YoungLife Thailand

We have become good friends with the Vechprasit family in the last couple of years. They also happen to be the folks heading up YoungLife Thailand. And they’re our neighbors, too! How random, right ๐Ÿ˜‰ Well, in acknowledging just how too well things have aligned themselves for us to be more intentional in the relationships we make while here, our family has entered this new (school) year with the commitment to be as supportive and involved as possible with the literally down-the-street YL crew.

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What does that mean? It means as much as we are trying to assimilate to life abroad we are also more fully embracing being native-English speakers and engaging with the youth in this language area they themselves are learning at school and in anticipation of their future work opportunities. It means baking monthly birthday cakes. It means baking cookies in this humidity and heat. It means going on camps and day trips. It means really trying to learn who we are as individuals, as a couple and as a family — and using both the strengths and weaknesses tools for love and generosity and hospitality. It means stepping out of our respective comfort zones and being challenged to grow in ways we could have never concocted ourselves. It’s been tiring and beautiful and always always always worth it.

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Recently Dan went on a one-day trip to Ratchaburi with a looooooot of high school students who he has never met before from a school he has never stepped foot in and proudly wore the awkward badge of farang. To say I was and am proud of this man of mine is quite the understatement.

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And, really, if you know my more introverted people-watching better half who prefers not being in the limelight on a personal level, you can definitely understand just how outside of his comfort zone this trip was. But you can also probably imagine how much he rose to the occasion and gave it all he got. What a guy!

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We just celebrated our four year anniversary…and where we are now versus where we were all those years ago when we were in the “technically not dating but kind of seeing each other but are just friends and maybe more but not that but yeah maybe that and I don’t know” stage is so much better. We really have no idea what we are doing 68% of the time, but it’s so much nicer being bewildered and still committed to whatever may come together.

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Life on Pichayanan | A Neighborhood Tour

We live at the very end of a side street of a bigger side street off the main road, kind of like a cul de sac except not in a development. (It really doesn’t make much sense until you see it in person.) During the day, to get a bit of exercise and to get out of the house, we go on walks. One of the joys of having a toddler is that he is always ready to go outside. And one of the downsides of a having a toddler is that he is always ready to go outside…regardless of the time of day and the temperature of the day.

Favorite times outside in this wonderful country of heat and humidity? Before lunch and before dinner…when, you know, it’s cool and there’s a breeze [eyeroll]. But I love the boy, and despite all the sweating involved, I also love the feel of the sun on my skin. And Estelle? She is our wonderful youngest child who doesn’t get much say at this point. So please enjoy this compilation of a mini tour, as guided by Louis เธ•เธฐเธงเธฑเธ™ (and note that you don’t see any neighbors because they, in their great wisdom, stay inside when it’s this hot outside):

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Most of these walks end up in a neighbor’s house. As in, we walk onto another person’s private property and are welcomed because…why not? We’ve much to learn about hospitality from this country we currently call home. Anyway this is just our little corner. There are many other walking routes in and around many other neighbors’ homes. And many many many little critters and creatures along the way. Sigh.

 

Life on Pichayanan | Mini Tour (round 1)

Ahhh…our daughter is going to join us earth side in less than a week! Her big brother is over a year and a half old now. Dan is scurrying and prepping and planning like a mad scientist for end of semester activities and getting things set up for paternity leave. I am…heavily pregnant. Just so heavily pregnant. Swollen with child. I get it. I got that phrase with the first kid, but man do I get that phrase with this second kid.

Louis is napping. I should also in theory be taking advantage of this time and napping as well. Or resting. Or whatever. I happen to be housing a very exuberant little girl who has been trying to join her family way too early for the last 10 weeks. She is not down with resting or napping at this point. So I finally dusted off my laptop and uploaded pictures from “the big camera” of our home. Well, the downstairs portion of our home. The next two floors will have to wait because I’m pretty selective of how often I go up and down those stairs these days.

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I love our downstairs. It’s where most of the partying happens. It’s where life is lived: where books are read, where goodies are baked, where meals are shared, where friendships grow and where kids run wild. There are challenges, obviously, in adjusting to things outside the comfort and convenience of the school gates. (Dan has an interesting walking “commute” that he’ll have to document and share — in short, he is crash learning/using Thai a lot and is the only farang in our neighborhood…so no pressure about first and second and nonstop impressions, right? I am being challenged with preconceived notions of my identity/worth in my current role as a quasi-work at home mom and could wax philosophical about that for ages.) But we are loving our home and are coming to embrace life on Pichayanan more and more.