Saturday, April 30, 2011

Stay Tuned!

Much to say - tomorrow!

It was a good, good day :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I wish, I wish

It's 4 am and I should be heading back to bed after being up for an hour and a half already but I want to write ... apparently about nothing.

I think sometimes I'm kept up because I just think as time in the night is sacred, uninterrupted, unguilty time that I ca use however I want to.

I mean I can't really do laundry as Wally's trying to sleep. I should do dishes but again it would be too noisy. What else is there but to surf the net, write inappropriate comments on people's facebook pictures and try and solve all fo my problems.

It beats a stuffy bedroom.

I actually want a solution.

To a .... somewhat unexciting life.

I made a comment the other day on FB about not wanting a 'standard old life' and then I was asked what that was. I'm guessing I probably had people thinking I meant that life can't be exciting living the 'norm'. You know being married with kids and a regular job.

That's not what I meant at all.

If anyone has met my closest friend they'd know that she is the epitome of exciting (in my opinion) and she is essentially a stay at home air force wife.

She is not afraid to take her kids anywhere anytime to try almost anything. She doesn't allow life to hold her back from living.

Currently her husband is on a 7 month deploy to Afghanistan. They have a 4 yr old son, 2 1/2 (almost) yr old daughter and she found out just after he left that they are expecting baby number three 6 weeks after his return.

Not to mention they live in Florida, her family lives in Canada, his family live in Ohio and other parts of Florida that are still 8 hrs away.

There is never a dull moment in her life. Never.

Now my hope is not to come across all 'My life is so boring and hers is perfect and blah, blah, blah ... the grass is greener over there.' Because that's not the point.

The point is she's a bloomer. Where ever she's puts she's beautiful. She adapts to her surroundings even when there seems nary a drop of water in sight. I admire that.

I feel like I need a manual on how to dig in roots, look for water, stay clear of weeds and look my best. Flowers are supposed to know what to do already aren't they?

I'm sort of hoping much of the sort of emptiness Wally and I are feeling is the lack of our own little family. Both of us are really beginning to sense that gaping hole in our world. Not in a 'We need a baby to complete us' way, but more in a 'We want to nurture and give to someone else's life meaningfully' way.

Thank goodness we don't need biological or our own children to fill that void (at least not most of it).

Wouldn't life be easier if it all just happened?

Sometimes I struggle with how much power we have over it and how we choose to respond to it. I wish somethings we couldn't decide, but then again ... I better be careful for what I wish for.

Sometimes I think that I handle 'outside of my control circumstances' better because I know I had no part in making them happen. When I don't create the problem I feel much less obliged to have to know how to fix it and more at ease to just trust for what I need to 'handle' it. Probably much of the reason I've hesitated at the idea of 'deciding' when it was right for us to have kids. How often do we really know what's best for us?!

I think that's why I was able to become at peace so quickly with originally losing so many hours at work, because at least half of it was not my decision. Of course since then I have gained back more time and am now in the dilemma of having to decide myself what's best for me. Do I cut back somewhere else? Do I accept things as they are? How do I know what's meant to be and what I should intervene with?

Generally I'm a faith filled person that would say 'just do what your heart says' but as I get older it's a wee bit more difficult to obey the heart over the mind.

I will still try though.

I wish I prayed more. I wish I felt less distracted and more connected. I wish I could quiet myself better. I wish I didn't always feel so restless.

I wish, I wish.

Well, it's been 2 hours and I haven't solved all of the world's problems yet. Maybe one solution is to go back to bed. I think I'm gonna do that.

Nighty night.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

No itch to scratch

Lately I haven't really had the itch to write much.

I just finished a book and have now been watching a lot of online tv. Maybe there's a connection there (reading and the desire to write)?

Life's life.

Struggles are struggles.

Triumphs are triumphs.

Failures are .... chances to learn how to do things better next time.

I guess that's what I'm trying to figure out right now.

To abandon the idea that I failed and embrace the chance I have to do better. That's the hardest lesson ever. (Especially when people and objects, like to point them out).

What's your biggest inward struggle?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Being Positive

Sometimes you've just gotta be.

The past several days have seemed to cast a serious cloud on my mood. I've spent more time than I care to admit being rather down, unmotivated, disconnected and feeling disappointed in myself.

I have never attributed the weather to my own personal mood as I tend to love rainy days and thunderstorms and am not bothered much by overcast clouds. I am wondering if a few things combined with our on and off spring have indeed contributed to a serious slow down on my part.

There's a few things at play other than the weather right now ...

Running Goal: My first 5K run is coming up on Saturday and for some reason my running (that initially was going very well) has been a great struggle. In my personal opinion I think my mood has greatly contributed to this fight, as I maintain most physical goal require even more mental determination and strength than anything else.

Though I only have 5 days to go I still maintain fierce desire to complete it and know that either way I will complete my first 5K run within the next couple of weeks (but it had better be on Saturday!!).

Thailand: Something I have had yet to acknowledge is the fact that I have completed my big dream of visiting another culture and seeing first hand people that are in a very different place than I in many ways. I don't think I ever prepared myself for the 'after shock' of this trip ending, the desire to go back, to potential for another dream (that is not contingent on us having or not having children).

Kind of like just after the party I think I have and perhaps am still experiencing some of the 'blues' of this big even being over. Being someone who thrives on both the big and small events in life it's sometimes difficult to move on after one of them is over and know what to do with what I've learned and how I can hold onto and grow whatever that is.

Work Life: As I have written since coming back from our trip I feel a sense of wanting to love what I do not only while I'm at work but when I do work. I have surrendered (at least mentally) to the idea of working less and tried to be more purposeful about giving work up that I didn't 'click' with and doing more work that I do. This is now a work in progress and something I will have to work on long term I think. I am now only down 2 hours from my original schedule (rather than the 8 hrs that was supposed to be - though unplanned).

I am trying to take time to see where else I should cut back. Riding this wave is strange, especially in the workplace I am in but I will try to continue to be sensitive to it. I am learning the time off is not the key but DOING something that makes you feel valuable and fulfilled IS. I need to concentrate on seeing where I can give back in our community in ways that are both using my talents and time in a positive way.

Community: Wally and I have (for years) struggled with the aspect of building a family, outside of our family, within the area that we live. WE have not been a part of an organized group together in years and would like to pursue this in our faith (something that would also be necessary in many ways if we ever chose to go to Thailand to live and serve for any length of time). It became apparent this weekend when on Easter Sunday we found ourselves on our own. Having already celebrated nicely with my mom's family we had no where else to be or no one to be with (well depending on how you look at it). It would have been a great time to have had an established 'other' family to potentially share the time with. (Though we did end up having a nice impromptu visit with Wally's sister!).

In a few weeks I will be done my weekend working and we really hope to make really make a commitment to settle down and get connected to my former house church family. We not only want this but know that we need it.

Back Sliding: I hate admitting this, I don't want to even go 'there' (or here depending on how you look at it) but Wally and I have fallen back into our binge eating patterns and doing so has landed us gaining some of our lost weight back (the story of Hansel and Gretel comes to mind).

I am thankful that our work on learning and sticking with clean eating (other than our binges), I have no doubt this has helped us keep a relatively healthy diet overall. It seems to be our emotional eating that gets us into trouble, as well as the fact that since moving and trying to settle into our home we have NOT been going to a gym and weight training (a sure fire way to KEEP the weight off even while enjoying treats).

I have just received a free 1 yr membership from a friend (YAY!!!!) enabling me to go back and do classes for free that I really wanted to get into (like yoga, maybe spin and possibly more boxing). I also feel like GOING to the gym was good for me to focus and knuckle down. I am still glad we got the basics for home so Wally can (and he does) use them and when I get back at it (after the 5 K) I can try some of the new stuff I want to try at home.

I guess there is one other thing to mention ...

The Kid Thing: There's no way around it. Though I never wanted to be someone who came out and said 'We're trying!!' I can't really get around the simple and acceptable fact that we are. I guess I have a difficult time saying that we are because I don't take my temperature, write things down or time every fun *wink, wink* activity we do down to the second. It's more of a 'so we don't need these anymore ....' sort of effort.

Who knows what will happen. My main goal it to virtually not worry about it or get overly focused on it, though admittedly this is nearly impossible for someone who write lists about their lists and has goals within their goals. I don't think there's ever a moment when I don't have an idea of something I'd like to accomplish and many of the items on this list interfere (or need to be altered) if I were to be expecting.

Being 31 years old the thoughts weigh heavily on my mind on how and when Wally and I will become parents, as we may or may not conceive and are very interested and wanting to experience the road of adoption. I just feel that this is something to be considered carefully and thoughtfully and done WITHOUT my spontaneous side.

It's 4am and for some unknown reason (to me) I hear the birds chirping rather violently outside. Maybe they are excited about their day.

I for one hope to roll back into bed and catch some more sleep at some point soon praying that I wake up tomorrow on the right side of the bed and am able to see the day for the gift that it is.

Cheers to new days!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Anti-Anti-bacterial soap

One day while we were still in Thailand, Wally and I met Steph (our new friend from compasio) for coffee. We actulaly ran into her and one of her friends (that we also met) for breakfast.

It was the Saturday at the end of the week we'd been visiting so there'd been lots rummaging through our minds.

AS we were heading from the breakfast place over to the coffee place we ran into a couple of the street kids that we'd met and Steph knew well from the Drop Inn Centre. THey were out begging for food.

It's a different picture than you might think.

THere was a little boy around 9 or 10 with a baby in a wrap on his back and a little girl around 9 maybe with personality oozing from her pores. She was actually one I hung around quite a bit at the Drop Inn the day we were there. Spunky she was!

Steph broke through the language barrier quite successfully, as was the practise, to let them know she'd buy them lunch from 7/11. She took the little girl inside the store to help her pick out food for her and the little boy. We sat outside with the little boy and waited.

Soon enough they emerged from the store with the popular Roma noodles in a bowl filled with hot water and a couple of bottles of milk.

The little girl and boy situated themselves on the pavement with the three of us adults surrounding them.

The baby was around 5 or 6 months old with a dirt covered face and snot pulsing from it's nose. (I may have shared a bit about this before already).

THe boy took the baby out of the wrap and set her on the pavement. She had no diaper on and was wearing a dress. She sat up perfectly fine on her own, happy to play with any wrappers from the food she could find.

The kids ate carefully as the water was hot. They didn't gorge themselves but took their time enjoying their 'catch of the day'.

As I sat there I said to Steph:

'The baby is NOT wearing a diaper.' (pause)
'She's wearing a DRESS', I add.
'She's sitting DIRECTLY on the pavement.'
'Oh. My. Goodness. How does she not get an infection?!' I finally spit out.

Steph nods and braces her smile muscles and says 'I know' in a way that explains that I am in the first person to ever say those four sentences with the emphasis that I through in.

A conversation ensued surrounding the incredible immune systems of the people there (particularly the poor who live in more dire, dirty circumstance).

I refer again to those that live at the dump and how any one in North America would have a hissy fit to just have the kind of dirt they fashioned on them for moments would sent out fits of the Willies all around. There would be pleas for soap, a clean cloth and not to mention anti-bacterial cleanser STAT!!

I thought of friends that Wally and I have who have shares in the anti-bacterial franchise. Shopping mall food court tables, grocery carts and any surface tht could have been touched by .... anything would be vigilently scrubbed before being touched or used.

Now I confess I'm not generally this clean (anti-bacterial wise). I wash my hadns after using the bathroom, touching rough meat or getting something sticky or truly dirty on my hands but honestly my house, car and life are NOT anti-bacterial tested.

I barely ever wash my fruit or veggies, you'd be hard pressed not to find something rotting in my car, and my house is lucky to getting thoroughly cleaned once a month. I don't live in a sty but it's hardly germ free.

After seeing what many of these people lived in and probably survived BECAUSE they lived in it, I felt much better about my less than stellar housework habits.

I chatted with Steph about the over clenliness of North Americans and how anti-bacterial soaps and such have infiltrated our culture. We have a heart attack at the thought of something having germs on it and forget that there is a degree of germs we were designed to live with for our our protection and immunity.

As I thought on this topic I pondered how our society has done it's best to omit any form of foreign matter from it's radius. How it tries so hard to clear away all perceived impurities from it's world.

Are you dirty? Let's clean you. Are your clothes old? Let's get you new ones. Is that furnature damaged (or just outdated)? Better look at new stuff. Do you live below the poverty line? Let's boost you up.

We never think about the benefits of HAVING these perceived impurities.

A better immune system, less care about acceptable fashion and more use of what we have (perhaps learning how to do something like SEWING the ripped seem in your pants), enjoying a simpler life (assuming you have the essentials like food, clothing and place to live).

Though I'm sure I'm coming across as a crazed hippy that is willing to give up her need to shop, her soap, and her economic status I will assure you right now that I'm not.

But, I am willing to entertain the thought that we North American could stand to learn something from what we would normally consider a 'poor and pitiful people'.

We think we have it all going on with fighting diseases (guess what we weren't meant to live forever!!!!) and climbing up the proverbial ladder of 'success' to assume a greater facade of 'Life's better when you have more'.

I won't deny that since Wally has found a job he loves our life feels better. Most would assume because we are financially feeling more secure. I would argue we are happier more because HE is happier and fulfilled in his work than because of money but there's no way to prove that (well, unless we sold everything I guess and lived simpler ... without fancy and possibly ugly lamps).

I suppose the point of my rambling is this: is a world with less impurities better, more fulfilling and easier than one full of them? Or does it just impose more hidden, yet possibly more deadly illnesses and challenges than we care to admit to having?

Here we get flustered about the house being clean when the family comes over, there they worry about having a house. Here, when food costs go up, we MAY have to consider not putting our 3 kids in soccer (and are devestated that we aren't giving them an adequate childhood), there they worry about feeding their kids at all and kids worry if they should go home at night when they haven't earned enough money begging that day (having a 'childhood' is not pressing on the to do list). Here we fret about our RRSP contributions and there they wonder ....

Anti-bacterial soap taught me a lot on this trip.

A lot.

My mom gave me a bunch of travel sized anti-bacterial gels for Christmas because they came from a store I like that sells wonderfully smelling soaps, lotions and the like.

I've never liked anti-bacterial gels. They are sticky and unnatural.

I use them once a week when I visit Dolly in the nusing home and I'm gaurunteed to have touched something urine or saliva covered. They also smell deliscious in a place that doesn't.

Otherwise, I prefer water. Pure and natural.

I wonder in what other areas of my life I could be more natural? More pure.

There are many, no doubt.

Most people would look at the dirty children/people begging in Thailand as dirty and impure. But they had something I don't...

Natural immunity to the simplest things.

There's something to be said for that.

Steph taking the little girl in to get the food.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A tie for first

Well, my Sads have lifted mostly. I can't say I feel overly ambitious or motivated which seems to be a clinging symptom of the Sads. I know lots of people see this as normal but honestly I'm generally on the go and ready for the 'to do list'.

I generally enjoy a good rainy day but seeing as I have to enter it soon it's not so much my favourite thing.

Hmmmmmmm ... there's so much rumbling around my head yet not much at all.

Maybe today will be a bits and pieces day.

Here are a few of the bits and pieces of my mind...

I asked myself a question the other day. Who in my life do I envy? Who would I give anything to switch places with. The answer scared me a little and surprised me too.

The top two contenders were: a friend who is beautifully pregnant with her first child ( seriously - perfectly pregnant), and a friend who is traveling his way through the year and is currently in Israel perusing about.

I am honestly happy for both. They are fulfilling their dreams and entering new territories that I'm guessing they've always wanted to go to.

I think if I could I'd combine the two into one and that would be my dream.

No, I don't mean a travelling pregnant she-man that poses perfectly in front of historical places. I mean, the experience of motherhood, miracle of birth and excitement of a tiny human to meet and encounter the world with, AND the ability to roam the earth snapping photos and absorbing new sights, sounds, experiences.

These two things hold a tight race for the things I wish for most.

To be perfectly honest I'm not sure which one I want more. This surprises me a little. Ok a lot.

I have come to realize, after meeting some wonderful people who dare to live, that having a family and being a mom doesn't condemn you to a life of boredom and sameness.

Having kids doesn't make it impossible to live in another country, travel the world or try new things. In fact it may give you reason to do these things all the more. (It just may be far more difficult AND who knows if your child will be up to that kind of life physically/etc.

On the other hand there's travelling without limits. To give undivided attention to deeply explore and take in all that is new (or old) and process it. *sigh*

And then of course there is the fact that I at no point in my life want to waste any amount of moments wishing I were anywhere but where I am.

Nope, I really have no desire to do such a thing.

I was talking with Glo about her impending trip to Europe for a year as a nanny. She expressed how her Dad encouraged her to get rid of the stuff she wasn't taking with her and sell her car. Because, he cautioned, they could possibly hold her back, drag her down.

She expressed that she was not looking at this coming year as a temporary detour from things, but as part of her actual life, embracing it as part of what was supposed to be all the way along.

She had originally planned to get her masters degree. She now sees her trip to Europe as what was supposed to be all the way along.

How often do we miss that?

How often do we assume that our plans were the originals and what happens is how we 'fixed' it.

I won't get into the issue of Providence and how God plans things .... blah, blah, blah. Because I'm not trying to say that He plans bad things - I'll leave it at that.

I'm just trying to think a little differently about how our lives turn out rather than how we thought they would, and then our attitude towards whatever transpires.

Often I'll get bitter and cynical about marriage and life. How things don't happen the way you plan and stuff. I can really get all ranty.

I have to remind myself though that we have every opportunity to see life however we want to.

I can be bitter that I'm not a mom yet. I can be frustrated that I never traveled when I was younger. I can be confused as to what to do next. Or I can just accept the ways things have gone so far and enjoy the scenery along the way.

This doesn't answer my questions or even ease some of my fears but it lays to rest worrying about what has passed by.

So, here I sit awaiting for lightning to (figuratively) strike.

Here I sit trying not to figure out how to stay in the moment of my own life and enjoy it's view, rather than wishing I had someone else's.

Maybe my view's great. I just haven't taken the time to notice.

I will try. I will.

To my beautifully pregnant friend and my favourite traveling pal - I am not jealous but rather envious (in a good way): take pictures, absorb, enjoy, live and write down your experiences. They are a wonder.

I will do the same.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I bought lamps

They are really pretty.

The last time I bought lamps for our living room was 10 years ago when we got married. They were $100. I got 4 in a box that was approx. 1 square foot cube.

I mentioned before that we were actually decorating our living room. Will stuff we are actually purchasing from a store. That in our fairy world opinions matches 9who really knows, I'm no fashionista.

I bought 2 lamps so far. They sit on either side of the couch on the end tables.

They look kind of crystal like and are taller than our other ones. They have silver parts on them too.

The lamp shades are grey and square shaped. They match the mirror we bought while we were pretending to be fashionistas.

I tried reading my book this evening with the lamps on in the living room.

It's too dark. I guess they aren't very good lamps.

But they're pretty. And, they match.

I'll have to buy other lamps that actually give light (like the ones I bought in a box).

Sometimes I'm not practical.

Sometimes I don't care.

I bought lamps. They are pretty.

Monday, April 18, 2011


I'm struggling.

I have practically invited another case of the 'Sads' to come live with me.

It relieves me a bit that after waking up this morning with clear symptoms that I realize I haven't had them in a great while. But when I do feel them, my mind immediately goes to Bee.

My mind has actually been on Bee a lot lately. I thought of her several times while we were in Thailand, wondering if there were any dreams she had that got left behind. I thought of how life just goes on even when someone we care about is gone. Physically or relationally. That's the way we were made. To cope.

Today I am thinking of Bee because I feel sad. Not just sad, but like stuck in a deep hole that I am anxious about getting out of, really hoping someone notices I'm here and helps me out, sad.

I sense the heavy feeling that permeates my mind and spirit. I don't like it at all.

I know I'll be ok because there is a reason why the 'Sads' were brought on. Kinda like when you aren't surprised you get a cold after you spend hours in close proximity to someone who has a terrible cold. I wasn't shocked when I woke up this morning with these fretful symptoms.

Heavy hearted, no desire to get out of bed (red flag for me as it's generally hard to keep me in there!), no care in the world about what Wally is doing or how he's feeling, zero care for the fact that my list is waiting with easy items to check off that I know usually gets me excited to complete it. I don't care to e-mail anyone, clean anything, workout in anyway, or even eat. The eating one is another huge flag.

I just want to get warm, snuggle in my chair, turn the lights off and read a book (yes reading in the dark seems a little difficult), with Sweet on my lap (as long as it doesn't take his 20 minutes to get comfortable).

Some might say 'Just do what will make you feel comfortable' but they don't understand that the Sads can often breed off of this hopeless feeling. The Sads (if the Sads is what you have) will burrow further into your heart, like a tick does to your skin, and attach themselves if you aren't careful. Before you know it your sad feeling day turns into utter hopelessness and fear of facing .... well, anything.

I take comfort in the fact that my case of the Sads didn't come out of nowhere this time. They popped up out of an unresolved 'discussion', one that may appear to be nothing but in reality is a pretty big deal affecting my/our entire future.

It's not unfixable but it is uncomfortable, vulnerable and an unwanted issue at an inconvenient time.

I wonder how Bee's Sads started? I wonder if they came very gradually or rather abruptly? I wonder if she felt these things?

I'm guessing that she did, at least to some degree. Probably to a much more serious degree.

I often think of Bee and her outcome. It shakes me to the core some times at the reality of how the Sads can turn into something that is out of anyone's control really. Like a plague of the mind, unwilling to be contained or understood.

It grieves me to no end that Bee didn't win her struggle. She was such an amazing woman, and the outcome of her circumstances doesn't change my belief of that, it just makes me more disappointed in the truth of how finite we humans are.

Bee is free now, I have to hold onto that.

I will be ok.

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Facebookless World

At this point in life I can't even imagine it!

Could you?

A world where you don't know what's happening in every one's lives around you? A world where you can't, with a few clicks of the mouse, know the low down on who's in what relationship, where some one's working or who's having a baby when.

Oh facebook.

I have big and very mixed feelings about this little virtual world.

I've talked to a handful of people that have at different times taken matters into their own hands and detached themselves from the drama that is facebook.

Most of them have taken LOAs (leave of absence)from it, few have fully committed to leaving it completely.

When asked why they have said 'It's just too much. Too much drama, miscommunication, and honestly I was addicted.'

I totally get it. I am a facebook-aholic.

I am the one who updates their status at least twice a day. I am the one who says more than they should. I am the one who gets misunderstood often. I am the one who's had friends delete them out of the blue.

Now I will tell you straight up honestly I am not someone who really gets all twelve year old girl like and worries about losing facebook friends pretending I was BFFs with everyone of them. I understand and appreciate when someone needs to make the right decision for themselves and 9 times out of 10 you weren't really friends anyways.

Recently though I noticed someone who up until lately I had been very very close with that was no longer on my list. I thought maybe that person just deleted their account but then saw that they were still friends with other mutual friends. This is still someone in my life so it wasn't a matter of 'oh they were just getting rid of the extras and really keeping the close ones'. I'm guessing there was more to the story.

Anyhow, this, along with my great addiction has got me seriously preparing to dislodge myself from the facebook society. If I'm that annoying or over the top that I'm shooing real friends away (or at least I thought they were) maybe it's time to cut the cord. (Not to mention the fact that if you have relatives that are already annoyed by you this just gives them 10 times the ammunition).

Maybe the friendship was done anyways and that's ok, different seasons require different people, but, why take the gamble.

Were we really meant to know everything about everyone all of the time? No.

Have you had a conversation with a facebook friend that you hadn't actually seen face to face in months? The conversation is like this:

'Hi! How have you been? (doesn't wait for you to answer) I see you went on a trip. It looked amazing!'

'Yeah it really was.' You say.


You offer 'So you're getting married in Cuba? That's nice. In June eh? I hope you enjoy!'

They reply 'Yeah, so and so's annoying though, we had to kick them out of the bridal party.'

'Oh that's too bad.'

More weird silence.

You're 'friend' says 'Well, I better go. It was great to chat, we should do coffee sometime!'

'Yeah, right. See ya!' Then you feel relieved the run in is over.

I won't lie the benefits of facebook for me have far outweighed the cons for the most part. I've connected with people I would never have known otherwise, made and deepened friendships with people that I would never know now had I not been able to find them or have free access to bug them.

I even noticed at work after I had become facebook friends with many of my co workers that once they got to know the less quiet, more confident side of Eva there was more delight in our encounters. In fact I even told Wally that one day I noticed after the facebook introduction to my co workers, when I was running into them at work I could tell there was this look of expectation on their face. They saw me and were ready to be entertained by a story, funny comment or something.

It's actually a really strange feeling to have people act that way, and to know it was just from them seeing a little piece of yourself exposed in a realatively unreal place.

Of course with every positive there's a negative and I am now noticing or imagining my personality getting 'old' and grating on people's nerves. Perhaps why my friend deleted me.

Right now I am awaiting the completion of my Compasio 5K Fundraiser and probably my Garage sale fundraiser before pressing the morbid 'deactivation' button. (It is great for fundraising and I still have a ways to go).

I am both dreading it and looking forward to it. I guess I should work on getting e-mail addresses of those I do like to stay in touch with. I hope this will give my good friends and I a chance to really communicate and make more of an effort ot stay in touch - I seriously could make a living out of doing coffee.

I'm not saying I'm staying off of facebook forever - we'll see. But I am definitely taking a good long break from it.

The facebook world will never be the same ;)

'More time to myself'

I was spending some time with a friend the other day and that phrase came out of her mouth.

For some reason it struck me. Really struck me.

I'm not really sure why exactly. Maybe because that seems to be what every one (including myself) is running around in life trying to do.

The thing is .... really, who else does it belong to?

When I hear that phrase and think of my own 'time to myself' I immediately melt into a puddle of ahhhhhhhh.

What does it mean?

For me it's a gluttonous act of whatever I feel like. It could be reading a book in silence, eating my favourite snack alone, going to the book store (oh my goodness bookstores!!!!) just to look around, hoping I have money I forgot about living in my purse.

I means having nothing to do that I don't want to do, in otherwaords spending my time on me without any guilt what-so-ever.

I can only imagine how much the value of this experience goes up when you have children.

Is it a North American or Western thing to want time to yourself? Is it 'normal' to hope for or expect? Or is it something we used to have back int he day that got lost in the bustle of trying to achieve more than necessary in a shorter period of time?

I don't know the answer but I know that it's not a statement I want to have to say very often.

I think it's like hoping you'll get just one more gasp of air while fighting waves in the middle of an ocean. At least often that's how it feels when you are saying it. I know, I used to say it more often, and I still think it more than I should.

Could you imagine a life where we loved everything we did? Where we never longed for more of any good thing? Where we knew our limits?

Last night while out with that same friend I ordered a drink from Starbucks. the ladies who made it warned of great pleasure from it. They didn't lie.

I don't remember if there's ever been a time, at least not in my recent history, that I've enjoyed something so much.

I drank about an inch out of the grande cup and honestly felt like I'd taken so much enjoyment out of it thus far I needed no more. In fact I wondered if having more would ruin it.

Let me tell you, in the realm of tasting that's not something I experience often or maybe ever. It was almost a holy moment.

I savoured every taste for at least the first quarter of the drink. I would pick it up, hold it in my hands, feel the warmth. Then I'd stare at the artificial-but-who-cares whipped cream on top, and the perfectly drizzled caramel sauce on top in wonder.

I'd slowly bow my head towards the drink, close my eyes and let the white foam touch my lips adding a coolness. Then I'd tip the cup ever so gently forward so that the pool of hidden goodness under the sea of cream would invade my taste buds and flood my mouth.

Oh. My. Goodness. It was so wonderful.

I don't often enjoy something so much I want to take it slow. That pretty much applies to everything in my life. Once I know what I like I want to go after it full throttle so that I can just enjoy my new discovery.

This drink was different. It slowed me down and kept me in the moment of it's greatness. By doing so it enveloped me, slowed time and heightened every sense. It was good.

In a life that seems impossible to enjoy every moment or even catch a moment to enjoy maybe we should try to just take a couple each day to just sit still and absorb. Maybe some days they'll be rich with flavour, maybe some days they'll be a little flat and watered down. But I think we are hear to learn how to thirst for both at different times.

That all being said 'More time to myself' never seems like a chore to endure.

Does it?

Drink up whatever moment that you have today.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The aftermath

This is a bit weird for me to say but life is waaaaaay more different since we got back from Thailand than I ever thought it would be.

As I mentioned before I have guarded myself carefully from having any crazy, over-the-top experience that would leave me feeling more empty and cynical after the trip was over. (I'm cynical enough on my own!)

In doing so I kept a nice level head through out our stay and even upon our initial re-entry home. I guess that's why I am finding it so strange that I feel different several days after our return, I feel like our world is changing so much.

The obvious one I've talked about had been my decisions with work, exploring my options and just making sure that whatever I'm doing, I'm enjoying it, despite money and 'strings'.

These decisions have ultimately brought me a feeling of freedom. I know now the benefits of doing what you believe in faaaaaar outweigh doing things because of logistics. I wish I could convey this more clearly or in a more dramatic fashion but I'm not sure how.

I just feel so much lighter.

Up until yesterday I thought it was just my job that was changing (or perhaps my approach to it). Then I talked to Wally...

He had mentioned last week that he spoke again with the Vice President of the company he works for and now answers to regarding the recent departure of Wally's immediate boss. He had approached the VP regarding his boss's leaving and where that put Wally - he wanted to know straight up if there was a chance of advancement in the future.

As they spoke Wally learned that one of 2 things would happen: he'd either work towards the promotion and within the next 6 months have the position (which the company saw him very capable of), OR they may decide to go with some new system making Wally's job completely different and in fact NOT what he went to school for. He'd go from a Computer Programmer Analyst to a Business Analyst, he'd still do programming but mostly ... other stuff I don't get.

Wally warned me Monday night he had something to talk about but when I brought it up at home he just didn't feel like chatting so I figured it wasn't a big deal. Last night I reminded him again and that's when he told me that the company had decided already (it was supposed to take 6 months to a year!) they were going with some 'systems approach' and his job would soon be changing.

I began giving birth to several tiny kittens.

Wally continued looking at his ipod as if he just gave me the score of a baseball game neither of us cared about.

As the kittens came I squealed and questioned. Questioned and squealed. While Wally remained unfazed.

We had discussed this possibility last week talking excitedly about the possibilities in a couple of years of him looking for another job, maybe moving to another city, MAYBE taking time to go to Thailand again only longer (ok that was me mostly projecting my hopes and dreams). At the time we were kinda liking the idea of a new challenge ... in a couple of years though, not now. Or at least I wasn't liking it now.

And now, a day later, Wally still sits quite content with the possibility of trying something new, enjoying the respect of his position and new found relationships at work (work wise that is).

I have never seen him so content in his work.


It's almost unnerving to me. Yet in a good way.

We've been married ten years. Not one of them was easy. But if each of them was there to make today as great as it is .... I'm glad we had them.

Our life isn't perfect, but it is stronger, gentler, more fun, happier and better than it's ever been.

Wally is fulfilled and nothing could be more fulfilling to me at this time in my life.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I'm a runner ...


My new thing.

Well, sort of. I kind of feel like a fraud saying I'm a runner.

I mean, I wear real underwear that bunches up (and don't care who knows it), I don't have any special running gear like a 'breathable jacket', an armband for my ipod (yet), or the 'I'm so cool, this is so freakin' easy, I don't even sweat' look while I'm doing it.

Nope. That's so not me.

A couple days ago when I was out doing my very first run outside (ever) within minutes my ipod (which was Wally's and he gave it to my under strict directions to take good care of it, as I have a reputation of ... losing, scratching and breaking things like that) went flying out of my pocket onto the grass.

Let's just say it's hard to look graceful picking up an ipod off the groudn while still trying to maintain cool athelete mode. It was Sunday morning, no one was around. Thank God.

I can't talk about my lack of great appearance in the sport without mentioning my rooster hair (why would I fix it when I'm gonna have a shower later anyways?!), or my blazing red Rudolf nose (well, I can run in the fog without fear).

All these things combined create quite an entertaining scene, one I wasn't too sure about taking on the road - literally.

But I did last Sunday because in less than 3 weeks I want to achieve my 5K running goal. One I set mysefl up for nicely by turning it into a fund raising event. I really wasn't having any sorts of doubts about being able to achieve this until I got sick the week before we left for Thailand. I remember trying to do my second 25 minute run and barely making 12. My head, nor my heart were in it, let alone my body.

I knew I had to rest. Then of course we were away for 2 weeks at which point I had no plans what so ever of running in any sort of heat, as I was used to the depths of our Canadian winter. We did get plenty of exercise riding our bicycles but that's not the same.

When we got home I worried as it had been 3 weeks plus since running and I had a serious case of jetlag (which I've just overcome!!!). I tried one run on the treadmill and it was sad but I tried. That was my only comfort.

Great spring weather was ushered in on the weekend so I decided 'it's now or never'. My first goal was 10 mins jogging, 5 mins walking, then 10 mins jogging outside. It's one of the workouts they give you before you're hurled into the crazy 20 min run.

Well I did it. Which was a relief because it seems to be that everyone believes that when I say: 'I gonna do blah, blah and blah' that I'm actually gonna do it!!!

It's kind of funny to me when people refer to my 'adventurous spirit' (had that one several times lately from many different people), or my 'zest for life', or my 'crazy ideas'. I seriously always respond in my head with 'WHAT?! You don't know very many exciting people then!'

I'm so incredibly ... run of the mill, not to mention a fraidy cat.

I dont' mean that in a bad way, I just mean that I realize that I'm just normal. I havent' lived in another country, I still keep every receipt from every special trip, I have a regular job, and I thoroughly annoy lots of people (maybe there's something to be said for that -ha ha ha!!).

Anyhoo, I definitely have wondered about this running thing BUT am determined to finish. Today I ran 21 mins straight outside. Or in my language: six songs.

Here are a few things I observed while running:

The first 5-10 mins seem like absolute torture (considering I only run for 20 straight right now I'm not a fan of that ratio).

While being tortured I realize I'm in love with children's sidewalk chalk drawings, they make me smile big every time I see some (even if I've seen them 3 days in a row!). They make things so much better.

As I continue on I decide I love crescents. They're great! You can go down one and know that in a couple mins you will end up on the very same street again - no worries!!! For a girl who is seriously directionally challenged and who lives in a subdivision this is amazing.

Minute 13 - I discover that by pretending a song was written and sung only for me I pretty much feel like I'm a superstar, which makes me think: 'Hells yeah I'm a runner!'

About 15 mins in I wonder who the hell came up with this goal. I hate them. I contemplate quitting.

16 mins in I decide not to because there'll be at least 5 people a the 5K fund raiser and I must live up to the moment. Even if I'm dying and I have four people walking my sorry legs to the finish line.

17-19 mins of the run I visualize a ridiculous slow motion scene of me crossing the finish line with crowds of people squirting their water bottles at me and hugging on me while I do the ugly cry and not care that I look like I was just run over by a train. (I'd better work on a finish line .... and recruiting people to squirt water bottles. Maybe a make up artist would be a smart way to go too).

At 20 mins I think 'I could totally run further'.

Around 21-22 mins my six songs are done and my favourite one to celebrate my success comes on. 'Perfect' by Pink. Love Pink.

Then I walk myself towards home happy with achieving my day's running goal.

Once I get near my block I begin jogging again, just in case the neighbours think I have wimped out half way through and are onto my 'I'm a runner' facade.

Once I get into the house I realize that the side of our crescent I ran up never saw me running in the first place so I could've just passed for a walker. The added torture was in vain.

Oh well.

I'm a runner .... sort of.

Monday, April 11, 2011


I'm currently in my favourite chair. Snuggled at the perfect temperature under an afghan made by one of my grandmas and my favourite lovable pooch.

I've just finished my third chapter of the day of a book that has hooked me in all too easily. It's called 'Water for Elephants'. Glo and I decided that one of the books we would read for our 'book club' would be a book turned into a movie. We'd read the book first then see the movie after (and I'm guessing that as usual we'll like the book better).

I also just finished my very first cup of loose leaf tea. Mmmmmmmm... the smell alone melts me. The flavour for today? Hazelnut Cream. I really don't even need to drink it, it smells so good. My bladder is bursting from the tasting. It will have to wait because my dog is perfectly comfortable. Aside from my pinching and nearly bursting organ, so am I.

What's on my mind today?


I mentioned Freddie a few days ago. He was the gentleman that lives at the dump. He's around 60 with a smile as bright as the sun. Has a young wife an a 3 or 4 year old son.

Ok I've gotta go ... hold on.

Ahhhhhhhh ... my bladder is singing like a black southern choir in the middle of a Sunday morning service. Nice.

Back to Freddie.

The day I met him he was greeting the Compasio staff with what I guessing was his usual smile and kind words. His teeth were discoloured and if I remember correctly there may have been a couple missing.

From what I was told Freddie is a generous soul, willing to share what he has with those he loves.

Both Wally and I were introduced to Freddie while visiting the dump that Thursday but unfortunately (or fortunately) that is not the main impression of him we got to bring home with us.

Our introduction to him at the dump was rather brief. Enough to learn his role there, in some sort of unofficial leadership. He was loved.

What we will remember of Freddie happened the next day and was an unforgettable experience shared with others.

It was Friday afternoon and Wally and I had arrived on time to meet some staff to go play soccer in the Muslim community with some kids. Compasio does this each Friday afternoon. This would be our last item of business to complete until we could say we had seen every part of the operation.

When we arrived we sat for a few minutes and waited. There were a handful of staff around attending to their different jobs. We were relaxing on the couch when out of what seemed to be nowhere Freddie arrived at the office door.

What was not with him was that ever bright smile. Freddie was in tears.

As the staff opened the door to him and ushered him in. He began talking quickly in Burmese, letting the emotions and facts of his story escape.

Compasio's community staff are Burmese (I believe all are, if I'm wrong there are at least several). One of the male staff was there and began talking to Freddie, trying to calm him and find out what was so upsetting.

Other staff began trickling around as Freddie settled onto a spot on the hard cool floor in front of the office doors. There were 6 of us circled around Freddie, biding our time til we could help. (Ok so wally and I knew we'd likely not be of any help but we sat ready to listen).

Freddie talked quickly yet gently. We waited quietly and impatiently for the interpretation. It came slowly and rather choppy as his emotions flowed in and out of his story.

The staff interpret ting asked why he was upset.

It seemed that Freddie had been lent a fishing pole by that staff the day before during our visit to the dump, his son had been playing with it and it broke.

That was simple. He just needed to be reassured that it was not the end of the world. The staff did so, telling him everything was fine.

The conversation went on.

Freddie explained that he yelled at his son for playing with it and in doing so got his wife upset. She did not like the way he spoke to the boy.

Hmmmmm ... interesting.

The staff continued to try and understand Freddie's big problem, why there were so many tears. So far it sounded like a normal domestic spat, not really tear worthy.

As the English speaking female staff pressed with questions to be given through the Burmese staff in the middle, it seemed like forever by the time we were able to piece together what was going on. It seemed as though an interrogation of htis poor man was necessary to find out how anyone could make it better.

As time went on and the questions keep rolling the room was filled with confusion.

Freddie explained that his wife was mad that he spoke to the boy like that because he wasn't the father. They'd been married longer than the boy had been around but apparently Freddie was told years ago that he could not father children. In short, the assumption was that the wife had a child by someone else during their marriage and though Freddie fathered this child in every other way, the discipline given was not accepted, at least not by his wife.

At this point you may be confused. We all were. Especially the staff that had known freddie all this time and his family. They were all shocked at the fact that this boy wasn't his biological son and that this woman basically threw him out.

According to Freddie his wife had told his to leave their home (at the dump) and that if he didn't she would get her brothers after him, according to them he was an old man who was good for nothing. He would be beaten and who knows what else. I remember something about him having to pay money to someone to for causing trouble. His life and livlihood was taken away in a matter of hours.

It took quite a while before the 6 of us fully understood what Freddie was getting at, why he was truly hurt. Was it because of the question of paternity? Maybe, but he seemed ok about the fact that he was possibly raising someone else's son. Was it the fact that the woman he loved didn't want him anymore and he was considered to be expired goods? Possibly. Or was it that he had literally packed up all of his belongings on his bicycle, rode miles into town and now had no where to go and no one to love? This combined with the last question would be my best guesses.

Over the hour that we sat watching and listening to Freddie explain the traumatic events that were currently his life, we watched this adult man cry openly about his sudden losses and need to talk to someone.

Several times during that hour Freddie asked for Jimbo and A-man (a.k.a. A-bag). When the staff asked why them he said he just wanted to talk and that he loved them. He would then cry again and wipe away his tears. When encouraged to sit on a couch or a mat he refused and stayed on the floor. During pauses of discussion amongst the English speakers when trying to figure out the best solution as the people he requested weren't available right then, he made eye contact with each of us around the room and give a seated bow of thanks and say thank you in his language.

Once Jimbo was reached and a semi-solution was figured out, it was agreed that Freddie would be staying a couple of nights with a friend of his down at the market. Jimbo would go talk with him later that night.

This man melted my heart. As did his story.

I'm not sure which part of it got to me most. The fact that he loved the this boy birthed during his marriage whom he had always assumed wasn't his (although could have been, doctors are wrong everyday), that this man loved his wife enough to overlook this dust bunny bit of information, or that he was upset about leaving his home that happened to be at the town dump.

Or it could be that he was openly broken over the entire situation without pride or worry about what we thought, only caring to be heard and loved by someone trusted.

Wow. How much life is different here in North America, or at least the parts that I'm familiar with.

I hope Freddie is well today. I hope his smile is shining like the sun. I hope he is surrounded by someone who loves and listens to him.

I suppose when it all comes down to it. That's all we really need.

Love and Listen.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Totally unrelated ... My yard

I must confess.

I want to be a mama.


I'm doing fairly well at staying in the moment and really not worrying about whatever happens but I think it's time for me to be real. I really do want to be somebody's mama.

This somewhat old realization scares most of me to death but then when I drive by teenagers hagning out with their possy with baby in arms and stroller before them I remind myself that considering what more (hopefully) I have to give (I hope I didn't sound too pompus, you get the idea), that I'll be able to do a mmostly decent job raising a human.

Wally wants it too, which is probably what makes me want it as well. For ever he was hesitant and reluctant to commit to the idea of purposefully pursuing the biggest, most important job in the universe.

He's not any more. I'm not either.

I find myself now in a familiar limbo of wanting something and being content.

tHE times I feel the struggle most is when I see people that either jump into it without a second thought (the ones that 'fell in love' 5 seconds ago and must 'seal the deal' with a baby), and those that found themselves there 'by accident' and perhaps don't appear ready (if that's even possible) to venture into this dreaded and envied position.

I support a young lady who lives with a family. In that family (though she doesn't live there) is a young lady who is 19 years old. She is, as my husband's grandmother would say, 'that way'. Within the next month or so she will welcome her first little one, along with her unemployed boyfriend, into the world.

Now I have a hard time condemning anyone for anything. I feel guilty for painting her in a negative light, for painting him in a negative light. THey seem like nice, yet very naive and immature, young people. It's not fair to them that I judge or decided what's right or wrong. It's none of my budiness.

I do know that when I walk into the house and see her sprawled on the couch with a nest in her hair, looking rather anemic week after week I wonder how it happened that I'm a 31 year old woman somewhat (I do only mean somewhat) jealous over this 19 year old girl who clearly needs a bit more time to grow before birthing her own little mini me.

I try to remind myself that to some degree I made a choice to wait. At the same time the other side of my mind tells me that I did try and give things a chance. Then I remember Wally and I just tried to do the best with the situations we found ourselves in, in order to avoid being unemployed parents (and yes I fully realize this could happen at anytime to anyone who has worked very hard, including us - I do hope you get the idea of what I'm saying though), with little but frustrated burned out bitter attitudes on life to offer our chilcdren.

I feel like I'm being real negative towards every family with kids that's ever found themselves in a less than ideal situation I'm not meaning things that way ... I hope you are getting my drift.

When I see that girl with her growing belly and frazzled hair I do my best to be happy for her chance to experience this miracle ... ok I'm lying I don't really try to do that. I do my best not to wish I were her, or wish I was anything else but me right now. I have a great life and no matter how it goes in the realm of children I will do my best to be joyful in all I have.

I know the dangers of jealousy and envy. Of discontentment in where you're at. There's no need for it because there's no truer saying that applies than 'The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence'.

I am trying to enjoy my yard. Weeds and all.

In hopes that one day there might be little ones playing in it :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Our Souvenirs

I have more experiences and stories to share surrounding our trip but I thought I would tell you about the two big things (for us) that we took away from it.

Now I'm going to warn you that they aren't going to seem like a big deal to anyone else, nor will they likely sound all that earth shattering considering some people would come home from a trip like this deciding to sell all they own give it to the poor and move back (though I'm a step away from that).

The first thing that struck both Wally and myself (while we were still in Thailand) was how the lifestyle there was so different.

For us much of it was because of a lack of Internet access, television, or any way to enjoy media of any kind. However I don't imagine that too many people (the poor ones anyways do). I mean if you are doing ok you can certainly have cable just like here, Internet and all that stuff for sure. But since we didn't bring a laptop to check e-mail while we were somewhere with wi-fi and our place didn't have anything else at all, we had only ourselves for amusement.

Most of the time we had there was used visiting the different parts of Compasio's work, visiting with friends or seeing new places but there was usually a pointin the day when we had a couple of hours of down time. Time we'd definitely usually fill with media (as I am right now).

We noticed immediately how much more time we seemed to have to talk, to read or just to sit together and we didn't even have very large chunks of time! A couple of hours seems like several with nothing else to do. (Of course we were on vacation and didn't have housework, dogs, yard maintenance, laundry or meal prep either).

Still we seemed to enjoy the benefits of little to no technology to distract us. I don't think we've ever chatted that much (and I think we talk quite a bit).

After the week in Mae Sot of no distractions we decided that life seemed much more relaxed, attentive, and rich with less time glued to screens and more time with quietness. We made the firm decision that when we got home we would commit to less tv, Internet and separate use of both of these things. By that I mean if we're on the Internet we'll now more often than not both be on it in the same room together. It sounds ridiculous I know, but it feels different.

We've decided to spend much more time upstairs in our more formal living room that holds no tv. If we want to watch something we'll just gear up the lappy and watch upstairs. I don't know what makes it so much different but it has. We're enjoying more limited time watching stuff and more time just hanging out when we can. As I mentioned before something about our relationship is different since the trip and it's great.

The second and perhaps more interesting take away from our trip would be the realization that we could definitely live in another country - I mean a foreign country, and be very happy.

Whenever I've ever imagined myself as a potential .... hmmmmm I don't know any other word but missionary though I don't know if it fits for this, you get the idea right? I've thought of painfully sacrificing any good thing I've had possession of: comfy bed, nice car, warm home, hot water, indoor plumbing, real food, and any other good thing in life.

After meeting and visiting the homes of many 'missionary' types in Thailand I realize that you can still live comfortably in another country. More importantly I know now I could get used to driving on the other side of the road, I could learn how to drive a motorbike (even though I didn't, nor did I try, I know the thought doesn't overwhelm me - I was just lazy), I could learn the language (I LOVE learning), I could make friends (unfortunately I am addicted to social time), I could adapt my eating (good bye clean eating but it is balanced with the fact you can choose to bicycle everywhere and work it off quite well) and many other things.

I adapted far better than I ever thought I would to the changes we experienced and though many would point out the difference a week is compared to a year I know in my heart how comfortable I felt there. I honestly was never for a second home sick for anything.

I know, I know, how could a week possibly be enough time to get homesick but just trust me.

This latter realization was true for both Wally and myself, surprisingly. While we were still there we chatted about the possibility of going back even if we did it just for the lifestyle change. Wally was open to the idea of doing the kind of work he does now only obviously it would be different in that he'd be working sort of on his own (he'd have to get contract work, but he could do it). I could devout my time to hopefully raising our kids and possibly working with an organization in their work with people. Wally could do that as well during his off time.

I'm not sure how likely it is to happen any time soon but I at least hope that some day we will return or go somewhere else to live if even for only a period of a year or so to experience a different lifestyle for ourselves and our children (if they ever decide to make an entrance). I don't ever want to get too comfortable in our life where we are right now.

Many people that I've talked to form here (Canada) assume that by saying 'we don't want to get comfortable' means we need to have wooden benches instead of couches, straw beds on hundred year old iron rod beds, hand me down clothes and not a screen in sight. That is not what I am talking about when I say we don't want to get too comfortable.

In my opinion it doesn't matter one bit what you have: a $700 car or a $50 000 car. Do you own it? Or does it own you? Are you comfortable giving whatever you have up so that you can answer a calling to do something different or to heed a realization? Or does having what you have make the thought of doing what you know is right more difficult?

I'm no saint what-so-ever (I just heard a thousand Amens) but I know, at least right now, I could sell my house, my car, my new leather couches that I got for a steal, my computer, my cozy bed that I enjoyed all the more when I got home, and a hundred other things if I felt called to go back to Thailand. The stuff in my life (at least right now) does not make me answer to it.

There are a few relationships that would be a challenge to deal with. Ones that wouldn't understand, ones that wouldn't agree, ones that just wouldn't like it.

I think it's those relationships that would be the difficult part. No one tell us to get rid of people that make us too comfortable.

In the end I don't think it's wrong to have wonderfully great things (it's all a matter of perspective on what's great anyways) as long as they don't determine your life, that includes how you share all you have (time, talent, money).

So, Wally and I may not have come back having changed the ways people expected we did change in ways we didn't and they were beautiful surprising gifts.

I do hope some day we get to experience life in another culture, it excites me to think about. For now we are hoping to do our best taking the best things we learned from Thailand and applying them to our life here.

Simplify. Quiet. Slow down. Give. Respect. Love. Listen. Feel. Act.

And if one day we are told, in a still quiet voice to go, we will.

Our souvenirs didn't come from a store. Ask any real traveller - they are the best ones.

Friday, April 8, 2011

1 week

That's how long we've been back 'home' since our rather short stint to the other side of the world.

A few things we've experienced ...

* An incredibly difficult adjustment in our sleep schedules, including: waking up generally after only 6 hours of sleep each night then both hitting a 'wall' around 3 or 4 in the afternoon.

Wally is much better than I at disciplining himself to stay in bed when he can't sleep. Prompting his body to fall back into at least some sort of slumber.

I, though, am a different sort and continue to battle with the same sleep dilemma I did before leaving only much intensified. I've had to force early morning naps (Wednesday from 9-10am and this am from 5:40-7-8am). I'm hoping we're close to ending this game soon.

Needless to say jet lag has been a magnified version of my regular sleep problems which has been less than a picnic.

* Wally and I have stayed true to our desire to spend more time on the main floor of our house - this has to do with the fact our computer and television is downstairs and is part of the 1 of 2 things we learned while away. I'll blog about those soon!

By doing so we've both felt less distracted during our time together and have since limited our tv watching to at most 1 hr in an evening (that is when we are even home together - only 2 nights this week). It's been a very good decision.

* As mentioned in my last couple of posts, I've made some serious decisions surrounding my work. Deciding to cut back on hours and trying to focus on doing work that I connect with both where I'm at and in exploring new ventures.

I am currently looking into volunteer opportunities within the city and ideas of income generating opportunities for women that Compasio works with and how I might be a part of getting something off of the ground there using a big chunk of the funds I'm raising. This one seems huge but I figure if I can work on making a few connections and learning as I go maybe I can help with it. We'll see where it goes.

* I had a few great visits with friends that have truly supported my venture to visit Thailand. I have really appreciated all of their encouragement and interest in this endeavour and honestly couldn't have done it without them, or at least I wouldn't have gotten as much out of it as I have - they inspired me without knowing it. For that and their friendship I am so grateful.

* I've learned this week that I have more of a community around me in those fore mentioned friends than I thought. I've received words of wisdom, encouragement and knowledge from them in how they see me and my life. They've been a mirror to me and shown me things in my own life that I could not see myself and they are there when I need them. I can't say that about everyone in my life.

* There have been moments that I've wondered if Thailand was just a romantic experience that I had without true love. Then I realized that it was actually only a first date, however every great love story has some sort of first date.

Though the first few days back I missed Thailand terribly and my heart ached to be back there, to feel free again. I am trying to ease myself back to the reality that is currently my life in a manner that will keep me close to my love.

This means remembering the wonderful things I received on my 'first date', looking at them as reminders, honouring them with my commitment to live truly and balancing what I know is real in life within the culture I am living. I am doing my best to learn how to live here presently rather than longing for something that it isn't yet time for.

* I have noticed something quietly different about mine and Wally's relationship since Thailand. There's something gentler about it. I like it.

Actually ... I love it.

I'd say overall that the week back to our life here in Canada has gone fairly well (aside from a disappointment here and there). I'm desperately holding tightly to our memories that I fear will pass us by too soon.

My biggest fear is that I'll forget.

I'll forget what happened. I'll forget what we saw. I'll forget what we felt. I'll forget to keep loving.

It's been 1 week since we said 'see you later'.

I wonder how many more weeks I'll have to wait to say 'Hello! I missed you! So glad to be home :)'

I'm already dreaming ...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sorry 'bout that!

For the horrific spelling and lack of editing in my last post.

It was my second try at it and I was tired.

I just can't live without spell check ..... or sleep :(

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A chain of unexpected events ....

I had a meeting with my manager yesterday. That wasn't unexpected. What happened in it was.

I am not much different than a lot of people. I experience a certain level of anxiety before returning to work after being away. I've often wondered if the going back to work part of a vacation is even worth going on the vacation.

I was surprised to learn that this time the transition was a little different.

It was different because it wasn't so much the diving back into who knows what that bothered me but the entire idea of going back to a job that hasn't satisfied me much at all lately. And considering my passionate stand on living life true to yourself, your call in life and being at peace with both of these things this didn't bode well with my spirit.

I was beginning (before I even left for Thailand) to feel like I was lying both to myself and those around me about living honestly.

Why so challenging all of a sudden? Well perhaps mostly because of my pride. Because who wants to admit, after going to college for the first time at 28 yrs of age they don't LOVE what they do? Who wants to admit they ultimately forced the selling of their home so they could 'scratch the itch' of wanting to learn academically, and then later learn they don't like the outcome all that much?

I don't.

I don't really want to tell people 'Yeah, so, after all that I hate my job'. Of course part of the reason I don't want to say that is because it's not entirely true.

There are many of parts of my job that I love. I love the people I get to meet and know. I love the stories I hear. The 'this would only happen in this job' experiences. Mostly though I think I love fighting for the 'underdog'. Advocating for those who don't have a voice (figuratively and literally speaking), evening if you are fighting someone that's supposed to be on the same team as you.

As I spoke to people openly after Thailand about returning to work,I fully disclosed that if I was free to, I'd absolutely be home right now packing up my life and heading back on a plane to where I was. To settle in and finally give life to an undiscovered dream that I always wondered about.

Quitting my job wouldn't ever be a question in that case.

However, as I shared with people the unfulfillment in my work, I always threw in the disclaimer that said 'But, there's this one shift that gives me life, a spark of fulfillment and excitement. It's that shift that keeps me going and gives me a reason not to throw the baby out with the bath water.'

So yesterday when I went into meet with my manager I had several thoughts swirling about in my mind...

'I'd love to just say - I quit. I'd love to just through in the towel. I'm bored, tired and unstimulated. This isn't for me - good bye.'

Then there was the grounded thought wave ...

'Everything's fine, it's going well, I'm happy with everything. See you in 8 weeks.'

After discussing briefly with Wally the idea of me giving up the only weekend shift I had (one I actually enjoyed but was an all day Sunday shift) I told him that I'd give work another whirl and not think about changing anything until my next meeting in a couple months. I didn't want to be rash and emotional about it.

Wally had left around 7:15am and somewhere between then and 8 am when I left for my first shift before my impending meeting I decided that I was going into that meeting and getting rid of my weekend shift, because I knew that would just simply make me happy.

I realized as I thought about it and got excited that I needed to this before I really started to resent my work. I wouldn't ask for a thing in return, I would just lose the hours.

I was admittedly shocked at my decision. This wasn't like me. It would greatly alter my pay cheque and I had yet to secure another shift, job or possibility. I was simply putting what I knew was right for me (and Wally I think) ahead of any of it.

Also shocking was that I didn't discuss this with Wally ahead. We always talk about stuff like this, big or small first to make sure we're on the same page. I was going on a hunch that this wasn't just me being selfish but that I was being led to make this decision.

When the time came I entered my manager's office. It was 10:30am, I had already had a couple of great chats with co workers before the meeting and felt good about my decision. That is until I got some news ...

First order of business. I was notified that the shift that fulfilled my aspirations and gave me an element of 'you're good at what you do', the only one really that I felt absolutely great in every way about (probably because I had to advocate my ass off for the person and got to ruffle a feather or two and I love that!!), was being taken away and given to a full time staff that needed the hours due to the passing of another person supported.

There are two things I must mention here: the shift was technically 'temporary' as I was filling it for someone who was in a temporary position that had just gone permanent therefore putting the hours 'up for sale'. And of course a full time person trumps a part time person in their 1 year waiting period (by a mile).

It didn't matter that the fit may not be right (even the person taking the shift asked for something else and apologized to me - even though they absolutely had nothing to apologize for).

I knew all along that the shift wasn't mine, however I was told the chances were high that I would get it as I'd been doing it for a 9 months, learned everything about the person, developed a good re pore, and was one of two of the main go-to people for all of her needs. I did all of her budgeting, many appointments, communication with her day program, and very hard advocating for this person to go on an agency cruise she'd signed herself up for - that really she could barely afford to go on.

I was stunned. In fact I'm sure there's an imprint from the 2 x 4 on my face that I got hit by.

I breathed my way through not crying and as I was being told it was followed up with 'You're a great member of the team (that's like telling someone 'you are a great breather') .... oh, and you'll be training the new staff starting next week.'

I knew that it would be perceived that I was upset about the loss of hours. Seeing as what I would say next, I hoped it was understood that wasn't the case.

I was already nervous about giving up my Sunday shift but this added to the emotion. I hadn't calculated where my hours would be. However at this point I didn't care, I would worry about that later (if at all).

Still reeling from the news I announce my desire for weekends off to be free to be with my husband and for friends and family. I make it clear I want nothing in return.

It was meant with no resistance. Just a few notes jotted down.

Calculations were made to see that I went from 39 hrs one week, 29 hrs the other (a perfect 34 hr schedule average), to 24 hrs and 25 hrs (plus still 2 hrs temporary on top).

Wow. I couldn't believe it. I went from giving up 8 hrs per pay to losing 15 hrs in a matter of a half hour. This wasn't in the plan.

I left the meeting in shock. In shock over my decision to get my weekends back, in shock over what I felt was an injustice done to not only myself and all of the heart I poured into the person I supported's life, but also the injustice done to them. Their other main worker is going on mat leave in a few months thus leaving her with no more advocates (well I'm assuming the future a bit).

I can honestly say I don't give a rip about the hours which at this point will calculate into a much smaller pay cheque, but a bitterness is developing surrounding the agency I am at.

Now as I say this I am well aware I need to nip it in the bud. I am well aware that all agencies are similar in their approach to how the operation works. I am well aware that numbers trump people more often than anyone wants.

That doesn't change the grief I feel over it one bit.

One of my co worker friends who I greatly respect told me Sunday night how much I needed to quit because I was so depressed/disappointed with my work. Or, she suggested go down to 25 hrs a week ...

After I thought on it a bit I decided that perhaps what was happening was all happening to free me up. To let the best things come. To encourage me to stop having to control every twist and turn of my life.

Part of the reason I held onto the Sunday shift was because I was thinking ahead to after we have kids and what would work best. Really I was worrying and solving problems that didn't even exist yet. In doing so I was creating unnecessary problems and great unhappiness for myself now.

That's crazy!!

I now have a much greater sense of freedom to experiment and explore what might be around the corner for me next.

I have known since last June this is what I should be doing but could never bring myself to do it. Well, here I am. Unplanned and unexpected but very present are infinite possibilities...

For the first time ever I am going to consciously try to NOT achieve anything except letting the good stuff find me.

Hopefully it will be exciting to see what opens up ...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Being 'Home'

I guess I'm home. At least that's what everyone is assuming.

When I decided to address the long lost dream I had to visit a different culture and observe an organization in action giving in some way to people in need of love (who isn't?) I had know idea what I was in for.

By this I don't mean the shock of a completely different country, language, customs, even food. When we were in Thailand I honestly wasn't shocked by much. As I've mentioned before I think I was ripe for the picking - whatever that means...

As I've been talking to people in person, via e-mail and on the phone, everyone starts out by passionately asking 'What was it like?!' I know that my incredibly excited attitude before the trip has much to do with it. The other part though is wanting to know what things were like.

Just today I was talking to someone and I got asked these questions. They wanted to know what was the biggest event? Did I get attached to any special child? What did it feel like to amongst such filth at the dump or see the begging children? Did it feel weird coming home to a nice house and things?

Comments like 'You just feel so bad for the people there', 'Poor people', 'You wish they had what we did', 'It's so sad' and on and on I could go.

Just before leaving Thailand I expressed many times how I didn't know how to go back ... to Canada. To North American culture that believes their way is the right way.

Don't get me wrong I have a greater appreciation than ever for the beautiful land I get to live in, the clean air, free health care, and more than I could ever need.

... except for one thing: perspective.

Just to make it clear I'm not saying we need to all go move to Thailand to gain perspective, that's ridiculous.

In fact contrary to the person I was conversing with today I DON'T think everyone in North America should necessarily go on a trip like this. (I'm not against it but I don't think it's a requirement in finding a great amount of perspective). In fact I kind of find it offensive (but I know I can't be that overly sensitive) that people think we went to do anything, or get a dramatic transformation.

I actually have pursued a dull, even keeled, realistic experience rather than the ever sought after mountain top conversation to simplicity.

I just wanted to see, learn and do right. That's all. (No, this doesn't make me better than anyone else).

I purposefully didn't connect on some deep level with any children or babies (although I admittedly conjured up some favourites).

I was there for a week!!!!!

How healthy would it be for either myself or the children for me to come in heart wide open ready to gobble up their love, only to give them nothing back in return but a 'That was great but I gotta go back to my abundantly great country and go on with my life now - later!'

I'm not saying that one shouldn't give of themselves and enjoy receiving some great time with the kids/babies, I just think if you are only ever planning on visiting once in your life you'd better be mindful of what you are doing, at least to some degree.

I have to say one of the challenges, for me, of only going for a week or so is that I'm an observer. Especially at the initiation point of any relationship. (Once that's over watch out!!).

When I did my placements at school one of the negative comments I got was my lack of immediate involvement. I did well after a few weeks but initially I stood back and assessed. Once I gained confidence everything was great, but apparently waiting to get that was a flaw.

At first I had a hard time with this character point. I got down on myself and felt bad. Now I see it as just a part of who I am and know that through this quality of observation I gained a wee bit of wisdom on how to deal with someone because I wanted to know them before trying to establish any sort of relationship with expectations on them.

Where am I going with this?

We were there a week. I had a week of observing and mild interactions. Ones that I savoured every moment of. Ones that now feel were a bit of a tease because I want more.

I went to Thailand to fulfill a dream. Not to discover a new one. But I did and this hurts right now.

Needless to say I'm finding it a great challenge to be 'home'. Not because of the nice house and things ....

What's the old saying? 'Home is where the heart is'

My heart is in Thailand.

Can someone mail it back please?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

How we got to where we were going...

I guesss it's time to share a bit more about our trip. THe beginning seems to be a great place to start.

Wally and I left our home around 3pm in the afternoon on the Friday before our flight. We decided since no one was knocking down our door with offers to take us to the airport we'd go early, sty at a hotel for the night, leave the car parked for the 2 weeks and get shuttled to the airport, giving us a few extra and needed hours of sleep.

We were very nervous about the shuttle being on time and everything working out, but it did and we were glad to be on the plane and off to Hong Kong.

Our first flight start to finish was apporx. 16 hrs. We actually did well on it. Other than feeling the normal grossness of long travel it was good. However I have to express how not so great it was to be flying with a serious sinus cold. Yikes!!! That was sooooooo incredibly painful upon descent - in fact I don't think I've ever eperienced such pain in my head before. Fortunately that was the worst of it and I didn't experience anything as bad as our first flight.

Our layover was only an hour and a bit after going through another security check and such then we were on our shorter 3 hr flight (which I must add felt like nothing in comparison).

Wally and I were comparing going to THailand as opposed to coming home and we agreed that there must be an adrenaline rush or something on your way somewhere beause the way home seemed torturously long and that was after we broke it us a lot mure!

Anyways, we must have been feeling pretty good because once we got off of the plane in Bangkok we knew the 'fun' would begin. We would then be completely responsible for getting from point A to point B with a language barrier between us.

We took a few moments to get ourselves figured out in the airport and discussed if we'd go with the original plan of staying at a guesthouse there in Bangkok for the night and fly out to Mae Sot in the morning or just suck it up and take the night bus and do the 8 hr trek through the night.

Shockingly we both agreed to take the night bus experience and get our travels all over in one shot.

So we threw our plan to the wind (I honestly can't believe we agreed together to do this!)and decided to get a cab to the Mo Chit bus station (pronounced Mo Shit - nice).

Unfortunately at the time of throwing plans to the wind we learned later that we threw a couple of notes of advice while using taxi services to the wind too.

We were directed by our friends to go to the lady at the counter to ensure a trustworthy ride.

We missed that. Oops.

But we were superexcited to find a cab so quickly- I mean they came right up to us, how great is that?! (Clearly we were virgin International travellers).

A lightbulb should've went off when along with our driver was his spindly, charming, conversation attempting side kick who learned all of our dirt on travelling. He made us feel so cared for. He was good. We were stupid.

We hop into the car and feel confident the driver knows where he's going.

Ok confident might be a strech. We hoped beyond all hopes he knew where he was going. We were startled by the traffic, the speed, tha lack of seat belts in the car and by the very broken English Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb had.

They conversed in I'm guessing Thai - who knows. This made me nervous. Were they plotting our abduction? Were they planning our death? Did they know where they were going? Or were they figuring out how to take us for all we were worth?

We would soon learn that the last one was their goal. What can I say, we were easy targets.

Our friends had prepared us with the cost of what the cab would be. Around 350 Baht. Not a bad price. They warned us about toll fees and all of that business. We felt good knowing what to expect. I had made sure to ask for a metered cab and was confident I'd passed the test, except for one thing .... I noticed that the meter wasn't changing. Hmmmmm does it usually change in front of us? How should I know, I have been in 2 cabs ever and they were in Quebec and I was with someone who knew what they were doing. Maybe this was different. I had a sinking feeling though and wished this one time I hadnt' kept my mouth shut.

After 20 - 30 minutes driving down the highway and a few toll booths. They finally reached what appeared to be my favourite bus station. Appeared to be. THere were people, there were buses, why should I wonder?

They parked to the side of a very busy street and said we were here. Then they asked for 2500 Baht. For those of you who don't know 350 B is around $12 Canadian, 2500 B is somewhere around $80 Canadian. Ummmmmm .... a wee bit of a difference.

I immediately said no. I told them that was ridiculously high and we knew how much we should have paid. They had our taxi virginity and knew we were foreign and unstable in our confidence. I continued to argue and bartar with them only moving down to 2000 B. Wally inerjected and tried his best to be the stern voice of reason but they had us. It was two charging taxi types against two people who hadn't the foresight to remember their instructions. We were getting nowhere in our arguments but heated and I have to say it was beginning to make me nervous (even though I continued insisting they were crazy!).

AFter a few minutes we gave them the 2000 B (NEVER would I do that again!!) if for nothign else to get our luggage back. They popped the truck and shooed us away. They didn't get out of the car to help or anything - I'd later learn that was a clear sign they were dirty dealers 9among a thousand other signs).

We barely missed getting hit by several speeding forms of transportation, seeing as we were litterally dropped off on the side of a highway.

We stumbled into the bus station relieved to be done with cabs for a while and at least where we needed to be. That is until I went up to the counter ...

I asked for 2 tickets to Mae Sot.

To which the well dressed counter lady looked at me with confusion and said 'Mo Chit - 2 kilometers'.


I don't know which station we were at but it clearly wasn't Mo Chit.

Wally and I were tired and frustrated and terrified to get into another cab but we definitely couldn't stay at this tiny little station for the night that was nearly entirely outside with people everywhere.

We took a deep breath and went over to the cab overseer and said Mo Chit (as properly as we could). I made sure to find out ahead this time how much. 100 B, deal. I felt a wee bit better but still suspiscious of our driver. He was young, calm and not a talker. He did seem rather gentle though and just there to do his job. And he clearly was.

After a good 15-20 minute slow drive through snail moving traffic we understood why the other guy didn't want to waste his time on us. Once we got there I noticed the meter was only at 51 B. I didn't care one bit, it was the best 100 B we'd ever spent because the drived hopped out of hte cab, got our bags and was beyond courteous (ok maybe he was just doing his job but all those qualities jumped out at me since we had yet to see them in a cabby).

AFter having to stop for directions to the right counter we found it and I once again asked for '2 tickets to Mae Sot on the night bus'. The lady said 11:30pm which was actually a couple hrs past what we were told. After already not following the rules given for our protection I was a little hesitant but it was that or stay the night at the station or another cab ride to a guest house. We took a risk on the bus.

We purchased the last 2 tickets there were for the last bus going and finally felt like we may be getting somewhere. We made a trip to Thailand's favourite variety store, 7/11, and sat with our 3 shared chocolate bars to snack on (their chocolate bars are a third of the size of ours, we needed to compensate, no need to experience anymore culture shock).

Tehn it was time to use the bathroom ....

Wally was the first daring participant. AFter a minute or so he came back and said 'I need some money'.

I looked at him appauled. 'Why on earth do you need money to go to the bathroom?'

'It costs 3 B' he declares.

After an inappropriate conversation with myself over the issue in my head we found 3 B and off he went.

Then it was my turn. I took 3 B from Wally's famous money belt and off I went.

I paid my toll, went through the little thingamajig that you sometimes go through at a grocery store or the fair to let you in ... don't know if it has a name, and I went past the money ladies (who incidentally have their money set up on a little card table in front so there's no sneeking in).

I got into the toilet and realized there was no toilet paper. Geez.

Luckily I noticed before going because after that many hours of travel one needs all the help they can get in feeling clean and drip drying was not an option for me. I left the stall and asked someone about toilet paper and the lady sweetly smiled and pointed to the money ladies 'You buy' she said with pride over helping a completely lost foreigner.

I left to tell Wally and then realized he bought me a bunch of Kleenex for my very full sinus cavity and snuck back into the bathroom without the ladies noticing I'd escaped.

That crisis was averted.

We got comfortalbe on the cement floor of the indoor/outdoor bus station, joined by hundreds of others, mostly families on their way back to nowhere, where they lived.

We watched a cute little girl learning to walk with squeky shoes, two stray dogs meandering around the indoor part of the station and a little Thai Much Music.

As time went by we moved into the waiting area and watched the buses like hawks. Wally eased my fears everytime we saw our possible bus and asked to be sure if this was ours. After 2 we hadn't hit the jackpot. Finally third time was a charm. Even though the bud clearly stated it was going somewhere that wasn't Mae Sot and it was parked one terminal off from where it should have been it apparently was ours.

It was good Wally asked because it was nearly full and about to leave. When we took up our luggage there was no more room in the luggage compartment, which was interesting since no one had luggage only shopping purchases. For a few moments it seemed as though they may not take us due to our two suitcases. We were willing to do anything to get on that bus so when the driver ssaid we'd have to put the bags where our feet would go we didn't blink an eye.

We crawled up the double decker VIP bus which meant it was air conditioned and had large seats and under normal circumstances would have been comfortable. Not so much when your knees are resting behind your ears.

We didn't really care though because we were on a bus that would hopefully take us to where we were heading. We wouldn't be convinced until we arrived.

We both were able to get a couple of hours of sleep during the 8 hour voyage. I only had a couple of fits of coughing and a few nose blowing issues.

As we ventured through there was one stop when the driver got out, one military stop that ended in the family of three beside us being taken off (apparently they were Burmese and would be taken in and possibly sent back to Burma - not good).

We weaved through the mountains again and again, that's when it really hit me that we were indeed across the world from home. I momentarily wondered what the heck we were doing and if I was crazy.

I decided yes I was but that it would be ok.

When we finally arrived at the bus station in Mae Sot we got off and were by a wall of hot humid air.

We immediately decided to use the washroom. Wally first then me. I was proud we knew the system by now and had our 3 B ready (and my Kleenex).

What I wasn't ready for was what would later be described to me as a 'Squatty Pttty'. I was never warned about this.

As I looked at the unfamiliar invention I surveyed the possible procedure. Hmmmm ... did I have to got badly enough? I had already paid. I looked again all about it and noticed the ladel and water.

I couldn't do it. Not without a lengthy mental build up. I closed the door on the possiblitiy altogether and prayed to God that we'd find a way to where ever we were headed soon.

Just to refresh, at this point it's 7:15am and we are now at a point of not knowing what to do. We realize we have no idea how to use the phone and since we'd decided last minute to take the night bus we had no firmed up a pick up time with our hosts. I had spent $58 (I learned later) on an international call to my dad asking him to facebook my friend in Thailand who I hoped would be able to message our hostess in hopes that she would be there at some point ot meet us.

Not exactly a trustworthy, solid plan but we hoped.

I decided to try the phone. THe first try failed. THe second time I got through but got cut off because I should've added money every inute or something. The third try I spit out the remainder of 'we're here, pleasepick us up!' and was cut off again but I prayed she had enough info to go on.

Luckily I heard her say 'I'll be there in a half ....' so I had all the hope I needed to believe we'd be rescued. And around 8 am we met Steph our Compasio staff. (Whom we almost missed but didn't!).

Nothing can explain in words how glad we were to be found by someone we knew (even though we didn't really).

She took us over to a tuk tuk and began speaking what to me sounded like fluent Thai and explained where we needed to go and we hopped into our fourth new form of trasportation in several hours finally enjoying another new experience.

Ahhhhhh... Steph took us to our temporary home that we got to live in for the week and toured us around. She let me use her phone to call my friend A-bag to tell him we were there finally. I enjoyed the shocked sound of his voice and we then made a lunch date (that Wally and I woudl later sleep through).

We were sooooooo glad to be in Thailand with people we knew.

We showered, loving every second and laid down for unconscious sleep for 2 1/2 hrs.

It was divine.

And so ends the beginning of our journeys to Thai Thai.

After a hellish previous week and an interesting and very long journey there we had arrived.

Nothing could've felt better. Nothing.