Friday, July 29, 2005

friday blah (ported from myspace)

so it's p and g and everything is pretty much bla today. I'm officially taking over in my new role here on monday and susan is retiring after today. so it's kind of a strange feeling going on today. mostly because or normal drama with the woman. i want to stay for the retirement party at work for susan, as I have worked closely with her for the past 3.5yrs...and i think she would feel a little bit hurt that i didnt go to her party just because i wanted to get off early on a friday and go hang out in LA. i don't understand this. it's not like i'm super excited about staying for the retirement party, but i think it would suck if i were retiring and the person in the plant that i worked the closest with was not there (for some small reason) for my work retirement party. granted, there is a big party at her house tomorrow, where we really will see her off and we will have a good time doing it...but that does not release me of my desire to stay for the official work thing today. ack! more personal feelings that should probably never see the light of day...but anyone who reads this should know that this blog is totally's just what's going on with me now. yet more brain pollution to clutter my already over-emo'd brain. what a mess. just BS that clutters up what could be a drama-free life. i love it how we are set up with human bodies that push us to do so many things that are diametrically opposed to what the bible says that we should do. "put no one in front of do so is basically idolatry"...yet everything in my body (my POS, weak, frail, hormonally, emotionally challenged body) makes me feel the best when i am around a woman that i am giving everything to (even if i am not getting what i need in return)...ack! sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks...and more. and i should be journalling about thailand...but it feels like life (the life that i willingly participate in...the people that i CHOOSE to spend my time with)...just keeps piling it on me. i never get a chance to dig deep enough within myself because i keep letting life throw more dirt onto my already over loaded pile of mental crap. is payday...tomorrow, i'm finally getting rid of my fridge and moving the rest of my stuff out of lloyd's that's totally good and sunday, i should be getting some money back for the shots that we got from thailand...and it's the life is still doing ok...and i'm sure that once i get over the little hump that is the next few hours and find a ride home, i will be fine...but dang! i have no opinion...i'm just here to serve (if only i could do that for real...for everyone...and keep on spreadin the love...i guess it's something to aspire to, right)

Sunday, July 10, 2005 (ported from myspace)

oh my.

after working through thursday, we had a day off to relax and headed off to the beach. we took a small boat (scary lil wooden boat with a full sized v6 strapped on the back with a driveline coming out the back, with an attached propeller) to a small island between the island that we are on and Phuket...called koh kai. it was a tiny island with some nice sand and some decent snorkelling. there were actual coral reefs here with some fun fish. i saw a flute fish and a few puffer fish. i went snorkelling with paula from the thai LA team and one of the construction guys that we have been working with (his name is dua). he took us around about half of the island, with a stop midway, where he informed us that we might see sharks on the second half of the journey. it was a good time, but we did not see any sharks. the water was extra salty and warm, with an extra hot sun to encourage those who were seeking sun to head to the water.

needless to say, i received quite a sunburn, even with the four or so layers of sunscreen that i applied during our short stint on the island (from 9-130). today is our second day of work since the play day and it has been increasingly hotter as the days go by. the hottest day before the play day (based on my timex watch thermometer) was 114. i'm not sure if that takes the humidity into account or not, but yesterday, we hit 118 and today, the watch gave me a series of --- where the numbers normally would be. i'm guessing that means that the watch maxxed out, seeing as how that is often considered to be the borderline between normal hot weather and extremely hot weather. anyhow, later on, the temperature cooled down and came back as 120 on my watch. i think that i have mostly acclimatized and i think the only residual affects are that i get tired easily, am constantly sweating and constantly in need of water and breaks.

so...on an internal level, life has been a little crazy. i think that i was not sure what to expect as far as what the mission entailed from the get go and that really left me confused. i must explain...the basis of our mission here in koh yao is that we are building an orphanage/school/community center (different rooms for different aspects and the school part doubles as a community center at night). so that is the physical justification as for why we are here. we are working under the umbrella of the sustainable development research foundation with a part of our church outreach group called xealot (this project is a partnership between the SDRF and xealot). the sdrf is a non christian organization that just happens to employ almost all christians (if it were founded as a christian organization, they would not have access to as many of the different areas in thailand, as they are primarily buddhist or muslim). the SDRF works to improve the economic structure of areas that are in need (such as southern thailand after the tsunami) and uses that arm of outreach to show the people God's love and also their love for eachother as they serve the various communities. xealot is the christian outreach arm of our church, in which, we currently have 8 people who are in thailand for long term missions projects (2yr stints). so.........having thrown down that haphazard background, we are here to build a building to help the economic situation of this area. we are not here to prostheletize (sp?) to the people, but to serve them and to build relationships with the community under the umbrella that our long term folks can build on as they interact with the people in the area more and more. took me a few days to prioritize my time here and really figure out what i was supposed to do. day 1, i was all about getting as much done that would get the building up as fast and efficiently as possible. that soon proved to be futile, as the thai workers are paid on a daily basis, so they are really in no hurry to get the job done (i would not expect anything else). so anyhow...i have finally settled my differences with my work ethics and my spirituality and found a level ground that sits between the physical work and actually building the relationships.

...more to come...


Thursday, July 07, 2005

thursday (ported from myspace)

so it's thursday in thailand...we actually started workin on tuesday, when we arrived here on koh yao around 2pm. that makes today the official 3rd working day. it is finally hot today...i guess the previous 2 days weren't that bad...but today...yeah...its dang hot. some perspective on that: i'm not sure how my timex watch measures temperature, but i left it out in the sun for thirty minutes or so to take my body heat out of the picture...and it was reading 114 degrees! woo hoo! yeah. so we are still working away...with my mindset having shifted from actually getting work done to trying to connect with the workers that we are helping...oops !!! time to go!!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

thailand away! (ported from myspace)

so i'm in thailand...and the rain is coming down! we are supposed to be well into our first work day, but when we came back from lunch, the rain started coming we are just kickin it in the "mayor's" office. I'm not really sure how the actual mission is going, it feels like we are not making too much progress, but the people that we are working with are having fun.

the food has been good for the most part, but there is a lot of fish that is not really meeting my needs. I did have some squid that was pretty good, considering that I have not had squid in the past. we are having fish pretty much every meal in one form or another and the cook and proprietor of the bungalows that we are staying in (havalea?) seems to understand that we can handle a little bit of spicy food at each meal. sokny, josh and a few others dont enjoy spicy food, so his dishes aren't always accepted around the table, but for the most part, people seem to be doing well.

the work is going well. we are doing a lot of manual, physically intensive construction type work that is wearing out my body. i am thankful that God has blessed me with such a strong physical build, but i think the heat (though from what the other team said, we have it easy) is starting to wear on me. I have been cranking away on the physical side of things and my forearms started cramping up today when working with the hoe. we are moving dirt back and forth with all of the effort being expended in similar efforts.

the flight was pretty difficult and on the 10.5hr flight over to japan, i only slept about 30mins, with most of the flight time in pursuit thereof. i am really enjoying the thailand aspect of the situation. since arriving, we spent the first night in bankok at a christian hostel. i think it was about 33 bucks a night and it was darn near in downtown. after arriving, we were, to say the least, totally confused as to what time it was. thai time was about 2am, but i think we were still on cali time, where it was about midday. the rest of the team was fairly tired and decided to retire to their room, but sok and I were running on adrenaline and took some time to tour the outdoor market. there were a variety of street food vendors as well as the standard knock off markets for shoes, wallets and a variety of other upper class items.

the next morning, we took a walk in the city to the xealot thailand offices (newsong's long term team in thailand - 2yr stay) where we talked about the mission and took some time to dig into thai culture a bit. from there, we took a bus to another airport and flew down to the Phuket area of thailand (south western area). we took another van/bus to our hotel, where we briefly scoped out the area. i was able to go for a short solo run on the beach and it was a little freaky seeing the ocean, knowing that it was just a few months ago that a killer tsunami ravaged the area. it was apparent that the touristy attractions were not all open, whether it was because it is rainy season or because of the tsunami, i do not know. it looked like there were a few dozen mini restaurant type establishments, of which only three were open. the area did look barren and i have heard from a few of the missions folks from last week that a few of the guys that we will be working with lost their wives in the tsunami. they said that they were able to save their children, but they could not save their whole family.

from phuket (in which we stayed in a nice hotel, one of few that are still open after the tsunami - apparently everything is super cheap due to the aforementioned reasons) we drove a short distance to a boat dock, from which we took a boat (yesterday morning) to the island of koh yow (spelled a number of different ways out here). the island is nice, the typical tropical island with a sandy beach (which i have heard is littered with trash from the ever changing currents), palm trees, a boat dock and rain foresty type vegetation. it reminds me very much of costa rica. we are staying in some house style bungalows, where there are plenty of openings for a wide variety of critters to enter. we had a large size grasshopper in the shower room this morning as well as a giant moth in the bedroom last night. i have only suffered two mosquito bites, both of which are my own fault for sleeping without the mosquito net over the bed. it was filled with it's own supply of bugs, so i decided not to drape it over the bed (i am sharing a bed with steve, one of our team leaders). the large bungalows (sleep 4) are 15 bucks per night and the smaller bungalows are 5 bucks per night. the showers are interesting and range from a bucket and a regular faucet to a hose that you use to wet yourself to the girls bungalow, where i have heard that they have a bona fide shower head. it is not too bad...but i have not slept well and that begins to wear on the body after awhile.

anyhow...the rain has stopped and i feel that if i type any more, i will be burning up valuable work hours here on the computer. what a suprise that we are working in a facility that has what i have heard are the only two computers with internet on the island (pop 6,0000). until next time...adieu!