Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Kittens, electric fences and a whole lot of...WHHAAAT!!?! -Sam

Hello blogspot! Yes I know I'm horrible at blogging and I'm sorry! Neither of us have ever had a blog before and writing a diary type thing to the world is honestly a little uncomfortable, for me a least. Mostly because I feel like I have nothing to say that would be worth your precious time....until now! DUN DUN DUN!!!

So as we've already posted about, service here is amazing. I mean, 99% of it is done in Thai and... we don't speak Thai. But despite my stumbling over a 3 sentence presentation ( most of it probably pronounced wrong) I feel like the little tract or magazine that I place is so appreciated by almost every householder. Maybe its just me being in la la land but I love it. We will walk down a busy street placing literature with almost everyone we run into and by the end of the street you can look back and find everyone reading what you just gave them! Yes, they read it! They don't just take it and shove it in their pocket or throw it on the table and carry on their business, they actually take that moment and read it!! Its a beautiful sight :)

The other day we were working a territory in a very ramshackled little neighborhood and one brother we were with had an awesome experience, Brother, you know who you are, if your reading this, I'm sorry I didn't ask your permission to post this... Anyways the brother was placing the Truth tract and at his door (shack) one woman took the tract, read it WHILE the brother stood there not knowing whether to dismiss himself or stay. I really am not sure if she read the whole thing or what but she got to the back of the tract which offered a bible teach book with that section where the householder fills out their info. So right there and then she filled out that coupon with her information and handed it back to the brother. I mean COME ON!!!

Coming from the US, it's so strange when you say you're one of Jehovah's Witnesses and the majority of people you meet have no idea what your talking about, granted that could also be my white accent coming thru.. in any event, it shows theres still a HUGE need for help here, in Thailand and basically Asia in general. I recently met a very nice Thai women who had never heard about witnesses. And her story is the reason for this blog post, so here goes:

It was a normal Friday morning here in Pattaya, the birds were chirping, the street food people were cooking, the dogs were barking, all was well. Until just then while working in the ministry we encountered something so unexpected and adorable, yes right there in front of us behind the gates of our next door was a whole litter of kittens! White ones, orange ones, mixed colored ones. All so happy and healthy wrestling each other and sticking their little heads out of the gate that separated us trying to say hello. Yes, Our hearts melted and we totally forgot we were in service, right in front of someones door (with the door open mind you!), as we knelt down and spent the next five minutes (at least) ooing and aweing at the little fur balls. Suddenly I came back to reality and realized that there was an older Thai women standing right there in front of us, hollering in Thai toward the house. (And it was my door.... Yikes!!)

I stumbled to my feet.... and then thru my Thai presentation, the women seemed kind but continued to yell toward the house. ("oh no!" I thought! "She hates us for doing a photo shoot with her kittens with out permission!!") Finally someone came from inside the house and asked (In a completely "white" accent) "Can I help you?" Then forgetting I can speak English fluently I translated my simple Thai presentation into English, which was basically: "Hello, I would like to give you this tract, It's about the bible." ("HELLO!!! She speaks English!!! I can actually use my big girl words!!!" I finally realized!!) So I went a little more in depth and explained what we were doing and shared the Truth tract with her ( the only English one I had) After reading the questions I asked if she had every wondered any of these before? I kid you not, her eyes lit up as she turned to me and told me that she has thought about all of those questions very frequently. Since I had never heard anything close to that EVER in my life, I had no idea what to do. So I said then this tract is for you... and scurried away. JUST KIDDING!
My brain kicked in and we went over the first answer inside. I explained that we offer free bible studies and offered one to her. She explained how her mom was Muslim and he boyfriend is Buddhist but she doesn't have religion and how she has been wanting something to share with her children. She accepted the study and we made an appointment for the following day. (END OF SCENE)

We arrived at her home with two "Bible Teach" books, one for me and one for Michelle. (*Some names may or may not have been changed*) As we approached her gate, we noticed a hand written note posted. "Shoot!" I thought. "She left me a note saying she couldn't make it" And the worst part was that it was written in Thai So I couldn't even understand it! Just then a man came running out of the house motioning with his hands and trying to talk to us in Thai. We stood there with blank stares. He as he approached us he pointed up above, entangled in the gate were live wires... Yes apparently the gate was electrically charged and we almost went in for the shock of our lives. (hence the warning note in Thai) The man (who shall remain nameless, since I forgot to ask for his name) safely opened the gate with the assistance of a cloth rag and motioned us to come in. After guiding us to some benches in the courtyard, he advised us in broken English that Michelle will be back in 5 min. He brought us some cold water and left us to wait for her. (thankfully the kittens were still there so I resumed my photo shoot from the day before :)
(5 minutes later)

Michelle came thru the gates accompanied by an unknown female. We said our hellos and she informed us the unknown female was her friend Sugar (*^^^^^*) Sugar is a young women from Shanghai who also speak English perfectly. "Sugar wants to study the bible too." Informs Michelle. (WHAT!!!! Your killing me people! "Are you serious?!" you may ask, and the answer is "yes, I'm so serious.") So again, after I recovered from my shock and temporary heart stopping, I explained how a bible study works and offered her the "bible teach" book that was intended for me. Unfortunately Sugar was leaving for a visit back to Shanghai that afternoon and couldn't sit in on the study, but assured me that she will bring her bible when she comes back and would like to study.
After Sugar ran off to catch her flight, Michelle and I began our study. And the rest was history :) (Well, in a nut shell, she lit up after reading thru the "promises" pages in the front, and seemed to absorb and happily accept everything we read. She learned how to look up scriptures in the bible and figured out what the numbers meant after the bible book. (Example: the 3:16 part after John) Yes it was an amazing experience and I feel so privileged yet extremely under qualified at the same time. It just goes to show you, there are people out there, hundreds, maybe even millions of them who are still so hungry for the truth and want to learn about Jehovah and are just waiting for answers to so many of their questions. The Fields are white for harvesting, if we make ourselves available, no matter where we are, Jehovah will use us, and the feeling is amazing.
(Side note- Michelle is leaving on vacation until Jan.6 but told us very confidently that she knows where the kingdom hall is and is coming to the meeting Jan. 9th.....WHHHHHAAAAT!?!)

Sunday, December 22, 2013 Juli

Tonight we will take a moment to remember the very short life of our dear friend Nit Noy. Nit Noy was a little black kitty that Kit and I lured out of the ramshackle little tin house of Soi Khao Talo a mere week ago. Nit Noy quickly realized how awesome we were and after a few brief moments of shyness that may or may not have included dagger like kitten claws, he bunkered down into our arms and purred "take me homeeeooow" In a moment of weakness I considered the comfort a furry little friend would bring to our dander free abode. My senses came back to me and I convinced myself that Nit Noy's mom would be back shortly and be quite out of sorts if her baby had gone astray. The hard part was as we were walking to our bikes our previously shy little friend kept following us. I literally had to hide him in his little shack so he wouldn't follow. My heart sank to leave our helpless little fur ball, but every time we passed his castle I looked around with my giant helmet head hoping for a brief glance of his little tale scurrying to safety. Well tonight we visited his home which is also where we indulge in fried banana pancakes after meetings. With our broken Thai we asked pancake man where the kitty was and all he did was gesture out to the road and say "vroom" as he ran one hand quickly over the other. It didn't take long to realize that little Nit Noy turned into a pancake in front of pancake man. Good bye Nit Noy, we will think of you everytime we visit Pancake man. And let that serve as a reminder to all the little kitties in the world...don't talk to strangers or let strangers pick you up because you may become attached and find yourself running to them only to soon become a pancake. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hana apartment adventures

Some pics of our apt and fun stuff...



Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Say what?! Juli

Our little baby "California" group is progressively adding itty bitty thai words here and there to their kindergarten level vocabulary. Some of us can count to 10, some of us know how to say not too spicy, and some of us can squeak out a hello. But with the combined forces of this raggetty little group we make one mean thai speaking machine. Well that is as long as the restaurant we go to has one of the 5 things we know how to order. If not, we may end up with some mystery dish that will inevitably be fishy and spicy. Yeah they are really good at spicy, and if it's spicy going in you can count on it being spicy coming out. Please remember our little house {it's a room really} is not private and the scary bathroom is completely tiled so any squeak or roar coming from there can either wake your neighbor or get the street dogs barking. Seriously though the food is delicious and so cheap, I mean it's a wife's dream to hear her husband say, "it's more expensive to cook at home than to eat out" "You are right honey, you are so smart. How did you get so smart?" The other main reason we kinda  sorta despise cooking is that we have no kitchen sink setup. We can handle the hot pot and chopping up salsa on the coffee table but when it comes to washing dishes we pretty much have a spigot on our upstairs balcony that has a drain in the corner and you have to coral the chunks of food to. Really really gets the gag reflexes going. I have to say that has been the only part of our housing that I would tweak if we were here long enough. Well and the bathroom, but I think I already made myself clear on that one. 

Conveniently we end the territory with a break :) and yes, Thailand has good coffee!  
Last Thursday we worked a territory {another big town called Sattahip...I think} about a 1/2 hour away that hadn't been worked in about year. The local sisters packed us all lunch, so sweet!

We recently had a couple move into the group and like ourselves they know very little Thai. On the first day they were out in the ministry they were asking Kit and I how to say what and amazed at our presentation....HUH!?!? It made me laugh, within two weeks we went from the role of the student to the teacher. All of the sudden we were telling them to say this and that and "oh don't say that" "and be sure to say kaaaaaa" it made me pause and reflect on this hilarious situation. We aren't even sure we are saying anything correctly and we are already giving lessons. There was a lot of "really you shouldn't say it like me because I think I am saying it wrong" But with this group everyone has such a giving spirit that they will just try their best and get the tract into the householders hand and let it speak for itself. One phrase we learned very quickly in "Nit Noy" which means very little. I often say that when it comes to food and spicyness and then also when a householder says something other than "Hello" or "thank you"..."Nit Noy" smile, say thank you and either awkwardly look at your Thai speaking partner or back away like a scared little kitty {which reminds me....we kinda sorta found a kitty at the banana pancake guys cart and we named him Nit Noy....he almost came home with us}

Today I worked up the nerve to make a return visit on one woman we found within the first few days being here in Pattaya. Her name is Lak and she speaks English really well for being a native Thai. With a little help from Glen and Janelle we found her house and was able to share a little thought from the Truth tract. She told me she really does believe in God {although she thinks God and Buddha are the be tackled on another day} but she felt that God does take care of her and that she likes what the Bible said better that Buddhism. I invited her to the Thai meeting on Friday night and she said she would come! So between now and then I need to learn Thai so I can start a study with her and know what they are saying at the meeting, gulp! 

On our Monday fun day we went to a nearby island named Koh Larn. The ferry took about a 1/2 hour and cost 30 baht ($1). We found a beach that was a little less crowded with near naked Russians and that housed a feisty gaggle of monkeys. The boys were over the moon because there was a volleyball net and us girls were happy just letting our motorbike bruised bums take a break in the warm sand. I am really getting used to 1. Not working 2. Not cooking 3. Preaching to kind Thai everyday 4. Monday Fun Day. Does it ever have to end? Now to convince all my friend and family to come join me {yes, that means Lola too} that would be too perfect! 

This little guy sat next to me and put his hand on my leg and was like, "hey"

I have more to tell, like a recent awkward massage and near death bike rides {I'm slightly exaggerating Mom & Sandy} but that will have to wait for another day.

Miss you all! Stay warm!!

Love, Juli

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Life between the lanes

New post up with pics ! Just follow the link if you'd like to check it out :

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thailand - That's where {video link}

Hey guys follow the link to our blog to find the awesome video that we have opportunity to share with you all, made by a local couple!

Here's a sneak peek:


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Beach bum Mondays

Some beach and service pics when ya follow the link:)

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Immodium - the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly - By MIke

- You take the blue pill, the problems end, you wake up in the morning with normal movements.

- You take TWO of the blue pills (and maybe throw in a charcoal pill out of desperation), your issues change, and you get to see how many days you can keep the rabbit hole closed.
Now you may be the type that has a stomach of steel, maybe you've even had the privilege of being knick-named the garbage disposal for this skill.  Or perhaps you are more like our one unaffected spanish couple, raised on Jalepenos and spices, having nothing but Habaneros ground up into your "milk" bottles...completely immune to food. If this is you just stop reading, this post will not make any sense to you, as a matter of fact you most likely had to look up what in the world immodium is, perhaps even calling up your nerdy white friend for a definition.

But for the rest of you, raised on wonder bread and cornflakes (and apparently white rice), welcome.
You see i was under the impression, before i found myself accidentally crushing this little blue pill in a desperate attempt to release it from its packaging, that i had stomach of steel, that i could in fact eat anything from off the ground to off the street.  But as it turns out, this was nothing but a thinly veiled sheet of tinfoil surrounding uncalloused baby hands of a stomach.  With the simple drop of something foreign i simply bend at the knees...

The real humor come from the inexplicable twist of Kenzie and I.  Most are aware of her obvious sensitive intestines that struggled in the states...yet in some sort of freaky friday she finds herself eating whatever she desires, as i clench my gut.  It seems that she was meant for asia, an Irish descent american lost in a little thai girls body (which i believe finally explains her stature) finally found her way home.  And she is loving the reversal.

But this post is in no way a complaint about the food here, as a matter of fact quite the opposite!  The food is amazing! Both satisfying my inner cheapskate, as well as my taste buds. Most likely to blame would be our lack of local knowledge, stuck in a vicious tourist triangle of ordering the two or three different items we know...pad thai, pad kapow, green chicken curry...if only we could get ourselves out of this white man's vortex and order a REAL thai dish we would not so often visit the porcelain cyclone.

The dilemma is not the problem itself, yet the problem it creates, for in a land where public restrooms and toilet paper are flowing like milk and honey this would only be but a small annoyance.  For when i use the restroom, i am a king! i need a throne...kings do NOT squat.

Yet again though i do not want to come off as complaining, because actually, we LOVE it here! we love the food, the culture and the we are not complaining, this post is simply a warning, while immodium can be good and solve a temporary problem it also can be bad.  For just as pulling a pendulum hard to one side will cause a similar swing to the other, with any action....there is a reaction.

Do not take too much can be ugly.

Thank heaven for Mackenzie

Mike & Mackenzie's take on Pattaya

Starbucks, peets, flying goat?? Not a chance here. But believe me, after an hour of service in this dreadful heat as you feel the sweat dripping down your back, you will be begging someone to suggest going to a 7-11 for a refreshment. And here it's like going to Starbucks-there is literally one on every corner! And most of the time you won't even get to the end of a corner before seeing another one. And another rumor we have heard about 7-11(which I haven't dared to try yet) is that there frozen dinners are delicious!! Hmm....I may have to be here a little longer to try that:) but when we aren't too busy going to 7-11 for break they will let us have some coffee. And when I'm sipping on a latte here it's just as good as sipping on one in europe...or for those less traveled, it's just plain good!! We have been told by people here that Thais are known for their good coffee.. And they were right! The days of chais are gone( yes, I was so sad to learn they don't do chai here) but lattes, cappuccinos, it's all good! So it probably sounds like all we do here is eat & drink- but it is a big part of most our day.
 But besides that service has been good and a bit humbling. I think we misunderstood that we are not a English congregation- just a group- which means a lot of our service is in Thai!! What??! How did we miss that vital piece of information. So our very first day of service here we went to service meeting and realized we had to go in service in Thai that very day! And did people coddle us and tell us it's ok and we will help you and take all the doors until you learn a presentation?? No!! Right after service meeting an English sister was kind enough to take pity on us and we all wrote down small simple presentations and headed for the territory. No coddling done here- you are just thrown into the water and you better know how to swim or learn! So it has been very humbling for us all because this language is done in tones. So if you don't want to sound like a true Thai person, it means we are going to  sound really funny. But if you get people who look at you and laugh after you have given your presentation then you know your tones are wrong. And yes we had people laugh at us, lots! And it's so different than at home. You know how at home you don't want to make a spectacle or have too many people in one territory? Well throw that out the window! How about 20 people all go to the same territory and work house over house?? And here you don't just go up and ring doorbells, you yell from outside the gate to see if anybody comes out. So everybody is yelling 'me cry you mike uh' which means ' is anybody home?' The same time as all the other 15 people on the same little street as you. And since addresses are kind of crazy around here, when you find interest, just take a picture of the house- maybe even if the person you talked to is still standing right outside! Thais do not care about if things seem weird or not-anything goes here! I mean, put your newborn baby or your entire family on a scooter and brave the is an everyday sight!
    But really besides all these crazy things that we are just not used to, we all love it here & are having a blast! The people here are very sweet and easy to talk to. Oh..and did we mention yet that the food is really good?:) well so I don't bore you any longer we will say this is it for now. I have to go get a Thai massage for the next 2 hours and it will only cost me $10:) ok not now but maybe tomorrow...:) 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Motor biking in Kit

After about 1 week of riding motor bikes in Pattaya I already have a hand full of hilarious stories.
        Story 1: We are about 7 minutes in after we have just rented our bikes and we all have these trashy little helmets they gave us at the rental shop, so we go to run our first errand and it is the very first major street that we pull out on, (literally the first time we give it the full throttle) we are going up about 300 ft. and then we are going to do a U turn. I gun it, get up to about 25mph cut across 4 lanes and let off to slow for the upcoming U turn. Mike pulls up next to me, NO HELMET. Apparently his was to small and it flew off as soon as he hit the throttle. Go back and get it? Not an option on that busy street. I was laughing so hard I didn't know if I would make it to our first stop.
        Story 2: Rafa blew a tire on the way home from dinner and Juli and I stopped to help out, we found a tire repair shop real close by and the lady gestured for us to pull it on in. Rafa attempted to give it a little gas to have the engine help him roll it, well he gave it a little to much and his bike was a run away train and rammed into a shelf with a bunch of glass bottles on it. Fortunately no damage was done and all had a good laugh. I felt a little useless watching a 50 something little Thai lady change a tire for us but she was more than up for the task. When she finished she insisted on rolling it out to the street for us. Well I can't say I blame her!
         Story 3: In an attempt to turn my bike around I miss judged the corner and next thing i know I am in a weed filled field 4 wheeling. Just a few stickers in my service pants to show for that mis hap though.
         Someone mentioned that in Thailand the road is like a stream, the cars are like rocks and the scooters are like water. They are so right, it is just scooters filling every opening. Riding scooters here has been very fun. At first while watching traffic in Bangkok we didn't know if we were up for the task. One night during a big festival we were walking on the side of a 6 lane road with absolute mayhem going on in the street, you see it is a 2 way road but everyone just goes where there is an opening regardless of the direction they are going. As a gang of about 80 scooters buz by 1 guy coming from the opposite direction does a U turn in between all the scooters which are all going about 25 mph, crazy right, well now factor in that he was texting with 1 hand and not even looking up at what he was doing at all, just looking down at his phone!
          It can also be scary. Yesterday on the way to meeting we saw the aftermath of man verses scooter, not pretty. It looked like the guy that got hit would be ok but he was not happy.
          We have been having great success in the ministry which we will share on upcoming posts.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Where nightmares Juli

Hello everybody, or shall I say "sa-wa-dee-ka!" Everything is amazing here in Pattaya Thailand {despite this post title} All of the need greaters here in the foreign language group have coddled our little fledgling group and are making sure we are all taken care of. We do seriously feel like fresh babies out of the womb helpless and hungry. When we first arrived in Pattaya our housing was sort of up in the air and we needed to find housing for all eight of us ASAP. We tried our best to play "International Househunters" but with the help of the group overseer {who has been our true life saver} we found a complex with four available apartments all on the same floor, but no two rooms being directly next to each other, perfect. We have made our home to feel, as homey and comfortable as possible, but there is one thing that I am being a real big baby about. Yes, the place where nightmares collide...the bathroom. Imagine for a minute that you have devoured a giant bowl of spicy Thai soup, that on top of the two other spicy meals you had eaten earlier in the day. You have quite a rumble in the Bronx so you head to your sketch bathroom. Oh yeah it's the one that is a million degrees because it has open air windows to the outside. It's also the place where mosquitos have a little pow wow on how the devour the foreigners tonight for dessert. It's also home to smells from who knows where and never mind the grime from all the other tenants from nightmares past. Just for kicks let's make the whole bathroom a shower so the floor is basically completely wet when you take a shower. Yummy. So your sitting on the thrown minding your business, sweating up a storm while being attacked by those same roque mosquitos...with wet feet. have decided to spend as little time as possible in that room. It freaks me out, for reals. It could be worse I know and I have seen worse, and overall I really do like our little studio. Ok, the nightmare story is over...for now.

Here are some other pictures of room, the not so scary area:
It's been fun trying to make our room cute and homey without spending too much money and bringing home only what you can carry on our bike. Do you think it could be an episode on Nate Berkus?! 

Wanna know where dreams collide? Pattaya Thailand. Kit and I are having so much fun and just tonight Kit said he was having the time of his life, awe. We have already made such wonderful friends that I know will be lifetime friends. In our congregation there are brothers and sisters from the States, Canada, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Germany, England, Russia, Korea, Japan, and more I am sure. The clash of cultures is really a beautiful thing and being surrounded by people who have made huge sacrifices to search out for spiritually hungry people inThailand is so refreshing. You know how back home you have talks on how to reach out to where there is a greater need and you really want to? It seems so surreal to me that we have actually done it and are living it. Some said before we left that this trip would be a life changer and I think they were right. It's hard to even imagine going home and forgetting about the huge need here in Thailand. Now if we could actually say something that a Thai person could understand that would be amazing....we'll work on that.

There are so many things to tell that it seems overwhelming to sit and write it all down.

Here are some ministry snippets:

We stop at any available market in the village we are working in for break. I discovered Lays nori potato chips there, it's as my mom says "perfection". 

One market we went into today we had to take our shoes off before entering.

Few have cars so we drive our individual motorbikes to the territory then walk it, yes you heard me...walk. 

Helmet hair...yep, when you do your hair you have to consider the fact that you will be putting on a helmet.

You walk up to gates to houses and yell out "Hello, is anyone at home? Hello?" {in Thai of course} then when someone comes out you give your presentation.

Dogs are really really scarey street dogs. No petting. 

Thailand is tropical therefore it rains...and we ride our bikes in the rain. With ponchos. Let's just say back home when we feel a drop we call it a day. Not here!

We do a lot of informal witnessing on the beach and in he shopping centers where foreigners will be. We all are sharpening up on our informal witnessing skills.

Food at the right time.... MIKEY and SAM

After a semi stressful first week we are finally settled in... or so we hope. Good thing because living out of a suitcase will make me homesick a lot faster then almost anything
else! So being able to empty our luggage and find a home for all of our belongings gave me a feeling of relief. So far, we have been able to enjoy multiple service days with the congregation and it turns out...its mostly in the Thai field<<<<eek!!>>> We are all doing our best to be flexible and roll with the punches :)

The brother who conducted our first Pattaya service meeting graciously handed all in the audience a sheet of paper containing many "simple" Thai phrases that would be useful for the ministry. That entire meeting for field service was spent going over these phrases (not like that helped at all but it was nice of him..) Once the shock of being "thrown" into the Thai field wore off, we all started
working on our Thai presentations, being kindly coached along by various service buddies. You can hear all the Californians quietly mumbling their presentations over and over again to themselves as we pass by each other. Thai householders, for the most part, don't seem to make it any easier. After I muster up all the courage I have and spit out a 10/15 second presentation..(that feels like forever) I look up at the householder to find either a blank stare or them laughing...awkward. Despite the confusion and uncomfortableness being experienced by both parties, they still take the tract, I force a smile, and we walk on. The nice part is that you can look back at those who you just left the tract with and almost always you will find them reading it. Warms my heart!

We literally will spend the whole service day trying to force our little brains to remember 2 or three little sentences. By the end of the day I feel a little more confident, repeating the presentations and greetings in my head and out loud for the rest of the night.. on motor bikes, in grocery stores, at dinner, before I go to bed.. I'm not exaggerating, I feel bad for Mikey. By the next morning I show up to the meeting for field service (still silently going over my presentation) and feel confident, dare I say even a little cocky about my new found Thai "skills." However that cockiness is immediately smashed to pieces when my new service partner informs me that I'm doing it all wrong and gives me a completely different presentation.  NOOOOOO!!! This is definitely a humbling experience :)

The good news is that we arrived just in time to enjoy the week of the English C.O visit! Last night we ALL got to attend the entire Pioneer meeting and it was amazing. Even though going into the meeting I wasn't feeling discouraged or down in the dumps, it was definitely the "shot in the arm" that I'm pretty sure we all needed. Jehovah always knows what we need even before we do :) Because the majority of pioneers here are more or less in the same boat that we are (serving in foreign lands) the meeting was tailored to us completely, allowing us to hear just what we need...Food at the right time :)

Thai Presentation:
Sa-wa-dee-kah (hello)
Pom/Chan (male/female) chuh Sam/Mikey Ka/Kob (male/female)- (My name is Sam/Mikey)
Rao ben pie-on pra Yahoah ka/kob- (We are Jehovah's Witnesses)
Pom/Chan yaak hi penpap ni ka/kob -(I want to give you this brochure)
Andu na ka/kob-(for you to read)...I think
Kob kun ka/kob-(thank you)

So I've tried uploading photos but its not working :( Sorry!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Bethel tour

Link to the bethel tour and pics :)



Tuesday, November 19, 2013

First Juli

Hi all! I know you have been on he edge of your seats waiting to hear about our trip so far. So here goes! We have finally arrived to Pattaya, our new home for the next 3 months. We are all very excited to be here, especially because now we have wifi. Literally it's what we most look forward too...."is there free wifi here?" "Can I have your password please!?" I know it's really sad. But as much  as you might {or maybe not} miss us! We miss you too! Especially our canine friends, you know who you are. 

Well here is a good breakdown of our lives so far:

Day 1 - We arrived in Bangkok on a rainy and humid afternoon {please don't try to imagine wasn't pretty...really sweaty dirty Americans sticking out like a sore thumb} We were swept away by our driver from the hotel we were staying at {Bangkok Loft Inn - best decision we ever made}. We mustered up enough energy to freshen up and hop on the sky train {5 minute walk from hotel...more sweat} which took us to the nearest pier on the Chao Phraya River. We took a free river ferry to Asiatique, a very modern shopping center that has a giant ferris wheel and more shopping than any husband would ever dare to imagine. My first impression of Bangkok was that it was really really hot and the smells coming out of the sewer can hit you like a ton of bricks like nobodies business, but the oh so glorious food and shopping are well worth it!

Day 2 - we toured the grand palace where "The King and I" in real life happened for realsies. Although the king doesn't reside there you can feel the royalty of this palace with every building dripping in gold and the strict rules on modesty and decorum {the boys were improper with their shorts!} The reclining Buddha at Wat Po {just down the street from the palace} was really impressive {150 feet long, 49 feet high}. Wat Po was a little less strict and crowded and we really had fun goofing off in there! We ate at the local market and then went to Khao San Road that is a night market that caters to backpackers and tourists. It rained that night and that is when this creepy rash started in my legs that still haven't gone away. I like to call it "heat rash" but in my hypochondriac mind I am pretty sure it's a flesh eating disease. 

Day 3 - Dusit Zoo - I had never been to a zoo in a third world country and I am not so sure how I felt about it. It was awesome that the standards of safety are so low that you can literally see how an animal can escape and attack you, but at the same time the animals had really small and dirty enclosures and they looked under fed. Very eye opening. At the zoo my already rashy legs were attacked by rogue Mosquitos that were thirsty for some halvie blood. I had flashes of people asking me about malaria and I had a little mini freak out moment, it may or may not have included the following: tears, prayers, frantic arm whaling, shortness of breath and heavy sweating. The best part of the day was when a zoo keeper took a young chimp on a walk around the zoo and let us watch him good off, literally right next to us. So cute. After leaving zoo, little did we know that a blockade had been setup with cement barriers! guards dressed to nines and barbed wire. Oops the demonstrations are today and we need to walk through the blockade? Awkward. We hit an amazing mall called Siam Paragon were they have 4d movies, every store you can imagine and you could even buy any of the displayed cars {Rolls Royce, get the picture} we couldn't even afford to window shop! 

That was just a snippet of our first few days and I will share more soon, i promise :) At the end of the day we are all pretty pooped just from sensory overload/having the time of our lives. All of us are having a blast and most of the time we just laugh a lot! The friends here in Pattaya have taken us under their wings and been so so so so helpful to this motley crew. We got out motorbikes last night so I am sure we will have a lot more stories to tell! 

Here's some food pics for all you foodies :) 

Love you all!