Friday, January 15, 2010

Collettos VS the Lizard

"What's happening? Are you going crazy?" Mike whispered in the dark as I laughed hysterically.

The answer, at 4 a.m., was yes.

After an evening in the village with our family, watching Thai television, pronouncing impossible words, and pointing a lot at a Thai/English dictionary, we had finally settled into our room outside the house. We were on a bed (yay!) and under a mosquito net (even bigger yay!) and we had rejoiced when we finally were sent to bed at 7 p.m. We got inside our room and I announced "We did it!"

Just then, we heard the ominous sound above us. It was Thailand's famously large (and aggressive, rumor has it) lizard, and the tin roof mere feet above our heads was not a satisfactory defense. You've never seem someone dive under a mosquito net so fast. I immediately declared it was the size of a golden retriever--"it has to be!"--which led Mike to talking about komodo dragons which led us to a discussion about how lizards would kill people. Suddenly, I whispered harshly, "Why are we talking about this?!?" I had crazy dreams, most including the scratchdragscratch of the lizard crawling around above our heads. I could hear it get closer and closer to the corner where our heads were. We were cold and pressed so tightly up against each other, which was not fun on the flat, hard bed. I never slept for more than twenty minutes at a time. Mike probably didn't either, come to think of it, because he kept getting a jab in the ribs and a "Did you hear it that time? I think it's getting closer."

But we woke up to fresh mountain air and LOTS of roosters. We enjoyed a wonderful breakfast and more time with Eff, the older boy, and the unbelievably adorable Oii (oY), a young girl of maybe four.

Today we were at English camp with the kids. Delightful chaos. Their culture here is so different, and the kids are extremely community-oriented and kind to one another. Calling them to the front to answer a question on their own is nearly impossible. Our game had them running around and screaming in their attempts to pop balloons attached to friends' ankles. Even the five year old girls were chasing the tenth grade boys. Mike's game involved a maze of chairs; every time a new group rotation began, Mike said they'd show up at his station and get confused by the chairs, so they tried to "help" out by rearranging them in neat rows. ("Every time!" Mike laughed, shaking his head.)

Tomorrow a trek to the waterfalls with the scholarship kids is on the agenda. Rachel and Nate are treating us to dinner in their beautiful home.

If you are interested at all in sponsoring a child for $30/month, please let me know. There are currently about 80 kids who are awaiting sponsorship. I wish I could talk longer about what we saw in Bangkok and the desperation I feel to keep these kids out of it. For example, Eff and Oii are in the program because their mother is a former prostitute. Meenong, the girl we sponsor, has no documentation and her older sister is a prostitute. Watching her run around today and laugh with her friends made my heart ache, but I was so grateful to be a part of her future. As Oii cuddled into my chest on the sunny grass hill, I hugged her tightly, feeling overwhelmed with the feeling that I would stop at nothing to keep her from what I saw in Bangkok. The odds are not in her favor.

Well, not to brag, but we have to run. We are headed to two-hour Thai massages--for $10! After last night and the running around in the summer sun today, I feel I deserve my first professional massage.

We haven't had time to post pictures with internet as slow as it is, but we will!

P.S. - David, our translator today was Thailand's version of Jay! Like, his doppelganger! Oh, and Angie, you haven't seem the worst of Heather's "flip-flop feet!"


Mrs. Wenzel said...

Glad to read that you are experiencing some of the hope you mentioned and having a little fun. I would have been terrified of the lizard, a total wuss. Love you, Mom

Heather Hull said...

I just wanted you guys to know that it is so great to be able to follow you on this journey! The stories you tell are at times frightening but also heartwarming and amusing! Be safe and beware of the lizards! (I would have died!)