Saturday, November 21, 2015

Fall in Thailand!

Ok, so the title is a bit misleading.  As we remember our previous years in the States, the months of September, October and November conjure up memories of pumpkin spice lattes, sweaters, pumpkin patches, and Thanksgiving.  We would rake leaves and make them into a big pile for the kids to jump in.  Our neighbors house was perfect for this too, and the crisp Autumn air was always so welcoming.

In Thailand, not so much.  If you ask me what the weather is like, 99.99% of the time I'll tell you "hot".  It might also be rainy, but it is definitely hot.  This month we are moving into the "Cold Season", but as Phil will tell you, it's not cold.  It's more like the "Not Quite As Hot Season".  This means that our lives here don't have the same rhythm as it did in the States.  We get to explore waterfalls and play in the swimming pools all year round, but we do miss the changing of the seasons.  It's easy to forget holidays when they are simply a date on the calendar instead of the whole country (and weather!) helping you anticipate it.

 Here is a bit of what the last bit of our "Rainy Season" looked like (I'm pretty far behind on our monthly updates, so be prepared for a longer post.):

Every so often, we like to go to Mae Kasa Hot Springs.  It's just a park where hot water bubbles up and follows a little waterway around the park.  You can also supposedly boil eggs in the water, but even after waiting longer than an hour, our eggs never boiled.  There is also some fun hiking in the surrounding area.

Mae Kasa Hot Spring

Suspension bridge that leads to a little spirit house

Our eggs that never boiled

I've already written about our "Big Water" experience, but it was quite an adventure for the boys.

At a friend's house

The reservoir the day after they let the water out that caused the flooding

We have really embraced all the good "eats" here.  We quite enjoy going to the night market.  They boys always want to get their smoothies.  We've also discovered a roti stand walking distance from our house that we like to go to in the mornings.

Getting smoothies at the night market

Roti Take-Out by our house

For my birthday, we drove a couple of hours away to Sukhothai.  The Old City is the ruins of the former kingdom of Siam, and the whole place is beautiful.  We spent three days (two nights) there. We rented bikes for one of the days to explore the whole area, and spent both afternoons playing in the pool.  It was a nice break.

One of the ruins from approximately 1200AD.

The boys!

Enjoying the pool at our hotel

We biked all over town

Our bananas ripened on one of our trees.  Apparently, this type of tree only fruits one time so in order to harvest the bananas, you cut down the entire tree.  (Banana trees grow like weeds here.  I probably weed out 5-10 trees every few weeks.).  We got a lot of bananas.

It takes two people!!

The Harvest

Doc Brown and Marty McFly arrived in our present time, so we celebrated the fact with introducing the boys to Back to the Future.

It was quite intense.

I'm still not sure what this was about.  Apparently, three men dressed up as a water buffalo while people danced and played music all the way around our neighborhood.  Other people were collecting money.  I think it was for proselytizing Buddhism, but I'm not sure.

This is our street.

I guess we really like Mae Kasa!  We went back there with Phil's brother Dan and our friends.  We also found the waterfall that is about 2 kilometers away.  It was amazing.

Hagelberg Guys

Waterfall with concrete pool at the bottom

Playing in the "pool" at the hot springs

Some Ongoing Happenings

After the "Big Water" incident, we began hanging out more in that village so our boys could play with the kids there.  They have made some fast friends, even though the language barrier gets in the way at times.

Zach learning the rock game

Phil's also been asked to play the bass again for a monthly worship night that our friends put on.  It's great to see him playing music again.

Playing bass with good friends

This is another village that we spend a lot of time in.  We go there to help the kids in English and we even got to bake cookies with them.  (There is no electricity in this village, but one person has an LPG oven!)

Baking cookies for the entire village while learning English words

Phil teaching English

Alisha was helping with the Feed a Mother program with the Charis Project.  These sweet boys liked to meet the car to take the food to their mom.


The Charis Project is also opening up a community center.  There was an old table that needed to be sanded.  We found some good helpers.  =)

Hard at work
Phil has been talking with a lot of people in town about how best to use his computer skills.  He's got a lot of things in the works, and hopes that he can understand the situation here better so that his work will be most effective.

Working with a friend

We've been hosting house church two weeks each month.  The last few weeks have been very busy.  We've had 40-50 people each week.  That means a lot of shoes on our doorstep!

Listening to the Kids Talk

We continue to homeschool.  We love the simplicity of what we are doing right now.  We don't use many textbooks, but I do have some.  I brought this Writing book out and just left it on the table.  The boys were excited to try their hand at some of the writing projects in the book.  It may have been short-lived, but I loved how they are self-motivated and enthusiastic (most of the time) in their learning.

Writing a short story.  It was really short.  =)

I LOVE that both boys love reading chapter books now.
They continue to astound me in their learning.

We spend most of our time at home.  The boys have lately enjoyed the water frogs they discovered in our water pipes, and have been making homes for them.  We've also had a couple of Karen girls move in next door for a season who love to come over to play.


I love the thanaka on her face!

November has been busy too, but that's a blog post upcoming!

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