Transitioning From 2015 and 2016

Tuesday I went to the mountain with two of my friends and some of their family members. We camped out overnight and left late in the morning on Wednesday, walked through my friends village and witnessed a little of the Hmong new year festivities, and then headed back for home. Both were beautiful experiences. I took pictures and videos, but the quality of most of them were not good, and so while I am making a video, effects have been added for that and for privacy reasons. After returning from the mountain, I also buried the last fish in the scrap pile, tossing clumps of clay and dirt onto the fish to discourage animals and hoping to reduce the flies.

It was tempting on Friday to go see some of the new year festivities here at the village. I could hear the music at least all afternoon and evening, and late into the night. I was woken up around midnight, Friday morning, or late at night on Thursday night to a flash, as it seems the fireworks or other explosions began early Thursday evening. The festivities seemed to continue late into the night on Friday.

Despite the noise, I think I went to bed somewhat early. On Sabbath morning I relaxed for a while, spent some time with the Lord, had a good breakfast of leftover wheat stew and hmong cake (sticky rice pounded and patted into a cake and baked/smoked by the fire) left over from the camping trip, a gift from my friend, got ready for the day, and eventually headed off to church on the bike. At first, on my way out, the neighbor’s cat (who I just call “Maeow”, though I might spell it in different ways) came meowing and rubbing against my ankle. I’m not sure why Maeow likes to rub against my nice socks on Sabbath morning (it did so last Sabbath morning on my way out to church, too). I put some food out for Maeow and gave the cat a pet. Meaow didn’t eat at first, but might have gone to eat when I went in to change my socks (as I did not want the cat smell to attract nor to excite the dogs). Shortly after, I was on my way. Of course, I prayed for safety before heading out, too.

I managed to park closer to the church than last time, though I was still confused and did not find the road leading up to a more appropriate parking space near the church, but one of the sisters who saw that I looked at least a little confused and who spoke enough English greeted me, listened to my concern, and told me I could park by the cafeteria. She showed me, and so I walked the bike over to the cafeteria and left it there. At first I sat alone, until my friends arrived and invited me to sit with them. For the sermon, I sat behind the translator to get at least a little bit more out of the message than last Sabbath. The service was a blessing, and on the way out I met another missionary family that works at the school. These foreigners are not Thai, but not from America either. The lady of the house invited me over to her home. We made plans for me to come over on Sunday (today), but they walked me to their house to show me the way, and invited me in for lunch, which consisted of kanom, dried fruit, and oranges (tangerines). The kanom was like mini cakes or soft cookies with a soya bean filling. I only intended to eat a few, but a few turned into all the kanom that the others didn’t already eat. That was lunch.The lady of the house also gave me a papaya from their tree, which I brought back with me, scrubbed, and am waiting for it to ripen a little longer. She said it should be ripe enough to eat in about two days, so one more day maybe.  I stayed until some time after 2, I think, and returned to the studo, where I spent the rest of the Sabbath reading and SDA made videos, including Walter Veith (and, I managed to get into the driveway quite well this time). For supper, I ate the banana pudding that I had fixed for lunch, with coconut milk added to it, and the rest of the coconut from last Sunday scraped from the shell and mixed in. It was filling, but my tummy didn’t feel very good at the end of the day.

This morning I woke up before five thirty, spent some time in prayer and Bible reading, got ready for the day, and headed out to the Sunday market after another prayer for protection. I arrived early, before the couple with the many baskets (and some boxes) had arrived to set up, and left before they came, so I do not know if they would have come. It was a small disappointment, considering that I had hoped to buy a lighter and some matches from them. Last night when I went to wash, the power went out in the village, or at least these houses, and I was pretty much in the dark, though not for long. Thankfully, my tablet had some battery power, so I spent the time playing Bible triva. My flashlight wasn’t working well, either, until I changed the batteries. I thought to buy a new flashlight, but decided to hold off, since mine is working, and there may be more here at the studio. Since I did not buy matches, I also held off on buying candles, which was also on my list.

I had also hoped to get another child-sized toothbrush, as I dropped the last one into the sink and it broke. I realize that I should probably stop saying that the things I buy will last a long time, as I am finding that they are not lasting as long as I think they will. So far, the toothpaste and shampoo are doing well, but I’ve already broken a toothbrush and a few days ago, when fixing oatmeal for breakfast, spilled most of the bag onto the floor. I had been eating unhealthy amounts of coconut oil (and not eating all that I poured onto the food), but plan to cut back and have been doing better these past couple days. The salt is also going fast, and I need to cut down on that. The coconut milk and sesame cereal has lasted well, and so I know that 2 coconut milks should get me through a month, unless I plan to use a lot of it, and the soy milk powder is also holding up well. If the garlic and onion don’t spoil before I use them, then what I bought at the Monday market a couple weeks ago should last me at least a couple more weeks, and if I cut back on the coconut oil, that should last me at least another week or two also. I’m hopeful. However, I realize that I should probably stop saying how long I think these things will last, because anything can happen.

The lady selling the noodles was there at the market, and I purchased a 20 baht (large) order of fresh noodles as well as some of those fried yellow bean curd for breakfast. Last Sunday, I had purchased 30 and the man through in a few extra (I’m not sure if intentionally or accidentally, though judging by the extra fried ball of tofu in my bag today, I guess accidentally.), and I ate the whole bag in one day. Today I purchased 50, and yesterday on Sabbath made plans to go to someone’s house around lunch time today, so the leftovers should last me at least until tomorrow. I purchased some peanuts and another crunchy treat from a vendor who spoke some English. I guess I speak too softly, because he seemed to have difficulty understanding me because my voice was too low, not so much because of my English. We had a brief conversation, and I told him that I want to learn Thai.

I also looked for some vegetables and fruit, and a coconut. There were at least 3 vendors selling what looked like spinach, but I did not buy any. There was no coconuts, that I saw, but I did purchase some oranges (tangerines) from the lady who (I think) sold the coconuts also. A lady tried to sell me some strange sauce or relish of some sort with some sliced cucumbers or something, or a bag of some other strange food. I regret not buying the cucumbers when she tried to get me to buy them. When I looked later, on my way out, it looked like the prepared bags of cucumber and relish or whatever it was was sold out. Had I waited she might have made more. I did get some tomatoes, herbs, some bananas, and some tofu from the man who sold the yellow bean curd (not in that order), and greeted one of my friends (who saw and greeted me first) on the way out. It was an interesting experience. All together, I think  I spent about 150 baht or less, which is less than 5 USD. I had thought of putting the groceries under the seat of the bike and going back to the market to shop more, but decided to get back to the studio and eat some breakfast. On the way back, a dog started barking and running or walking after me (at least that’s what it seemed like was happening), but as I went around the corner, the dog stopped following me. I made it safely up the drive way and into the studio, where I put away the groceries (except for breakfast), and ate while watching Thai Good Stories on youtube.

I regret not recording any videos nor taking any pictures this morning. Please forgive me for not doing so.

God is good. I’m thanking Him for protection these past Sabbaths, yesterday, today, and always. I love Him.

I should learn some more Thai before lunch time, and for whatever reason my ear seems to be clogged. I’m in need of some hydrogen peroxide.

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