Well, John and I are back to our normal Thai life. The ordinary, the simple, the sometimes boring, the sometimes new.
I’m filled with thoughts like… I had committed to spending some time each week exploring what I want to do upon my return to the states. But I hadn’t done much of anything in regards to discernment for a month. I made up for a lot this week. Resulting in an anxiety-filled night, full of nightmares of working in a corporate office again. (Not that there’s anything wrong working in an office, and I have been doing so part-time for years. But you know - nothing is very rational at 3am).
Then there is the snacking. We got tons of sweet gifts from our visitors, and then a few care packages recently. So we are living it up. Someone recently asked me if there is anything I want, and I said no for once! Gotta find some self-control.
Then there are the days that I spend a whole day looking at the computer screen up close and personal. Because I’m editing a ton of Hands of Hope products in Adobe Photoshop - to make our catalog look extra sharp for next year.
It’s still super hot outside. Although there is a bit of a relief. It has been raining and storming recently every couple of days - that cools everything off for a few hours or even a day.
The first big rain we got - the frogs went berserk. They were making so much noise. When John and I biked into town recently, we kept laughing and mimicking the especially loud frog conversation we overheard.
Then there is the Thai version of a fish-fly. They are so small that they can work themselves thru our screens to swarm into our bedroom. We learned that we had to leave the bathroom light on - to attract them there instead of our bed with our bedside lamps.
There are small joys, too. Like peanut butter M&M’s - thanks, Greg! And beautiful sunsets - now that there are actually clouds in the sky more frequently.
And then there are the kids at work. Since the children are still on their holiday, one of the Hands of Hope producers brings her youngest daughter to work regularly. She is 3 years old and adorable. She is quite taken with me and likes to randomly come over just to touch my arm. Oh, man. So cute.
Sometimes, our community of two feels incredibly small after visitors leave. And I need to remind myself of how quickly the first 9 months went. Yet it still feels like the dog days of summer. So you gotta eat a few slices of unripe, sour mango to perk yourself up and carry on.
In final news, after much deliberation, John and I have decided to extend our volunteer commitment. Upon reflection on how much more we could do, how long it took us to get oriented (maybe 6 months), and upon the offer of GSV to fly us home to see our friends and family in August, we decided to extend our commitment from 12 to 18 months.
Our obligation will end in February 2017. For our visit home, we will be back in the Midwest from July 29th to August 12th. We will be in touch more about dates to see all of your shining faces.