Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Doi Saket

It's 6:30 am her in Doi Saket, Thailand. That's pretty darn early, given our late bedtime, but the roosters outside my window have been crowing for the past hour, and I'm pretty sure I can't get back to sleep. Besides, I have no idea what time they eat breakfast around here, and if we miss it, we don't have any other easy options for food.

We're staying in a small cabin on the grounds of the Asia's Hope orphan home about 30 minutes north of Chiang Mai, Thailand. Our accommodations and setting are quite different from those we left in Cambodia. Three years ago the orphan home here consisted of a large, brush-and-thistle-covered field and three bamboo longhouses. Today, the brush has been cleared, grass is growing, there are two large dormitories for the kids, permanent bathroom and shower facilities, a multipurpose building and kitchen, playground equipment, a well-lit security wall and a beautiful sign out front.

There's also a guest house, a little log cabin with two bedrooms and a western-style bathroom. And that's where Chien and I are spending our last week in Asia. We could have gotten a hotel room in Chiang Mai or stayed at a house we rent a few miles south of here, but this place happened to be available, and it's where the action is. It feels like a posher version of a family camping trip. Perhaps this is what a vacation cottage is like. Whatever it's 'like,' it's nice. And it has wireless internet access. Very cool.

It's also a bit cooler (temperature) here than it was in Cambodia. We're up north, and we're in the foothills of the mountains. All of that makes for good weather and great scenery. And in a stroke of accidentally brilliant scheduling, all of the kids are out of school on a two week break, which means that we'll get to spend a lot of time with them.

Today, we'll probably go fishing with them, do some English classes and then do a barbeque. Up here, that means killing and butchering a large pig. The pig, which is at this hour snorting and wallowing happily in his squalid pen will soon meet a delicious, bacony demise, much to the delight of his pork-loving public.


Kirsten Kinnell said...

Sorry I haven't said so sooner, but we're reading along and praying for you, Chien and your family back here. Chien's response to Tuol Sleng was perfect. What insight for such a young man.

KarlandBethany said...

Only you, Sir John, would turn "bacon" into an adjective! Being an english major is so grand-- it means you can create words and mess with grammar at your free will! ;-)

We second Kirsten's comment re: Chien. What insight AND what spiritual awareness!

We continue to read along and to pray... K & B

Anonymous said...

Poor...poor piggy, as much as I love pork Chops, I can't help but feel for the sacrifice...
Have a great day.