A week in photos

I’m struggling to find what I want to write this week. I’m processing life here, taking it all in, and feeling a little quiet for the blogging world this week. 

So here is my week in brief moments and photos....

This was the best part of my week: a new keyboard! I can play some actual piano pieces now. 

With new instrument in tow, I started music therapy with the patients this week, along with Kate, one of the social workers who also has a music background.

Antonia and I take a break from Hands of Hope one morning per week, and I assist her with an activity at the Care Center. She takes on the more physical and/or coordination-type activities. Part of our morning involved this game of throwing a ball at stacked cups...

Most days I head out around 6pm to watch the endless beauty of the sky at sunset.

Below is Jiem. She lives in the Garden and works at Hands of Hope. She makes these mobiles. She often makes breakfast for the patients at the Care Center on Saturdays, and she knows the patients well. She tells us that we can come to her house if we ever have questions about the patients during overnight duty - which we have already had to take her up on!

(A note on why we don’t post a lot of photos of the patients or workers. I think I mentioned this before, but we want to protect the identities of people with HIV/AIDS. There is such a strong stigma for people living with HIV, and some of these people have not told their families or loved ones of their situation. I asked for Jiem’s approval before I posted this photo).

We were supposed to go swim in a lake last weekend, but the lake was closed due to a Buddhist holiday. We ended up seeing some other sights, including this Buddhist site. Here is the outside:

And here is some of the inside (a tunnel we walked through):

This special kind of palm is only found on this one island in the region. There is a bridge to walk to the island, and it is considered a sacred Buddhist site:

Above is our offering that we made at the Buddhist site: incense sticks, candles, flowers, and brightly-colored flower garlands...

We could not go out on the lake this time, but we will go back! And try out one of these rafts:


If you want some more details on Hands of Hope, they have their own blog: handsofhopenongkhai.wordpress.com. I’m included in the most recent blog post, with some photos of me leading exercises and providing massage. To receive this blog via email (which occurs once per month), go here to sign up: www.handsofhopenongkhai.com. You will sign up and then need to click on the link in a confirmation email for it to work. 

Below are some of the products that the Hands of Hope producers design and make:


Apparently there is a quilling theme today. Here are some quilled gift tags: 

And some wall hangings:

The other big event that happened this week was honoring the birthday of NongNam. She was Viscinie’s daughter. She had Down Syndrome and was beloved of the whole community. She went to her untimely death last November, and the whole community took it very hard. There were some tears and many kind words spoken, as we honored what would have been her 6th birthday this week.

Snippets from home. My sister Felicia sent me this photo this week (I have an original at home, but not here!). These are two of my sisters on my wedding day. The photo is missing my lovely sister Denise, who has been emailing me regularly despite her hectic schedule adjusting to a new job. The photo is also missing my beloved brothers, too. Much love to you all!

Hope you enjoyed the moments and photos of my week. Until next week!