Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cool and comfy

It's a beautiful Sunday morning at the Doi Saket 1 orphan home 30 miles north of Chiang Mai, Thailand.

The weather here is beautiful -- I'd guess around 75 degrees -- and it's good to be back. To be honest, I wasn't really looking forward to this trip. I have so much to do at home and at work, it seemed very inconvenient timing. But now that I'm here, I know I'm in the right place at the right time.

When I arrived at the orphan home this morning, I was greeted by Atapa, Witawat and Bui, three boys with whom I have become close throughout the years. They grabbed onto my hands and wouldn't let me go. Shortly after arriving, the bell rang, summoning all the kids to church. Bui made a space for me next to him in the chapel, and the singing and praying began.

We were joined by the kids from Doi Saket 2 and 3, and though there are dozens of kids I've never met, I feel the same responsibility and love for each of them -- even the ones I frighten with my horrific white visage.

Many of the kids dress in outfits representing their tribal and ethnic origin -- Hmong, Lisu, Lahu, Karen and more. Right now, a little boy in a red Karen blouse is trying hard to get my attention with silly faces and winks.

Now I've taken a seat on the porch of our learning center, where the young elementary age students are having Sunday school. My presence here with a computer is causing a bit of distraction, so I should probably go...

I miss you all, but I'm glad I'm here. I'll try to blog and post pictures, and I'll try to be available via Skype. john_mccollum is my Skype name -- look me up and you may catch me.



Nick said...

Good to hear how you're doing, John. We're thinking of you. Safe travels and God's blessings.

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