Thursday, February 28, 2013
will I be approached to have Ana join a modeling agency. "Your child is very cute. Please call me and send pictures." Yep! I'll get to that right away. (Truth be told Ana could barely be seen--she had on her coat, hat, etc. It's just because there are so few Caucasians here.) Once in the doctor's office I sat next to a boy model--I'm not joking!! I would guess he was around eight or nine, American, hair precisely gelled, talking away on his cell phone, and discussing his fees (he was making good money!!) with his mom. At the time I thought, "I would never want my child to be like this!" I've always said my children can be whatever they decide--well, changed my mind--no models in this family.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Sunday, February 24, 2013
God makes all things beautiful in His time.
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
On Wednesday Matt took China and Mitike down to the Well while Ana and I strolled around the local vegetable market. When they got back we headed out for lunch. (I, very sadly, forgot to take my camera!!) Our intention was to go back and eat at the pizza place we ate at on Sunday. However, it was closed. This worked out for our benefit, because the next place we found was BETTER! We got three pizzas and homemade raviloli with a mushroom white sauce. It was amazing! The Italian owner served you himself and the quality of the food was fantastic. The best part? The price!! The pizzas were around four US dollars!! We then walked over to the Warorot Market. I wanted to go there because I heard there were a lot of fabrics--boy were there ever. In one store I bought six meters of fabric, two spools of thread, and six buttons for about six US dollars--how is that possible?? If I lived here I would be going to this area a lot. Again, it had more of an artsy feel, rather than being a tourist trap. Inside the market were all sorts of herbs and spices. If I wasn't so well stocked from Singapore, I would definitely have bought there.
I also want to note that because our flight doesn't leave until midnight, the owner of the hotel graciously let us stay in the room all day AT NO CHARGE! Matt really wasn't looking forward to sitting in the airport most of the day and this lets the kids swim and maybe even get a couple hours of sleep!
On Thursday we went to another more expat grocery store. We found Rice Kripies, Mac and Cheese, and some cream cheese at good prices. Our suitcases will be full of dirty laundry and food!
We ate local--chicken on a stick and sticky rice. The chicken had some Thai spices on it--so it had good flavor.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
We're staying in a two bedroom apartment. This has been super nice because we can all have some space. There are three flat screens! They even provide a DVD player which has been nice for some down time. (I finally got to see the Hobbit--yes, yes not quite legally!) The walls have hand painted designs. The kitchen has enough pots/pans for a basic meal and the fridge is slightly larger than usual hotel fridges. The master bath has a rain shower and a very big tub--Ana has had a great time "swimming" in it. I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone!
Monday, February 18, 2013
Of course we bought things, a hand dyed batik table runner, skirts, a hand beaded t-shirt, a silk tie, etc. FUN!! The Sunday Market is a must see in Chiang Mai!
Saturday, February 16, 2013
After eating lunch and crossing this rather shaky bridge, we finally got to ride the elephants. (I was worried that Ana would get stuck on the bridge, but she actually did better than many of the Asian women I watched!)
The girls rode on a rather tall male elephant because he could carry all three of us. The countryside is very beautiful.
Then we all got sprayed when the elephant sneezed!
We liked walking along in the river. It was much more shady and cool.
Here's Matt and China on their elephant.
Our mahout was very talkative and told us the ages of all the elephants, how much the elephants like giving rides more than logging, and how our elephant wasn't Thai, but had been rescued from somewhere else. It was a nice ride with enough hills to keep it exciting for the kids.
By this time Ana was DYING to get on an elephant--so I was very thankful that the elephant show was so interesting AND let you get up close and personal. The elephants were very calm and LOVED the bananas we were scammed into buying. All the elephants in the show were six and under--one as young as eighteen months.
They did such things as raising a flag, head stands, kicking a soccer ball (wouldn't want to be in the way of that ball), and bowling.
I had seen elephant painting before that resembled splotches on the page, but I was amazed with this elephant. He had amazing fine motor skills--not even sure Ana would have done as well as he did. You could tell he was thinking too. He really placed the brush where he wanted it and was able to retrace the trunk of the tree repeatedly. The end result? A tree that truly resembled the one behind him. I'm sure this took a lot of training, but he really seemed to enjoy it AND was quite proud of himself when he was done--you should have seen his bow and elephant smile!
Next, we were quicky led down the road and into the ox carts. Definitely a bumpy ride and not much to see except some local housing (complete with satellite dish!!!). We primarily rode on the road. I can't imagine riding in one of these on dirt roads! We always see tons of these carts in the countryside in India.
I was really thankful for the umbrella! It was really hot and sunny--the first day it's been like this.
As a side note we noticed that this was the retired European/American or Chinese tour. (Probably because there are more exciting zip line/tree top tours or trekking tours available.) We were THE ONLY younger caucasians with kids. It made me think how lucky our kids are--they are experiencing many things that many of their peers can't imagine.
We took a basic day tour on Saturday. The first thing we did was to take a very tame river boat ride. It lasted about a half an hour and didn't interest Ana in the slightest--she was too focused on riding the elephants (which ended up being last).
Thursday, February 14, 2013
On our first day we pretty much spent the whole day at the well or at the nearby mall. Matt and I met with the counselor for about an hour and a half. He's great and very supportive. He's already given me several useful ideas, so I'm excited to talk with him more. We went to the local super store for lunch and to do some shopping. There are several things that are really a lot cheaper here. Since we're in an apartment, we've been cooking a simple meal each day so that we're not always eating out. In the afternoon the counselor observed China and Mitike in a play therapy session. By then we were all exhausted as we had gotten in at midnight the night before--we went back to the flat, ate, and went to bed. Mitike got some food poisoning, but was better by the morning.
On our second day, we decided to take it easy.
They got heart balloons from the staff.