Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lice photo shoot. Yeah you read that right.

Two pictures from the day! New braid and waiting for a sungtao in the rain.



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Today was lice picking day! If you think this is gross just move past this paragraph and pictures. We used conditioner and saran wrap to suffocate the little boogers. We have been walking around for 2 hours looking like this. 

We came to the conclusion that with this look, we all resemble our fathers. So here we are in all of our glory. David, David, Ren, and Kurt!




Now for the photo shoot. (By the way, most girls would NOT post such horrific pictures of themselves.)





HOTTIES.

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In Thailand, you can’t wake up slowly. You can’t mope around for 20 minutes until you wake up completely. Why you might ask? Because you are immediately put in head to head battle with a variety of creatures. Some mornings it is lizards on your kitchen table. Other mornings it might be a cockroach that looks like it could eat you for breakfast. For Breanne the other morning it was a lice crawling on her shoulder. It might be 200 ants that are crawling on your pillow, computer, or backpack. Or it could be the creature from one of the first blogs that we thought was a leach. We later figured out it was a dried up snail. Well yesterday morning, it was something a little different for Taylor. As I walked downstairs, I immediately popped into defense mode when I saw the look on Taylor’s face. She pointed to the ceiling and I looked up and found this guy.


An asian giant hornet. This hornet was the length of my index finger and its wings spanned even further. Then it began chasing Taylor throughout the living room. When I say chasing, I mean that I could practically see the evil in it’s eyes as it was zooming towards her head. I got brave and grabbed a towel. Hm smart choice, a soft towel. It landed on the door and I smacked it with the limp towel. To my surprise it did not kill it. It fell stunned to the ground. I immediately ran and grabbed a yoga mat. Maybe a little smarter, but not much. Then Taylor got brave and opened the door and the dizzy hornet flew out the window. I think we can say we won this battle. Maybe.

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We have been so blessed with this incredible house to live in! We have awesome neighbors, the house is beautiful, and rent is so cheap. One of the best thing about this house is the banana tree that is on the side of the house! We had only glanced at it until a few days ago. We went to look for bananas, and we had a bunch! Get it?


We are getting so excited to chop those suckers down and eat bananas for days and days. The fruit in Thailand is absolutely amazing. It makes me cringe thinking about the fruit section at Walmart.

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We are trying to get used to the rain here. It was a quick switch into rainy season. This means being hit in the face by rain on the ride home in a Tuk Tuk or Sungtao. Or being caught in a down pour on our run. Or trying to figure out how to get out clothes to completely dry. The mildew smell is becoming a day to day smell that we might never get used to. Our shoes...towels...or clean clothes that won’t dry. Somehow the rain is always refreshing and exciting to us though! We are the ones outside slipping around and laughing while the neighbors look at us like we are crazy. Our excitement might come from the fact that we are from a drought infested land!

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There is something here that we have been talking about recently. We love the work we get to do here. It is the biggest blessing to all of us. And we have already mentioned that sometimes the language barrier makes it really difficult for us to interact. We are thankful for the lesson that God is teaching us about our actions. But there is another lesson that might be bigger in all of this. We have come here to love on some Agape kids. This kind of work is really really important, and we are here because the Lord made it very clear that it is where we are supposed to be. But it teaches us something about our lives at home. There is work that God has for us every day. Not just the 10 weeks that He told us to go to Thailand. Not just the other weeks we have spent in other countries following his calling. Not just the week that carries the title as “mission trip”. No. Yesterday He had work for you to do. Today He does as well. Taking the stuff we have learned about the power of love, we see that there is a lot of hurting and searching people at home. Sadly, sometimes it takes a step out of the business and hustle of our lives at home to see this. There are people right in front of you that just need love.

We talked about this verse that we pass over so nonchalantly sometimes.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: “Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12: 30-31

Loving the kids at Agape is easy. We are certain that if each one of you came here, your heart would explode from the outrageous love you would have for these kids. We are not doing anything extraordinary here. We just simply did what the Lord told us to do. And through that he has said, “ Hey girls, your neighbors at home need some love too. I could have slapped you in the face with this lesson at home, but I wanted to teach you by showing you love that is saving lives.”

In the documentary Furious Love a guy phrases it so perfectly. He talks about what the Lord has said to him, “Stop trying to change people. Just love them and let me change them.” Here is something that Tyler sent me the other day. I’m not sure of where it came from, but it is perfect. “Let us preach you without preaching, not by words but by our example, by the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what we do.” This is not the hardest calling we have received from the Lord. And the Lord is saying that to all of us. Do the work that he is calling you to do today.

With so much lice love to you all!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Before you read this, guess what the sign of a good volunteer is?

Hello to you all!! We have started the week with energy! Today we went to our favorite place to eat (Salad Concept). SO GOOOOD! Then tonight at work we were so encourage by the kids. Before bed we have about 2 hours with the kids. It starts with showers which is ALWAYS crazy. Two of us help the younger girls shower, which means making sure they aren't sliding around on their bellies. It is quite an experience. Then we have about an hour to play! The boys usually play with legos or puzzles. Tonight they watched Kirstyn draw a car. I kept hearing them yell something in Thai and then more boys would run over to watch. They were amazed. The girls usually iron their clothes for the next day, play with play-do, do puzzles, or homework. Tonight Breanne taught the girls how to say, " I like cheese. I eat beans. I fart." Then there is a bible study every night that lasts for 30 minutes. Since we don't know what is said, it is usually our time to watch and pray for all the kids! Then our favorite part comes along and that it putting the kids to sleep! The boys each gave me the best hugs tonight before they went to bed. I even got some squeezes! It is a very humbling experience every night. I am so thankful for those hugs.

Another really exciting experience we had tonight was.........

FINDING LICE!! Which is the answer to the title of this blog. Laura told us when we arrived that a sign of a good volunteer is lice. Pretty sick accomplishment. We looked like monkeys for about an hour looking in each other's hair. Breanne has the most lice! What an award. Tomorrow we are going to treat our hair for it, but we are prepared to have it for the rest of the summer. Lots of hugs and lots of lice. 

Today after we ate at our favorite place, we took a Tuk Tuk back to the house. This form of transportation isn't the safest, but it is the cheapest. AND the most embarrassing. Breanne saw people trying to take a picture of us. It is basically a motor bike turned into an open car. That is an awful description so here is a picture. 


Even better, here is a video of this fun little ride. TUK TUK.

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We are headed to bed tonight listening to music and craziness happening outside. In our little neighborhood, there is one of the biggest crematoriums in Chiang Mai. This makes for a lot of funerals. The funerals are day long celebrations of eating and drinking. When we came home from work there were cars everywhere and people walking around in black. When someone dies here, they shoot off fire works so bad spirits won't mess with the person's soul. It is a strange thing to hear all the time!! 


Here are some recent pictures from our adventures outside of work! 


Here is the monkey in our neighborhood. He is funny! But tied up:/






Photo credit: Taylor! 



Here is a huge coconut we carried back on our walk. Breanne found it, but it was rotten.






Our bikes will be fixed by tomorrow! YAY!


Not exaggerating...4o people fit into this car at once. 





Braiding hair in the sungtao! 




Salad concept!


Taylor's gross drink. It was made of beet root.



Acting like fools. Always! 



We heard an incredible story tonight about a little boy at the orphanage.  Laura told us that when he first arrived, he was 6 years old and weighed 9 kilos (19 pounds). This is the average weight of a 1 year old. He had open wounds in the back of his head from mesquito or ant bites. He would pick at the back of his head all the time, which made them worse. He sat with his knees to his chest and arms wrapped around his knees. He would just watch everyone. When he was dropped off it was 2 weeks till his 7th birthday and no one thought he would survive until then. He spent months and months in and out of the hospital. He is now 13 and one of our favorites! We were with him that first wee
k in the "sick kids room". He was bored to death that week, so we really didn't see his personality come out until the second week we were here. He is always smiling, loves hugs, and really likes dancing. He is one that we always find upside down doing hand stands in the next room. This child is a perfect example of the power of love. He came because his mother could no longer take care of his and he was being put in a bad situation at home. He came to Agape and was loved. He was fed, hugged, and played with. Love saved this precious little one. Praise Jesus! 

We have loved praying for the kids individually, and we want to share that with you! Instead of looking at pictures from all over the blog, I put them all in one place. Please pray for these sweet children. This is not all of the kids, so we will try to get more up at another time.  We finished our evening watching a documentary called Furious Love. If you have not seen it, we highly recommend it. (You can rent it on itunes) This documentary shows the power of love that drive out darkness all over the world. It made me truly understand what a miracle the Agape home is. In the midst of so much darkness, these faces of love exist. 

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Love outrageously.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Foreigners this way!


Two days ago we got to go to the Doi Suthep temple that is in the mountains over looking Chiang Mai. Our favorite sungtao driver, Pilap, picked us up early and we got there before most of the "foreigners". The sign to buy tickets was pretty fitting! 


We walked up about a trillion stairs to get there. It was a cool entrance, but we were all huffing and puffing by the end. 









 This room was full of Buddhas. It was really crazy for us to see people praying and worshipping these statues. We talked about how crazy they probably think we are for worshipping something we cannot see. It really helped us realize the hurdle that missionaries here must have when talking to Buddhist people. 

In this room I got in trouble by the monk on the left. SUCH A TROUBLE MAKER!!! Haha, I had my feet out in front of me facing the Buddhas. Ooops! 




We saw so many smiling monks.







This is the view of Chiang Mai. Smokey, but still beautiful!













There are dogs everywhere in Thailand. They roam around and are usually in pretty poor condition. These were some sleeping dogs that laid around the temple grounds. 




This is a little piece of nastiness that I took home from the temple. We are still not sure what it is. YUCK!




Who wants one of these hats? Let us know! 


Here are the girls bargaining with a shop owner. We are getting better at this! 

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A few nights ago we got a late night Whataburger craving. Needless to say, that was not going to happen. So we hopped on our bikes at 11:30 and zoomed past the guard of our neighborhood. We popped over to 7-11 and bought the whole store. Here is the aftermath shortly before the army of ants enjoyed the rest.


We have also felt adventurous enough to dye Kirstyn and Taylor's hair. Here is Taylor's hair dye box. The instructions in Thai and Chinese. Even though her hair is purple now....it still looks realllly good!!

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Today we plan on fixing our bikes. We are down to 2 working bikes out of 6 that we own! It takes us twice as long to get anywhere now and two of us are always huffing and puffing to get to our destination, while the other two on the back of the bikes are enjoying a nice ride! It has been fun sharing, but hopefully today will be the last of that! 

It is our day off and then tomorrow and Sunday are full days of playing with the kids! I'm sure that we will have many stories for ya by Sunday night.


Love to you guys!