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Friday, February 24, 2012


Here's in honor of Dad asking for flower pics

I have some of my better pictures formatted for desktop backgrounds - let me know if you'd like any.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Last week brought me some new experiences.

On Monday, I went to a big boarding home with a bunch of the staff and students from the school here.  The place is funded by Reach Switzerland, and it's about 2/3 of the way from here to Mae Sot.  A handful of us stayed at Pastor Seth's house, where we were treated to an upscale Karen meal.  I enjoyed it well enough until one of the teachers pulled something from the soup and cleaned it down to the ribcage.  When I asked if any of the dishes were vegetarian, I became glad for the brown rice and peanuts I had packed.

The next day, Blet Jaw and Wah Nay Paw were married.  Blet Jaw is the teacher who has been helping Gayle with her medical ministry - one of the nicest people ever.  Wah Nay Paw is a teacher here at the school - she's more quiet, so I don't know her as well.

Blet Jaw has been a huge help to Gayle

Certainly one of the best-photographed weddings in Karen history...

On Wednesday, the Steck family left for a conference in Chiang Mai.  That left all the post-kindergarten english classes with no teacher for 3 days (now it might be 4 days).  So I offered to go to the higher grade (5-8) classes and help them with pronounciation and questions they might have.  The story ends up with grades 1-4 being the confused ones, however, because those are the classes I was sent to.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Mickey Mouse comes to Thailand

I'm amazed at how extensively Mickey Mouse travels this planet. I've visited Mexico, Ecuador, Bolivia, Ethiopia, Congo, India and Thailand; and every place I go, I find myself thinking "wow, Mickey Mouse".  I used to think I was following him, but now I think he's also following me.  Almost any place I've returned to where I've done work, I again think "Mickey Mouse".  I thought I saw him today: one boy showed me a dead rodent.  I asked him what it was, and he said a word somewhere between "ja" and "ye".  So it wasn't Mickey - I'll probably continue to find Mickey Mouse wherever I go.

The good news is, there are other workers here who don't get trailed so much by the Californian rodent.

Damlawa is getting really good at making furniture.  If there's something to make, he'll figure out how to do it, then how to improve it.

After all my attempts to make a well-functioning crib, Damlawa made this bamboo swinging crib.  He should patent this thing.

Yazeh started helping Damlawa just before I came this year.  He's very  helpful - he likes to take my projects over sometimes, but that's okay since I have lots to do.

I got to work with a fellow Okanagan resident last Wednesday.  Dave and his family are from Kelowna.  They work for Imagine Thailand, putting in water purification systems for immigrant/refugee schools.

These Karen guys work with Dave, and know all about putting together and using the filters.

Here's the system Imagine Thailand donated to the school.  The water from it tastes great.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Mountain goats

Sabbath's hike to a couple caves

The students have no problem scrambling bramble-covered rocks

panorama from top of ridge: mountains on left are in Burma
click for larger view

getting bugged

Some critters have been asking me to show you their bug shots.

don't forget to eat your greens

This damsel gives beautiful mug shots, but is hard to catch in action      (2 images at same place combined)

I caught this guy stopped on this planet

someone else whose nose does what mine does