Around The World At The Juniper Tree

Gosh, time is flying by here, but so is the world. We’ve met people from all over Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Australia and New Zealand, both in terms of their homes of origin and where they live and work now. I can’t share their stories online, but I’ll be coming home with many, many practical ways to pray for these people, and I hope some of you may hear the call to someday help at conferences and hear incredible stories and meet amazing people yourselves.

We’ve spent our week just here in Chiang Mai: me, playing with Ev and El and quite a few of the other children here (see the photo taken in the dining room here for a few of them), and Er and Em catching up on e-mail (their in-box often has upwards of 800 e-mails) and personal business. I learned this week that it is possible to exchange a purchase here – even got pointers from the resort staff on the most acceptable way to phrase it. One of the directors here wrote it out for me in Thai, thank goodness. My tailor-made jacket now fits well enough that I CAN take a breath, though I’ll never be able to broadly use my hands and arms if I’m wearing it when I speak. Today I made my first venture out without the kids as guides (but with one woman from Gilbert!!! and another from Finland) and didn’t get lost in the day market building – amazing, and I’m sorry I don’t have a photo of the day market on this computer so you could be suitably impressed.

Yesterday we did a tour (Em arranged it) of some handicraft factories. It was the first – and no doubt last – time I had an emerald and diamond ring on my finger. Some handicrafts! Besides the gem factory, we did see how Thai silk is spun and woven, right from the moths laying eggs all the way to the finished product, and we visited an umbrella-making factory (though factory is hardly the right word to use – it’s all open-air and done by hand) where I got a butterfly painted on my jeans, Ev got an elephant on his shorts, and El got a spectacular butterfly painted on her shirt – which she was not wearing at the time, due to concerns about wet paint and her busy little hands. You’ll soon see umbrellas from this factory in your local Pier 1 store. The Thai people are quite artistic and music lovers. Our guide/driver spent his time waiting on us to tour the factories by playing a stringed instrument he keeps in the bed of his pickup truck when he takes people around. He was quite good and we enjoyed a short “concert.”

This week we attended a kantoke dinner, too, with traditional Thai dancing and food. Monday we go to Burma to get new Thai visas, so next week I’ll report on that adventure. I”m off now to call my hubby, so y’all be blessed.

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