I’ve shared before about my struggles with fear. I struggle with putting what I write “out there.” But it’s a nuanced issue with a lot of layers, some legitimate. As I’ve gotten to know the people of Thailand, I find myself hesitant to write, because my story here is really their story, and I don’t want to be flippant about someone else’s story. I don’t want to gloss over the fact that these are whole people, families, villages, cultures in the interest of getting my point across. It’s my perspective, of course. But still, I think there is a certain amount of caution needing to be exercised when you are involving the real lives of others in what you write. So I’ve decided to try to spend a bit of time introducing you to all these beautiful people in the hope that along the way you will also learn about our time here, rather than the other way around.
The picture at the beginning of the post is obviously Amelia, but braiding her hair is Bua. Bua was the first Thai person we “met” officially. She was our house-helper in Chiang Mai, and she blessed us every day by coming and doing our laundry and dishes. She also blessed us with her sense of humor and no-nonsense attitude that came through loud and clear despite the language barrier.
Bua taught me my first thrilling Thai phrases: “cut the pinapple” and “close the window.” She had a sweet relationship with our children, and they were excited to greet her each morning, which generally involved Heny running out in his underwear to “wai” (bow to) her.
Though she now lives in Chiang Mai, Bua’s people are “hill tribe people.” She grew up in a small village out in the hills surrounding Chiang Mai and often returns to care for/visit family members there. Generally hill tribes would be living in more primitive conditions such as outhouse squatty-potties, open fires for cooking, etc. We wonder what she must think of our modest, yet modernized home with bathrooms, an A/C unit, and a washing machine. Her husband is the male equivalent of a house-helper, doing outdoor/maintenance work. They have one grown son and two grandchildren.
Bua knows we are Christians and knows why we have come to Thailand. We wrote her a letter before we left Chiang Mai about how much we care about her and hope to see her during the two weeks we will be back in Chiang Mai in late June. We’d love it if you’d pray for her and our opportunity to see her one more time before we leave.
In other news, we are now living in the city of Kalasin in Isaan province. We have been here a month and will stay a couple more weeks before going back to Chiang Mai for our final couple weeks. We are loving our time in this place, and I can’t wait to introduce you to the incredible people we get to call our friends.
Thankful for all of you.