Well, it has been an interesting and full week. I have been a little homesick, and I have felt a little like I’m in a limbo state. And I probably won’t feel quite like I’m out of this limbo state, until my Thai language skills get better.
As I sat down at work to write this (before my day officially begins with a meditation/mini-exercise as a group), one of the teenage workers, Bell, came up to me and gave me 2 imitation Oreos and a little yoghurt. This is her second day in a row of gift-giving. One of the previous volunteers described her as a “love bug.” I’m already feeling her love! It’s so sweet.
I feel a little of the stress and newness of everything easing away...
Now, after a morning of work at Hands of Hope with an hour break for Thai language lessons, my stomach felt a little funky. I needed to use the restroom before eating lunch. In general, my stomach hasn’t been too out of whack, as a result of the transition. Nonetheless, moments like these remind me that I’m still in transition and to try to be gentle with myself.
After work today, we will go to the outdoor Friday market. It is similar to a very large farmers’ market in the U.S., but with more variety, like used clothes, “dollar store” prices for detergent, etc. We will buy our veggies and fruit for the week, and maybe treat ourselves to a fruit smoothie! Then we will stop at Makro, a large Costco-like store, to stock up on yoghurt and muesli for our breakfasts.
Tomorrow, Saturday (wan-sao in Thai), we will bike 40 minutes to downtown Nongkhai to attempt to buy John a guitar (not with our stipend but instead using our own money) and a new yoga mat or two (only if we can afford it on our stipend).
Then, on Sunday (wan-ah-teet), we will bike to my workplace, Hands of Hope, to catch up on our internet time and skype with our parents.
Some other little thoughts to share are:
- I have enjoyed getting to know Vishinie, whose 4-year-old daughter died unexpectedly last fall. Her daughter was a favorite of the whole community. She had Down Syndrome, and Vishinie did not take care of herself but only focused on her daughter’s care. Vishinie is very thin and was shaking out her arm all day today, due to some constant discomfort in her arm and hand. Next week, I will beginning massaging some of this community, hopefully alleviating some discomfort for them. Also, Vishinie is my hug buddy!
- We are eating so many different fruits! We have had dragonfruit, a custard apple, rambutans, and several others that I don’t even know the name of yet. This week, I ate the most delicious kiwi that I have ever had. It’s not a native fruit, but imported from New Zealand. We also were given a coconut, and we drank the milk directly from it. So cool!
Well, that’s it for now. Here are a few photos of our volunteer house. Sorry if they are not the best quality. I had no time to edit them, due to a very slow internet connection. Nonetheless, I hope this post gave you a little snapshot of what my daily life is like. Until next time!