Monthly Archives: March 2013
I was finally able to get to a fast internet connection and post some pics. Enjoy!
Sorry to keep you in suspense on whether or not we got kicked out the country or not. I’m guessing you safely figured out that we are indeed here for a while longer. I won’t bore you with the details but God did what He does and worked everything out. Of course I am seldom happy with the way He works things out. Working on that. I always want to critique His plans.
AJ: “See God, if I was you, I would have…”
I know it sounds funny but it’s the truth. You’d think that after 35 years of living, somewhere along the way I would have figured out how just to be content with God’s plans for me. But hey, that is one of the reasons I moved out here, to learn to trust Him more. I mean I kind of have to right? I have no control over where the scorpions, snakes, centipedes, mosquitos with dengue and malaria, or anything else that can harm me, end up, so I have to be totally trusting to His protecting hands to watch over and protect me and the girls.
In other news, for those who didn’t know, I celebrated my first birthday in Thailand last Monday the 11th. J As I mentioned, I am now 35 years old. My wife also celebrated her first birthday here on the 6th. We didn’t do anything special. No huge village parties or anything like that. I have promised her though that I will pay for a nice spa treatment on our next vacation. When will that be you ask? I have no idea.
Someone from the states recently asked me if I’ve gotten the language down yet. The answer still is and probably always will be NO. There are just way too many intricacies and tonal subtleties for me to master in this lifetime. It’s also demoralizing when I meet Americans or Australians or people from England that have been here for over 10 years and they still can’t speak it fluently. It’s as if they have gone into give up mode. I envy those who pick up languages so quickly. I truly believe that it is a gift, a gift which I obviously don’t have. Lol
So I figured a good way to wrap up this latest blog edition would be to teach you a few Thai words. I will write them out the best way I can so that you can pronounce them. That is however, not how they are spelled.
Just so you can see though what I am dealing with, check this out…สวัสดี….
What is that you ask? That is how you write “hello”.
Yeah, I know…that’s what I said.
So for your first Thai lesson let’s start with a basic greeting.
Hello and Goodbye: Sa wa dee ka (for ladies) Sa wa dee kop (for men) (kop is their polite catch phrase that they put at the end of everything. It’s kind of like saying thank you.)
You say this to someone while you wei (pronounced why) them
You do this by putting your hands together as if you are praying. Usually about nose height, and slightly bow. Now there are rules to weiing. One, you never wei a child or someone who is younger than you first. They are supposed to out of respect. Also, if someone is the same age as you, it’s more of a head nod than a bow. If they are older then you bow.
Okay, part two.
How are you? Sa buy dee mai?
I’m fine. Sa buy dee.
There you go, your first Thai lesson. J
Hopefully we will be able to post some more pics in the coming days. No promises though. Not sure when we will be at a faster connection. Until then Sa wa dee kop.
So not everything here is always peaches and cream all the time. Imagine that. 🙂
The no electricity thing, the no running water thing, you kind of get used to those things after a while. It’s those unexpected moments that come up that really test your patience and push to your knees in prayer.
Case and point, we have been here since June 26. We came in on a Tourist Visa. When you are on a Tourist Visa you have to leave the country every 60 days. The thing is though, you only get to have 3 of those each year. Effectively you only get 6 months each year in Thailand if you are on a Tourist Visa.
So if you are wanting to stay in Thailand for long term you need to have a work permit. Sounds easy enough, but when you are dealing with government, it’s not always that easy. When you are a teacher like myself, you have a three step process you have to complete. You have to get approval from the Education Department, the Labor Department, and Immigration.
We’ve gotten through the Education and Labor Departments. Our last step with Immigration has proved to be the most difficult. Immigration in Kanchanaburi has about 4 people that work in the office. The lady that is in charge of our paperwork has refused to approve it because she does not believe that two of the documents that we have are not authentic. What are those two documents you ask? My marriage license and my children’s birth certificate. LOL
Really?! Do you actually think I smuggled a black woman and two black children into Thailand just to get a work permit so I can work on a project where I don’t get paid? Hmmm, yeah you’re right, sounds fishy.
So how do I fix this problem? How do I authenticate those documents when I am not in the states? After making several phone calls to government offices we think we have a solution.
The solution…go to Bangkok. On Tuesday, I go to Bangkok to the US Embassy. There I will file a Notarized Affidavit. Then we will leave and go to the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs to authenticate the translation of those documents into Thai. After that, we will attempt to go back to Immigration to get our final step of approval.
If that sounds like a lot of effort and time, you’re right, it is. But let’s not downplay the magnitude of this situation. If we don’t get this last step approved by March 18th, we have a problem. The problem, we can’t stay in the country without that approval. I’ll let that sink in for a second.
Where would we go, what would we do?
That’s a good question.
Whatever it is, I’m really not concerned about it. I’ve left the worrying up God. He’s always got a plan.