Happy New Year!
In my last blog I had settled into my new home, I had started language school and I was helping out with some English classes.
Unfortunately, a short time later I had a bout of sicknesses that kept me at home for a total of 4 weeks, and I missed the last week of language study. It was definitely not on my radar, but I am now back to full health and I started back at language school on Monday 6th January. In hindsight, I am glad that I had the holiday period to recover so that I didn’t miss any essential study, but I was sad that I couldn’t go up north for Christmas.
I have decided to join Mittraphap church, the church in Ram Song where I am helping to teach English. Despite it being a 1-hour journey from my home, they are a lovely church family of approx 30 people and it feels like a family. The church is relatively new and is only Thai speaking, so it’s a good environment for me to learn the language. I can already see the benefit of the language classes as I am recognising more and more words. Next week we have a short term mission trip coming from YWAM Kona and Gift (the English language teacher) has asked me to join in with some of their activities, so I won’t be bored!
Every day I learn something new about the country I live in – today I discovered that pregnant ladies wear a distinguishing pin on their baby bump, presumably so that people know that they should give up their seats on public transport. I have regularly seen children, the elderly, monks and pregnant being given seats on the BTS. They genuinely honour one another here.
Another thing that strikes me about this nation, is that Thai’s love to join different cultures in their celebrations. Christmas – although not a Thai celebration – was celebrated with Christmas trees and decorations in many shopping malls. I also saw a few Asian Santa Claus, which was very amusing! The next celebration is Chinese New Year in mid-January, and above is a picture of some decorations at the Asok BTS (sky train) station. There are many people from South East Asia living in Bangkok and its not unusual to see Koreans, Japanese, Chinese and Westerners on a regular basis. Yesterday while on my daily commute, I saw a Japanese man on the BTS with an Olympics name badge for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics!
In a few weeks, I will be going to the immigration department to extend my visa and on 20th February I go to the Ministry of Education to prove that I am learning Thai. No pressure!! Please pray that both visits go well. Thank you!