|Just how much stuff can one person carry?|
Lydia, my guide and companion over the past two weeks, was leaving Thailand to return home in the next couple of days, so we spent some time buying final prezzies and having a tailor-made dress completed. Due to last minute decision to try and get the dress made we had to go to an upmarket hotel tailor. It was hilarious to see Lydia and myself trying to wet-wipe our grubby legs and feet clean in the hotel lift as the rich and well-dressed stared at the out-of-place misfits invading their shiny 5star territory!
Mike & Jane Fucella and Lydia
The biggest news of the week is starting Language School. I will be completing the first module of Thai Language at the Union Language School for the next 4 weeks... and what a start! From the moment we entered the classroom, we were put in our place- No shoulders showing! Skirts or long trousers only! No Chewing gum! Don't be Late (Yikes)! Stand for the National Anthem! And, of course, No flip-flops- the rather nice golden-coloured pair that were situated on my hot, sticky feet burned deep into my tanned toes as both the teacher and Principal laboured the point... not the best start ever. But despite this, I sat with my little notebook, pen and pencil ready to start conversing in Thai. Ha! For the next three days, 8am to 12 noon became a surreal world of guttural and barnyard sounds repeated hundreds of times over. The Thia language has many vowel sounds- each of which I have attached a similar sounding English sound to; for example: OO I remember as the Northern England O sound that my gorgeous little nephew makes when he says his Aunty Jo-Jo's name... then there's UU like the moo of a mournful cow, or aa like the Ah of opening your mouth for the dentist... but even with these explanations there are also some which just don't exist in English. The teacher introduced us to a vowel sound that she called Pepsi Wow, where we had to pretend to drink a can of Pepsi and make a burping sound! Hilarious in a class of ten. But it was only on the fourth day that I finally realised that she had taught us the Pepsi-Vowel (w's are hard for even the most proficient Thai English speaker!).
I have been very blessed with my class mates, we have a real mixture of ages and cultural back grounds. There are 2 Aussies, 3 Americans (there were 4 but we lost one along the way...), 2 South Koreans, a Japanese Guy, a Czech Guy and then me- flying the flag for the UK. We have such fun, everyone is really chatty and friendly, we laugh at each other and ourselves- which really helps or else the four hours would be way too intense! Most of the students in the class are planning for short or long-term Christian missions and I feel slightly sorry for the Czech and Japanese guys who seem to have fallen in with us without any real Christian background- but it's turning out to be great opportunity to share my faith (along with the others who are also giving it a go... the guys don't stand a chance!). I'll keep you updated with my laboured progress in to language learning- but keep the prayers going, I really need them!
|As appetising as Spicy Shrimp Noodles|
sounds, I opted for toast with a banana
smoothie- Yum,Yum !
|Gugenheim rip-off but a great |
All change on the accommodation front, although I was of course sad to pass up the opportunity to meet the rest of Colin's family, I have moved in with a very hospitable American couple called Gary and Claudia. They are missionaries here with the Bible Study Fellowship and have generously (and maybe crazily :) opened their home to me. I am so blessed as their home is air conditioned, very nice with beautiful views and no uninvited bedfellows. I will introduce them more over the next few weeks... if they can put up with me for that long! What is that verse again...love is patient, love is kind... love is long-suffering... love is using a set of earplugs?
|Gary and Claudia|
|What a cracking view|