25 July 2009

First Impressions

We are now into day 3 in Thailand. I just ate at an authentic Thai restaurant...well maybe restaurant is not the right word. It was down a back road half hidden away. I've noticed most good places to eat are only found if you get lost or if you are a local. We had an excellent lunch, but I ate what I thought was a green bean and it turned out to be a green chilli. I don't eat much hot food and have never had a chilli straight. At one point I was making plans of what to do if I passed out cause my vision was blurry and I was feeling quite light headed. My stomach burned and Erik (the missionary we've come to see) said I'll feel it burn all the way through, so I'm looking forward to that! Then Matt tried one and said 'yeah, it's a little hot'. MmHmmm, granted he eats chilli like it's candy.

God has made it very clear from the beginning that He is here with us. One of the girls in the group almost didn't end up coming because her passport was going to expire in 5 ½ months and apparently you can't travel on a passport unless it's got 6 months left on it at least. Someone in Cairns finally sent her through with a warning that they might send her back when we get to Singapore. Each step of the way she was questioned and checked, phone calls were made. But she is here with us now, and I just take that as God making His presence known from the start.

Seth travelled amazingly well, and we even met a lady in the Singapore airport who grew up near where I grew up...it's a small world sometimes (for those who know Canandaigua, she grew up in Ithica)!

The place we are staying is quite beautiful. It's a little run down (they are working on renovations where they can) but the rooms are comfortable and we are being well looked after. I asked Mariaana (Erik's wife) how the structure of the building is. She said the structure is good, but the wood has been eaten out by termites. The Thai people let the termites eat the wood because they believe they are holy. In fact, they let them destroy their holy structures because they believe the termites to be more holy.

We've been asked several times if anything has surprised us, but I think when you visit a foreign country you expect things to be different so it's not really a surprise. Also, as I mentioned, we've been so well looked after that we haven't really been outside our comfort zone. Sunday we visit the mountain tribes were I imagine things will be different. It will be interesting to see how everyone handles the new environment.

It's amazing the work that the team is doing here. The influence they have in schools, in the government. I'm not going to even bother writing it down now because I don't have that much time!

I suppose that is enough for now. I'm sure I will have more to write later, after all it's only been a couple of days. It's a great experience being in a country not as a tourist, but having the opportunity to be shown around by locals and encounter authentic Thailand.

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