Thursday, April 28, 2016

March 2016

Last month, we had the opportunity to see my parents again on their way back home from a recent trip to Asia.  We met up with them in Chiang Mai this time and got to play tourist.  We hadn't explored the city before (usually we come only for immigration issues and sit in visa lines all day long) so this was a treat.

Here are some of the highlights from the trip:

Doi Suthep
This is a wat (Thai Buddhist Temple) on the top of the mountain overlooking Chiang Mai.  We hadn't actually visited any wats before, and this one is a big tourist destination.  It was humbling as we watched people worship there.

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Chiang Mai Night Safari
This zoo is usually a night destination as most of the animals are nocturnal.  We, however, went during the day and had a lovely time walking around the big lake, seeing the animals, and playing in the air-conditioned (yay!) kid-zone.  We had the whole place almost to ourselves.

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Khao Mao Khao Fang (The Imaginary Jungle)
We wanted to take my parents out to a nice restaurant that evening so we went to a place that is located in both Chiang Mai and Mae Sot.  We liked the one in Mae Sot, so we tried this one.  It's got some amazing Thai food, and the setting was very pretty.

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The Old City
There are a lot of little shops and restaurants here.  We mostly just walked around, but at the end all the men decided to have a fish spa.  Basically, lots of little fish eat the dead skin off your feet.  They especially liked Phil's feet.  Yum!

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We took a Song Tao (pick-up truck taxi sort of thing) around the city.

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It was a quick trip with my folks, but quite fun.

Then it was back to school with these fun kids!  They are such a blessing to be around.

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We were introduced to a new restaurant in town that has each table in it's own little hut.  The boys loved watching the koi in the pond while we waited for our food.

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It is HOT season now.  We've been trying to get to the pool more, and Z learned to swim this month!  He's doing fantastic and even swimming under the water.  N learned before we left Seattle, but is learning new skills as well.  It's so fun to see their confidence in the water grow.

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We had a lovely Easter "sunrise" service at the dam with many of our friends.  Stephen and Kelli led us in worship, and we enjoyed some good eats.  I wrote more about our Easter here.

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Our egg dyeing looked different this year.  We hard-boiled the eggs and while they were still hot, let the boys color them with crayons so the wax would melt of them.  Super easy clean-up, but tricky with how hot the eggs were.  =)

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This month was also pretty tricky because our car's clutch went out.  It actually began to give way on our trip over the mountains coming back from Chiang Mai, but God kept us safe.  We couldn't drive our car the very next morning after coming home.  For various reasons we didn't get our car back for nearly 3 weeks.  We were blessed by our friends to borrow their car so I could get back and forth to school.

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Every week, we get to play and do crafts with kids in a village nearby.  These two boys are cousins and they both happened to be wearing the same outfit that day.  (One later became embarrassed by the fact and went home to change!)

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March is our first real month of hot season.  It doesn't rain, and it is also the time when all the farmers slash and burn their rice fields to get it ready for planting.  This means that it is extremely smoky all the time.  Sometimes you can't even see a few blocks ahead on the highway because of the smoke.  April and May are bad too, and we just look forward to when the rainy season will begin.