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 down...so 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!