Thursday, September 04, 2014


It been just over two weeks since I first set foot in Thailand. I think I'm becoming more accustomed to life here at Sunshine Orchards.

(Note: For more detailed updates, you can go to Raquel's blog-

I'm getting used to the cold showers, although I still cringe when I pour the first dipper-full of frigid water over my body. Speaking about bath time... Here's an excerpt from my recent journal: "Because we got back late from shopping in Mae Sot and it was already getting dark, we had to take our baths without much light (the bathroom light is not working right now). With the help of my flashlight, I saw lots of little particles in the big water bucket... Evidently the filter is not working very well right now. After pouring a few bucket fulls of cold water over my body and soaping up, I noticed something floating in the water. I examined it a little closer in the dim lighting and found it to be a drowned, tiny, whitish, lizard-type creature. I quickly disposed of it in the toilet. To think that that dead thing could have been poured over my head! I guess that's the joys of being a missionary. :) It makes life more exciting. You never know what will happen next. "

I'm starting to get used to the schedule and having worship so early (5:30 am), even though I would rather sleep in. I enjoy hearing all the singing and seeing the friendly smiling faces so early in the morning.

I've been to the three towns that are in the nearby vicinity - Mae Salit (10 min), Mae Tha (30 min away), & Mae Sot (almost 2 hrs. away). Going to the market is an interesting experience for sure. There are many different sights, sounds, and smells such as squirming eels, golden fish, huge live catfish & other types of fish, tiny squid in containers to be sold; dirty market streets; nauseating smells of pork and other meat mixed with strong smoke smells; staring people (our white skin gives us away); many racks of colorful clothing and much more. I was surprised to see that they have a fancy store in Mae Sot that is similar to a mall on the bottom level and a Walmart on the top floor.

I enjoyed eating the delicious food at some local restaurants too - vegetable/tofu curry, pad thai, yellow mango shake, to name a few of my favorites. I think I feel best when I'm on the simple diet here at school. though. I still haven't come to enjoy bamboo shoots or durian yet. The people here like their food spicy hot, because some of the curries have had quite the heat. I like a little spice, but sometimes it's just too much to take. Raquel and I sometimes like to end our meals with rice, coconut milk and a little drizzling of honey to end on a cooler note.

I've been getting used to bringing an umbrella almost wherever I go... except for last night I left it behind and Raquel and I got quite drenched on the way back to our hut after visiting the girl's dorm.

Taking off my shoes before going into any building is becoming second nature. You have to take your shoes off in some small shops in the market as well.

I'm also starting to interact more with the students here. The day before yesterday, I helped five of the girls sweep and mop the new girls' dorm that was recently built (They haven't moved in yet.). It was an interesting experience, because the girls did not speak very much English or they were too shy to speak it. There were many smiles, laughs, and giggles.

We had a hard time understanding each other. I would say something and they would just giggle and laugh and talk to each other. Then they would try to tell me something and I would say, "Huh, what was that?" I enjoyed working with them though. This just creates in me a greater desire to learn their language, so I will be able to communicate with them better and know what they are saying about me. :)

There are still a lot of new things ahead of me. I will be starting to teach classes next week when the second school term begins. We're on the school break right now, but there are still about 90 students on campus.

The plan is for me to teach English to grades 8, 9, & 10. I'm feeling a mixture of excitement & trepidation. I pray the term will start off well. I'll probably be laughing a lot and a praying a lot. I've been hearing that I have a few mischievous students in my classes. I'll let you know how it goes. :)

Bottom line, I know I will need much wisdom and strength from the greatest of all Teachers in order to be successful in this new endeavor.

I will also be a teaching a vocational computers class in the afternoon. I don't know exactly how to plan for these classes, but I'll just have to do my best.  After blanketing everything in prayer, I'll just have to "jump in and get my feet wet."

It's not all bliss & happiness being a student missionary - I've had those moments of being tired after a long day, feeling out of the loop when the students are talking in Karen, missing home and family, having a sore back and a sore throat...

I still face similar challenges & distractions to the ones I had back home in Arkansas. And thankfully, I still have a mighty Savior who can help and strengthen me just as He has done before. I just need to trust Him fully in this new place, no matter what I face. It's reassuring to know that God is there, wherever we are.

I am very grateful for this opportunity to be stretched and challenged. I'm reminded of one of my favorite verses...

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 
Proverbs 3: 5, 6

All of us foreigners wore Karen shirts last Sabbath. So thankful for friends!

Note: If you have been noticing random capitalization, out of place punctuation, or mixed up word order in my posts, it's not because I have bad grammar skills. :) It's due to my computer trying to auto translate/correct what I write. Hopefully I've fixed that problem now. It's somewhat amusing to see what it did to my posts. Technology is not always helpful.

1 comment:

  1. Hannah, I'm still jet-lagged, so I woke up at 3:30 a.m. this morning and was reading this. . Haha.
    Which girls did you clean the dorm with? Are they the ones that we climbed the mountain with? Don't worry. . They'll warm up to you and start using more English and you'll start learning some of their phrases. :)
    God will be faithful! I can relate to how you're feeling, because I've been in the same circumstances; but I can also testify to the fact that God brings so much blessing through the trials and difficulties! Praying for you!