to see You, it’s been so long. I long to feel You. I feel this need for You. And I need to hear You, is that so wrong? Oh…

Now You pull me near You, when we’re close I fear You. Still I’m afraid to tell You all that I’ve done. Are You done forgiving, or can You look past my pretending, Lord? I’m so tired of defending what I’ve become. What have I become? Oh…

I hear You say, “My love is over, it’s underneath, it’s inside, it’s in between. The times you doubt Me, when you can’t feel, the times that you question, is this for real? The times you’re broken, the times that you mend. The times that you hate Me and the times that you bend. My love is over, it’s underneath, it’s inside, it’s in between. These times you’re healing, when you’re heart breaks. The times that you feel like you’ve fallen from grace, the times you’re hurting, the times you heal. The times you go hungry and are tempted to steal. In times of confusion, chaos and pain, I’m there in your sorrow under the weight of your shame. I’m there through your heartache, I’m there in the storm. My love I will keep you, by my power alone. I DON’T CARE WHERE YOU’VE FALLEN, WHERE YOU HAVE BEEN, I’LL NEVER FORSAKE YOU, MY LOVE NEVER ENDS. IT NEVER ENDS. Oh…”

~”Times” by Tenth Avenue North

Archipelago…

Known as one of the largest archipelagos in the world, the Philippines certainly lives up to it’s reputation. A gorgeous place with amazing people. Interesting sights, to be sure…I was blessed to go…

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Fish heads in the market…

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Two workers during class time…both are learner’s and teacher’s…in their own way…

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Village girl…

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Two women, one already baptized coming to the shore to help the elder cross the river, and return a new body, rid of the old…

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Preparing for a cockfight…

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Hands and feet of a believer…

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A funeral…

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Working with abaca fiber. The Filipino people plant a certain type of tree, harvest it, shred into fibers, and weave the fiber into a million different products…

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Nap time…

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A form of respect to one’s elders, raising their hand to your forehead…

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Weaving material to be used for a roof…

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Mount Mayon, a perfect cone volcano, a tourist attraction…clearly still active…

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Wisdom…

What’s going on here…

This past week has been full of fun things…well…some fun…some not so fun. Not so fun first? Ok…computer has failed me. For some reason, whenever I move the thing it freezes. I took it to the local Mac shop, they said they think it is the logic board that needs replacing. They have to order it from Singapore…oh well. 

On to the fun…Khruu Panida, my wonderfully awesome language teacher, took me and some of her other students to a massage school where we all got an hour long Thai massage for 90 baht…that’s like 3 bucks. So great. After that, her and I went to dinner at MK, a yummy place where you order all raw food, then they bring out a pot of broth and a “crock pot,” then you cook it. Yummy! 

I’m learning to read and write in Thai. It’s going very slowly, and very painfully, but I really do like it. So fun. It’s interesting to sit there and write, or scribble really, realizing that you are actually writing a language. So cool! 

This coming week is Songkran in Thailand. It’s the Thai New Year. Everywhere, I do mean everywhere, there is a waterfight. Squirt guns, buckets, hoses…whatever will hold and throw water…that’s what the Thai people use. You cannot go outside without getting drenched, and the party lasts for 3 or 4 days. The original purpose for the water was to “bless” one’s elders…now it is a free-for-all. The waterfight doesn’t start until tomorrow, technically, but even today while driving around, my friend’s car got dumped on a few times. Phii Gade, a friend here, has been such a blessing. She’s a sweetie…a believer…and speaks English really well…which is exciting for someone who doesn’t speak Thai too well. 🙂 

I haven’t gotten to visit with Nera, the owner of the jewelry store I’ve mentioned before. I hope to see her sometime this week or next, since many places are closed this week due to the holiday. Please keep her in your thoughts. Also, the man downstairs in the convenience shop has not been around lately. I haven’t seen him working there since I’ve gotten back. Finally, another thing to add to the “local people” list. A family, so sweet, a mother, daughter with baby, and a son all live downstairs in a little itty bitty shop, a laundry shop. That’s where I take my clothes. They also have a small food stand. At any rate, I see them practically every day, on my way out of the building or on my way in, or when I take them my laundry (since I don’t have a washer or dryer). They are so sweet, so friendly. I hope to get to know them better…

Love you all! 

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Pretty tree with lovely flowers…not sure of the name…

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Yummy khanom (treat, snack, cake, etc.). The thing on the left, like a coconut milk pudding thing, with like sweet coconut stuff in the middle. Really descriptive I know, but it was yummy. The middle thing, one of my favs, like a coconut and corn fried pancake…really good. Finally, the thing on the right my teacher introduced me to the other day. It’s got a crispy shell with marshmallow like filling and shredded coconut. Do you see a trend? 🙂 

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Khruu Panida…only the best khruu (teacher) in Thailand…in my opinion. This is at her house, where we often have class…

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A small market outside of Carrefour…a Wal-Mart like place…

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At MK restaurant, where they bring out raw food, and you cook it. My favorite was the fish dumplings (Khruu is moving them here) and the seaweed rice rolls, the dark rolls to the left of the dumplings…

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Here’s my name! I can write it! Only Neisha so far…

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Some vocab I am learning to write and read…really basic…but at least it’s a start…

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A view from my floor, number 11 in Nakorn Ping Condo’s…

P.S. Please excuse all the “like’s.” Nothing here is really exactly what I use to describe it, everything is similar or “like” something that I’m familiar with. “Like” is all I can think of to use to describe things to you. Sorry!

Sunday Afternoon with a 50mm…

I had a little free time on my hands this Sunday, so I thought I’d go and explore a bit. I went for a drive and found myself going up the mountain, Doi Suthep. Up and up I went, trying to get the hang of climbing in a stick shift car, and found numerous places to stop and enjoy. I found a broken down wat, unsure of the name of it. Also went to the famous Wat Prathat, a huge tourist attraction here. I was able to fiddle around with my love, black and white, but there were some places that deserved the color they provided for my eye. 

The “under-construction” wat spoke to me, loudly. All around, figurines, idols, statues, etc…broken, disembodied, dirty, and broken. What a symbol? Nothing can stand up to the Father…they are nothing but concrete and man-made immortal things, things that fall apart, things that cannot be saved, no matter how hard you try. 

As I left the area, I began to drive up the rest of the mountain and a man drove up and got off his motorbike and entered the wat, sat down on the mat and began to pray…to the broken things. 

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Shiny bronze guy…

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Overlooking the city…the smog and haze is from pollution, lack of rain, humidity, and smoke from farmers burning their fields…

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Handless upper bodies of monks next to a faded picture of Buddhists praying at a wat…

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Funny sign I found outside the wat…

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These are what the dogs are like here, extremely brave, or stupid, depending on how you look at it…

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Giant Buddha hand, about 3 feet tall…

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Piles of bricks in front of the wat…

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The King, even he loves photography…if you look close, he has a camera around his neck…

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Bottom half, upper half, and hands, all separated…

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Handless…