Tuesday, July 26, 2005

FInally back to the Island!

Well, after about 8 weeks abroad, I’m back. My kitten is now a cat and I can now say that my apartment is clean – after a good mopping and washing of the cat! I’ve come back at a really nice time of year – rainy season! It makes the days not as hot because of the cloud coverage and I almost can get a little cold when it rains in the evening or the mornings. It is very pleasant.

On another note... It has been really great to see everyone again. I was able to go over to U’s house and hand out with her, her mother, and younger sister! I have plans to hang out with her at, you guessed it, Starbucks tonight.

Jennifer and I with a very friendly saleslady!! Posted by Picasa

J-men are sooo cool! This was our evening at the coffee shop!! Posted by Picasa

Night market...night market...night market!!!!

I couldn’t handle it. Ok, there are night markets where I live – pretty good ones too – you should come and visit. But this, this was too big. I went to night market on basically any night that we weren’t going anywhere else. Talk about OVERSTIMULIZATION!! I had to put a limit on it (both with money and because I could never go to sleep after visiting) but it was tons of fun and also good to practice my masterful art of bargaining again. I’d have to give it up for Jennifer, though, she is truly the Night Market Queen of shopping and bargains (I think she was there every night  ). :)

We visited a huge temple at the top of a hill - this is part of it. Posted by Picasa

Better than I can! :)

Oh yeah, did I mention that elephants play soccer?! I was able to go on an elephant adventure – we saw how the Thai had trained elephants to play soccer. The people role the ball to the elephant and they can kick it into the goal (which is guarded by another elephant!) with any one of their feet - one of the elephants could even drop kick it! These talented creatures can also paint some pretty interesting abstracts that sell for more than you can imagine. Course, they were also asking a pretty penny for some popular elephant dung paper – watch out if you receive any sketchy looking paper from me!! 

Yes!!! Sooo much fun! Posted by Picasa

Elephant with elephant-sized soccer ball. Man, everyone plays this sport! Posted by Picasa

Fun at a cookout in Thailand - it was really good be with old friends and new! Posted by Picasa

On to Thailand!!

Well, it seems I am forever traveling -– just the way I like it. Hmmmm....Thailand...thee land of great food, elephants, tourism, and for me, meetings. 3 weeks of meetings!!! Don't worry, that is unusual, but I'’m not complaining. In between meetings and seminars there are old friends to see and new ones to meet, shopping to do, sight-seeing galore, and restaurants to visit!!

When I first arrived I was able to hang out with the guys!! I met up with an old friend from good ole' TFC, Zach, and some of his buddies, and we went spelunking (caving for those who are not of the outdoorsy nature), rafting, waterfall viewing, and motorbike riding in Northern Thailand. Not to mention the visits to Mike'’s Diner at night -– that happens to have some of the best burgers and onion rings (though no onion ring compares to my homemade Vidalia onion rings).

About a week later, I was able to meet up with my beloved crew from pre-field orientation. It was really great to see them all again and I can'’t believe that it has been over 6 months since I left the States!

A beautiful view of Chiang Mei, Thailand. Thank you God! Posted by Picasa

Our "white" water river rafting expedition. Posted by Picasa