Sunday, June 11, 2006

THAILAND IS SWEATING

i swear it's the air. it's not me. i'm not sweating. i'm just damp.

breakfast at the omf consisted of cereal and toast (for the unadventurous) and some sort of rice-pudding-with-pork type thing, and a fruit they call 'hairy eyeballs.' i get an a+ for my adventurism so far, because i tried both.

i met a million people yesterday, so i'll just recount the important (thus far) ones. i met the falls family (betty and ben's daughter and her family, mum), sherri and brian, and their kids, addison and abraham. i never thought to pray to find people here that i would enjoy, deeply and truly on a gut level, but these are four of the funniest people i have met in a long time, aside from being welcoming and kind. they're funny like my family is funny, and i feel right at home with them. the fact that i came bearing gifts from grandma didn't hurt, either.

i also met ricky and karen, and their four girls (sierra, tassanee, mckenna, and aree), but the younger two girls were sick, and so i didn't see much of them.

i met pi ganiga, the boys' nanny, who has promised to teach me thai. her and i share a room at the abundant life home. the boys share the other room. three sets of matching bunk beds.

i met the five boys (bun, gop, mak, joon, and dao), but only briefly. bun has a wicked sense of humor, language barrier aside, and seems intent on thwarting my efforts to learn a few thai words. dao frequently refers to himself as handsome (and sometimes 'pretty'). they're all indescribably ticklish. i learned a bit more about them this morning after we dropped them off at school. they are all HIV positive, but none of them have AIDS. four of them are on...i forget the name of the drug, but it's the last-ditch HIV drug. they're all thriving on it (they take it every day at exactly 7:00) but if, for some reason, their bodies reject it, there is nothing else they can try. i only just met them, and this thought is scary to me. the one boy, gop, is on the second-to-last drug, so he still has some margin for failure. the medicines run about $500/month/boy, which is easily the orphanage's biggest expense. somehow, the money's always been there, and somehow it always will be, because there's nowhere else for these boys to go.

i met dozens of pleasant thai who can't pronounce my name, but who tried very hard before taking to calling me 'lychee' (which we pronounce 'leechee' but they say as 'linchen,' which sounds very similar to the way they try to pronounce 'rachel.' i thought it was just more botched attempts, but then one slender thai girl handed me a lychee nut, pointing first to it and then to me, saying 'lychee is easier than 'wreachawl' ')

i stayed at the falls' last night, on a massive bed in an air-conditioned room. this will be my last night of luxury. i was certainly awake enough to enjoy it. i went to bed around eight, but didn't get to sleep until probably ten, and woke up at four. i lay in bed, willing myself back to sleep until around five-thirty, when i finally caved in and got up. a billion birds were already up and singing, and an hour or so later, the local dogs woke up and joined them. a lizard stared at me while i sat and journalled, and then ran away to eat mosquitoes (we love the lizards) when brian came downstairs. we drove the boys to school, and brian gave me what he knew of their history, as well as a bit of an orientation to the town. now i'm back in an air-conditioned room, recharging my computer and blogging away. i finally figured out that i could change the time zone on my desktop and know what time it really is. it's 8:35. you're probably all eating dinner.

i'm having a blast, but i haven't really started yet. this is still like vacation. pray for me, that i'm up to the task, and for the boys' health. they're all glowing, and not many people know that they have HIV. you'd never know it to look at them. i'll post some pictures as soon as i'm able.

miss you all!!!!!

3 comments:

Michael said...

definitely praying for you and your mission. All of us here will miss you immensely! Have fun. And I'll be sure to ask how your trip was when you get home ;)

Robyn Bishop said...

Rachel!
How glad I am that you are alive! And so proud of you for trying 'hairy eyeballs.' I hope to hear of your many other adventures soon, keep on posting them.
I am sick.

Boo said...

I was about to leave you a comment when *beep beep beep etc.* the timer told me the eggs were done; the same eggs I had been worrying about to no end all the way home from Costco because I was certain I put them absent-mindedly beside the tragically huge bag of dog food and come that inevitable turn of doom onto Bond St. they would all perish into a mucus-ridden mess that - considering the temperature of the car - would subsequently become a 24 egg omelette. All that run-on sentence aside, I am glad you are doing splendidly and I wouldn't mind so much if you put pronounciations of the names beside them using these fancy gems [] (I was tempted to say "gams") because my caucasin sound-it-out ability does not comprehend names like Gi Ganiga (and I'm afraid I might be using a racial slur if I try to figure it out myself). I wasn't sure how long a comment I was allowed to leave but it seems as though I am allowed to leave a lengthy response equal or greater than the types that people leave on voice mail boxes that are completely unnecessary; all for all intents and purposes, this is vengence for that delectable reading you made me do just now - revenge is a bitter sweet gala event. Much love to my sister of one.
PS: check out the website I put as "your web page" I think you will find joy in this.