It is so exciting to finally be writing this from our home in Chiang Mai, Thailand! We have had a wild 5 days and are close to settling in to some sort of normalcy, I think. At least, I’m awake past 8pm, so that’s a good sign.
We left Rochester last Wednesday morning after a week of illness and Todd’s back going out, feeling so thankful we were able to leave as scheduled. We headed to Rockford, Illinois to stay with Todd’s cousin, and see some extended family before we took off from Chicago. The kids were able to have some sweet, albeit brief, cousin time before we left.
Zoe, Emma, Lily, Amelia, Penelope, James, Sam, Jason, and Henry cousin-ing it up!
Thursday morning we headed to Chicago to catch a 2pm flight to Hong Kong. The kids were thrilled over the individual movie/game/music touch-screen stations at each seat and stayed well-occupied. Henry thought it was great fun just to swipe the screen as much as possible and constantly make something new appear. This seemed like a reasonable activity until the flight attendant pointed out after her 3rd false alarm that there was a call button on the screen. Oops. Clearly the person who designed those had never made an international flight with a two-year-old.
James enjoying the in-flight entertainment.
Our media-blitz bliss ended abruptly when Sam started looking green six hours into our 16-hour flight. Thankfully we were able to get a bag under him quickly and minimize the damage when he finally lost it.
Unfortunately for all of us, and I mean everyone within five rows of us, his second go-round was not so smooth, and we ended up throwing away some clothing and living with an unpleasant smell for the duration of the flight.
James and Henry showed their solidarity by both joining in on the fun as the night progressed. By the time we landed in Hong Kong, we had slept very little, and were relieved to escape the smell…and the flight attendants we were certain were going to have us quarantined in China for several days.
After a short layover in Hong Kong and listening to Henry say, “I in China!” hundreds of times, we boarded for our second leg of the trip to Bangkok, Thailand. Only one “episode” (and one more discarded sweatshirt) later, we stepped into Thailand and were greeted with amazing warmth. It was midnight (Thai time) when we arrived, and we spent a loooooong night in the airport waiting for our one-hour jump up to Chiang Mai, making the most of it by changing clothes, freshening up,
burning packing-up all the undesirables from the previous 24 hours.
Our final flight was, thankfully, uneventful. Amelia was so exhausted coming off the plane that one of the flight crew, a large Thai man, took one look, made a sympathetic face, and carried her through the tunnel. Completely spent, she didn’t even begin to protest, and Todd and I were thankful!
We were greeted at the airport by one of the leads of our team here and have felt incredibly cared-for and blessed by the welcome we’ve been given.
Welcome sign on our front veranda.
The kids have enjoyed exploring their new home and all the new kinds of plants and fruits and wildlife.
Henry loves the flowers!
Kids on the front veranda ledge.
Little run-off in our village…look at all the beautiful trees!
Today Amelia and I went to explore her Kindergarten and she was so excited about it, she ended up staying for the morning. She had been so apprehensive about it all, and it was such a relief to my mama-heart to see her thriving. She has two little friends who are children of the people on our team that are both in her class. All but one of the rest of the children are Thai, and she’ll be able to learn some Thai while she attends. Henry will start at the same school Thursday, and we’re hoping he’s a bit more on-track schedule-wise by then.
Amelia’s 1st day of Kindergarten certificate!
Finally, while we were gone at the school, Sam, who’s still not been feeling well, got to go for a ride with our new friend Mark to get Gatorade (yep, they have it and yep, that’s a pink bike…borrowed from the boys’ tutor 🙂 ). I’m going to go out on a limb and say this may have been his favorite experience thus-far.
Sam heads out on a ride!
Those are the highlights. I’m not feeling very creative or funny or profound. Just grateful for all of your prayers, love, and encouragement. And completely dependent on the One whom we can completely depend. Thank you for helping us know we are surrounded by such an awesome community of people!
This has been running through my head (and sometimes out of my mouth in the form of a singing reminder!) the last few days:
“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation. He is my fortress; I will never be shaken.” Psalm 62:1-2