Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The lady we were helping.

Yes, that's me in the pink bandana, chin deep in mud!

One of the many little crabs that were in the field. I screamed at the top of my lungs the first time that one ran by my foot because I wasn't expecting it, and wasn't sure what it was at first glance!
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A rice field waiting to be planted.

Thai workers who stopped planting rice to stare in awe at the two trucks unloading 23 farangs (foreigners).

Yes, that's my foot!

To plant rice, you tuck a bundle of plants under your arm (or hold the bundle with your hand if you want to very sore hand muscles). The you pick out 2-3 plants (look sort of like green onions) and push them together into the deep mud. This was early in the process because we still had clean clothes!
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One of the skin and bones cows.

We spent a lot of time hanging out under this arbor that connected the pastor's house and the church.

A different shot of the open air kitchen.

This is behind the pastor's house. The lady who helped prepare all of our meals lived in this small "house" with the orphan baby that she "adopted".
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The local market in Kantharalak.

One of the guys on the team, Gareth, decided that he was going to experience everything possible while we were there. On our 1st or 2nd day he asked to help make dinner. Next to him is Ton, our amazing interpreter that traveled with us everywhere.

Check out the ears and neck on this cow! This was one of the chubbier cows. Most of them were just bones on legs!

This is where we did our dishes after every meal.
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Our first of daily homemade Thai lunches and dinners that were amazing! The ingredients were always fresh and there was plenty to go around. Spicy but dummed down from their preference for the extremely hot!

The main street of Kantharalak.

I thought this was fun. It's the candy selection at the local 7-11, where I went every couple of days for a 5 minute air conditionning fix.

Their chips and other snack foods always came with flavor choices like shellfish and seaweed!
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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Overnight bus ride to the town of Kantharalak in the northeast (near the border of Cambodia). This was an 8 hour ride. We arrived at about 3:30am and then had to get all of our bodies and luggage to the church).

Our first job was to glue labels identifying the church and service times into the front cover of over 3000 Thai language Bibles (which we later passed out at the village elementary and high schools).

Inside the church santuary.

Ladies of the church preparing a meal for our group. This is in the outside kitchen (there are 3 walls and a roof, but two areas are open to the outside. The ladies lay a straw mat on the floor and them prepare the food. This was right outside our (7 of the girls) bedroom door.
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My favorite store in the Bangkok mall!

A boat ride through Bangkok.

Some of the nicer living quarters in Bangkok.

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Bartering for fruit in two completely different languages.

As you can see for yourself, anyone would want this for dinner!

Live eels for sale!

I think that these may have been cockroaches for sale!
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Our sleeping area for the first 2 nights in Bangkok. This was at the WYAM (Youth With a Mission) headquarters for Thailand. Though the beds were very hard, they were beds. AND...that small machine hanging from the ceiling was a small air conditioner. VERY NICE!!!These were the last beds that we saw for 8 days!

Breakfast at YWAM. My favorite fruit is the red fruit in the center with the green hair. It kinda reminded me of a mini Kush Ball. Along with this, I had yogurt. I thought that I was grabbing some tropical flavor with mango and pineapple because of the red and yellow fruit looking pictures on the container (the writing was in Thai). It turned out to be corn and red bean yogurt! The next day, when I came down for breakfast, there was only one yogurt left and I bet you can guess the flavor. After that, I made it very clear to the people who were walking to 7-11 every morning that they were NOT to continue buying this flavor and that I was not eating it for enjoyment! For the rest of the trip I enjoyed Honey yogurt, Coconut Yogurt, and that tropical fruit flavor that I had expected in the first tub!

There was a university campus across from the YWAM building, so we walked through campus one day. There were these huge open air type rooms (the sides were all open) that looked like lecture halls. The students all had on white shirts and different length black skirts (or pants for the guys). They all covered their mouths and laughed when they saw us.

These students were sitting in the grass by the pond (reminded me a little of home sweet CMU). They were singing at the top of their lungs, but their eyes were shut. We recognized the tune as a Christian Praise & Worship Song (All in All), but they were singing it in Thai. I had one of the guys in our group sneak closer and take about a 10 minute video of it.
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At the airport in Detroit, getting ready to leave for Thailand!
My very helpful sleeping mask to help combat jetlag in the jet.
Some of the luggage required for 23 Americans (this is in the Bangkok Airport)
Our first taxi ride in Thailand (it's in the back of a pickup)!
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