Thursday, February 16, 2006

Bangkok, Thailand February, 2006

On January 30 we arrived in Bangkok and settled into our home for the next two months, a guest house built by our company to house people like us! Tonya is 34 weeks here. She is standing in front of the entrance to the two room apartment where we stay.

Bangkok is a very large, modern city! We visited Ocean World, located in the basement of one of the hugest malls we've ever seen. Kris especially enjoyed the shark feeding, but only got a chance to have his picture taken in front of these fish.

Pie anyone? Tonya has enjoyed getting to cook and bake again after spending almost a month in a hotel in Chiang Mai and having limited opportunities to cook in Nepal due to exhaustion over language learning! Maybe it's nesting instinct, but she's cooking whenever there's a chance these days. Kris isn't complaining either.

Kris treated Tonya to a romantic Valentine's Day date. She got roses to start off the night! She's now in her 36th week. Not long to go!

Life in Nepal, November and December 2005

After monsoon rains end, there is a window of opportunity on clear days in October to January to see a gorgeous view of the Himalayan mountains from Kathmandu. From our front porch, we never grew tired of seeing views like this.

Praba, Tonya's language tutor has come 5 days a week to our home to teach. She is Hindu.

Kris' language helper, who is a believer from the "T" people group, came with his wife and son to our home the day after Christmas to celebrate with us. They are the first people we have met from the "T" peoples. It was a special pleasure to have them in our home.

We celebrated Christmas with a live Christmas tree. Pine trees are a rare find in Kathmandu, so we were very excited to find it! It will be our family tree and will grow with us as we live in Nepal.

Tonya invited some friends' homeschooled children to our home to bake Christmas cookies. It was a fun, but somewhat chaotic afternoon!

This is Josiah's nursery upon completion. The carpenter we used had never made a crib, rocking chair, or changing table (not shown) before, but we were very pleased with the results. His room will have a John Deere theme, appropriate for his family background!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Life in Nepal, August to October 2005

We arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal on August 20, right in the middle of monsoon season! Transition was difficult, but God blessed us with a clean, easily accessible apartment, a hard working household helper, great language tutors, and wonderful new friends who helped us with adjusting to a new culture. By the time we left on January 4, we had achieved much success in the area of language learning, orientating ourselves to getting around Kathmandu, and some cultural adaptation. We can't wait to get back to work in April after Josiah is born!

Here is Tonya with Urmela, our "Didi" (household helper). She is such a blessing!

For our 2nd wedding anniversary, we went to Pokhara, a popular Nepali vacation spot, and enjoyed fresh air, a view of the
Himalayas and air conditioning!

Kathmandu is a city of 2 million people, the vast majority of whom are Hindu. This table is full of idols that are for sale. Sights like this are not uncommon in any of the squares or Hindu temple sights throughout the city.

This is a Hindu worship area located just 3 doors down from our apartment flat. Every morning before dawn bells are rung to wake up the gods. Hindus come here daily to offer sacrifices and prayers to the gods of their choice.

When one leaves Kathmandu, he enters into an entirely different world. Life in the countryside is quite different for Nepalis. Here are women hauling their rice harvest from the field. Only women and children do the grunt labor on the farms.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

In Chiang Mai, January 2006

Here we are in Chiang Mai, Thailand, at the lovely Lanna palace hotel where we stayed. Tonya is 8 months along.

Here Tonya is with (left to right) "S"., Kim, a good friend who came with a group of volunteers from Durham, NC to encourage us while our group was in Thailand taking classes, and Kristin

We rode a tuk tuk for our primary transportation in Chiang Mai. The driver let Kris go around the parking lot and take a picture with us and our friends.

Our last weekend in Chiang Mai, we took a tour of Chiang Rai and The Golden Triangle, where Burma, Laos, and Thailand meet. Here we are in front of a hot spring our tour guide brought us to on the way.

We rode a motor boat to view Myanmar (Burma) and visit an island of Laos. It was the biggest adventure of our weekend!

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