What else did we do in Chiang Mai aside from spend time with Partners and with Claire, Doug, Olivia and Sacha? Well, we connected with our friends Matt, Michelle and Josiah again (last spotted in Colorado) and met new friends Kim and Kenneth who are working on an HIV/AIDS project called Radical Grace. We were challenged and inspired by the work they are doing – here’s Kenneth talking about it.
We spent Thanksgiving being thankful with our friends Stu, Ruth, Ali and Caleb. I really like this tradition and think I need to practice being more grateful more regularly.
We shopped at the night market and the Sunday walking street market (pictured above) where Claire introduced us to fish shaped waffles filled with chocolate and Olivia met candy floss for the first time. I had pedicures and massages with Claire and Sach. We spent lots of time getting to know the delightful Olivia and spent a day hanging out with her while Doug and Claire were away – this was a lot of fun. (Also fun was seeing a tiny grass snake in the park…Olivia and I kept our distance!)
We did some less exciting things, like going to the dentist, and some more exciting things, like getting my first tattoo. I have been talking about getting a tattoo for years and eventually decided on the word Mengedenya, an Amharic word meaning journeyer or traveller. I chose this for its literal meaning relating to what we have been doing for the past 18 months, but also for the idea of being on a faith journey, working out what it means to follow Jesus in the world.
We had a scary experience driving a motorbike where we were sideswiped at 60km an hour – we managed to stay on but the car that hit us veered back into its own lane and took out another car. We were extremely grateful to have no damage to us or the bike, and for Thai speaking friends who came and interpreted for us with the police!
We saw the new Hunger Games movie, ate a lot of good food and had a Christmas party with Claire, Doug, Olivia and Sacha where we decorated the tree and ate amazing food. We loved being in Chiang Mai with the friends and family we have there. (More posts to come on the incredible lantern festival we went to and our side trip to Pai!)