Friday, October 27, 2006

The week is over- Jesse

Hello everone at home, I am sad beause the classes are over and they were soo much fun and i'll probly never see the kids agen. Mum 200 Baht is about $9.00, is eating the chili was worth it and it wasnt like haveing my guts ripped out. The weather is hot hot and if your lucky hot, so that nice. I went on the back of a motorbike down the freeway at about 110km/h with no helmut or any protection and that was fun as. Tonight we are going to a resturant which is the tallest builging in Bankok, then werte are going to ANOTHER market. Mum i have bought our family presents but i dont know wat to get Matt and Brenton. Ask Do you guys want any Cd's or Dvd's. How is everyone? In the class we tought the kids the superman grace and thay were singing for the rest of the day. I am going to miss the kidds, i got some photos of them. When i get home mum i expect at least 3 days off school. Thats about all see you all in a few days goodbye. Jesse

Teaching Thursday, Friday

My typing is crap, sorry!!

Last two days of teaching, possibly last entry before we return.

Teaching has been great, and i've very much enjoyed getting to know the kids. Cklasses have been about language structure Thursday, and then colours ands animals today. It is such a jopy to work with these guysd, my heart just swells for htese kids. young guy sho i desribed as hard is named Meng. He wasn't around on Thursday, but was for half the class on Friday. I gave him somme responsibilities, and you could just see his confidence boost. What a priveledge to be here, thank you for your support in too many ways to count.

We have been so welcomed here - in a place where predators walk through and take davntafge of the young, the community have got used to seeing us and welcome us in ways that we would never have thought. I was admitring an ice treat that one child had,his mother took me by the arm, and led me to where they were selling them. THey call my hed a football, as there is no hair on it, and the still laugh, but it is all in good spirit.

Tonight Friday) is team dinner, with youth group before. Footvball is happeniung at the same time. Tema dinner is in a high rise eslewhere in bAngkok. Tomorrow a group of us are going on a tour to the floating markets, a temple, and elswhee - should be ll day., Sunday we check out of the hotel, go across to churcvh on Klong Touey, then hang out until 8pm, when we leave for the airport.

I realise i haven't unpacked much, but i will ,probably when i get home.
I've been overloaded with experiences, and i suspect it will take some time to work through. I have seen God at work, and i'm aware that i've been challenged in many ways.


I'm, sorry that i haven't rteplied to many comments, but computer time, althoughj i try to make time for this, is hard to find., thus the typos, etc.

Please continue to pray for us and leave messages.

Regards and Thanks,

Andy!!~

Hope the typing is better

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Teaching Wednesday - Andy

THe kids know me well now, and i them. THere is one young guy, 15, whoi is a real handfui, and who disapeared half way through class today. HE copmes across as very hard, meaning lots of attitude, agressiveness, but he tends to respond to me ewell. I put tihs down to relationship and mutual rerspect. We don't share alot of commmon words (and less writtten, as Mark R pointed out - thanks), but i'm very much wnjoying to get to know him.


THeee are other young peopel the same, and they tend to trust quickly. It will be hard to leave at the end of the week, and as we are driving into this slum, we don't see them around the community centre. Once class is over on Friday, i won't see them agaion - this is difficult, but i hope that i have given them some valuable languge skills, as well as shown some faith and beleif in them. I am very much enhjoying my experience here, although i iss my family hugely.

More later,

andy!!

Khao San Road - Andy

Tuesday eveing we were taking on many forms of transport to get to this well known backpacker area, and shopping bananza - 2 buses, 2 river buses (fast, noisy things), and one tuk tuk. APperntly Bankok is well over prescribed noise polutions levels, and i'm not surprised givewn the noise of somoe of our forms of transport.

Khao San Road is the place where all the backpacker shang out. At nigt they cpolse the road, and market stalls spring up everywhere. Bartering is the thing to do, to get that elusive bargain, and the place for all your DVD and CD copies. THose who know me would know i gave these a wide wereth.

I did pick up some shirts and stuff, and it was good to see other parts of Bangkok, buty i really struggled with being in this environment after walking out of the slums. I don't enjoy shopping at the best of times, and i struggled being in two different worlds. I much prefer the slums - the people feel friendler (probably because they are not dealing with Ferungs all day).

Having said that, Wednesdayt we are going to a night Bazaar. I am told tha ttihj is more traditional, less touristy, ands i still need to get some things for opeopel. It's al;so closer, so easiuer to get home.

A big thank you to Rod for being our guide on Tuesday evening.

any oreders for dvd'S and CDs can be given to someone else.

Andy!

Adam's comments

Hi everyone! Adam is finally taking some time to blog
I'm sitting in the air conditioned buisiness room at Boss Tower listening to a Coldplay CD I bought at Kho Sahn Road last night.
This is such a big contrast compared to where we've been spending alot of our time
The children that some of us are teaching live in an area called Rong Gow. I might describe it as a narrow street running under one of the main freeways for a bit.
The people here live so close together and it makes me feel so priveliged and welcomed because they let us invade their space when it seems to me that there is so little of it.
Dean, Michelle and I are teaching a group of about 25 kids aged from about 10 to 13. There is a higher number of girls than boys. Many of them are very attentive and really want to learn some English. I have a sence they realise that knowing English can mean the difference between having an alright job and having a degrading, life sucking job.
We don't know much about these childrens backgrounds because of language barriers etc. but we are able to engage with them in different ways. Pi(pronounced like pie) is teaching me what I call a hand slapping singing game. I've been playing a bit of soccer with Gap, It and Git. It's really special to be able to have fun and interact with these kids.
Last night we took a number of different forms of transport to get to and from the market. We took a taxi, boat, took took, underground train, bus and motorbikes. This cost us about A$5 each. Food is amazingly cheap as well.
On Saturday we're going on a day trip to the River Kwai.
It's amazing to see how the people in this part of the world are living and it's a great privelige to be able to look below the surface and find something real and good.
I'm off to play soccer at the community centre in a second.
See you all soon

Adam

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Two Mantra Monday (Andy)

More on the mantras later...started teaching today. I am teaching with a visting GHerman Doctor, named Urike, ans supported by Ash. Wew hav the bigger kids, and are they a handful. Ages form 11 - 16. Adolescent boys are the same everywhere - smae sort of attritudes, behaviours, etc. It's just like being at home (appart formt he language). We taught body parts , and of course itr got rude. I am getting to know names and faces, they know mine already, chich helps.

After lunch and planning for tomrrow, we wens shopping (bottled water, and the guys bught up buiig on chips, etc). Managed a swim, with rory and Jesse choosing to have a sauna(i don't know why, so please don't ask!).
Rory, Jesee ans i then went back to the community centre ands watche tyhe little kids play football - that ias until we were martched up agianst a 15 y.o. side. This was hard work, playing on a concrete pitch, with no breeze. We lost,though weer aloweds to play on until we matched their score - 3 all.

We were ten challenged by a men's teama - Thailand Vs Australia. We wre down to 4 players - Jesse, Rory/Josh, myself, and Ash, and we used a 'imoprt' as gaolie'. THe Match went fro 25 minutes - we wre surprised, asn stuffed by the end of it.

Arter this we were to go to a festival, near the airport - th eMouth Of THe River festival. Not enough car rtoom menat that i needed to ride on th eback of EWt's motorbike.

It is important to remember at this point is that the key to integhrating into commuity is to be part of it. I think i wrote earlier about motorbikes andt he lack of helmets - well i've now had first hand experience.

We set out,and ten it started raining - well storm and water dumping would be more appropriate! there were four bike altogether (Dean elected to go wit Rod - again), so it felt like a real pack.
Once the deluge started we rested in a shelter, while Pastor Suwat kept going with the others. We watied for 1/2 hour, then headed out. So the first mantra was, "do't let me fall, don't let me fall". Thrilling, frightening, exciting, and fun!

We arrived safely, grapped some hot food (we were somewhat cold by this stage), then found the others and rteturned. By this stime it had stopped raining, but with puddles everywhere, it made for an interesting trip back.. EW travbelled much fasted (don't know how fast, the speedo wasn't woprking (i ddefinitely didn't start thinking of what eslose didn't work on the bike)), and so the second mantra became, "oh my lord, oh my lord, oh my lord".
THe rip as frightening, but excillerating. i got to spend a great deal of time with Rod, Et, and Rod's housemates. We ate toghether, risked life together, sharted rain together. really enjoyed spendingh this time.

We are getting to know our way around te slum, and learnig the names of the people we are spending time with.

This trip is certainly lifechangeing, i just don't quite know yt how it is changing me. I am certainly awre of the p[overty that we spend much of our trime in, and am loving the people i ams spending time with.

Gotta go, more tromorrow!

Andy!!

Monday, October 23, 2006

hey ppl at home

hey mum jack and ella
how u all doing. im doing great we start our classes tommorow so that will be different cant wait to see how it turns out.well gtg ill post another comment on tommorow.
cya love u all.

Hello everyone at home, its Jesse here, i hope your having fun without us. Last night i earned myself a nickname which is chilliboy, and you can guess how i got it. All up it was a good night though, i had a load of fun though and i earnd some money too.Today(sunday) was really good because we actually went into the slum for the first time and it was eye opening.and we went too church in t4hai which was interesting. All in all i had an awsome day. We are teaching tomoro so im gonna get an early night.
Goodbye untill my next blog
JESSE aka Chilli boy

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Sunday

Last night as a team dinner - NEVER suggest to Jesse to do something. Rory offered 200 Baht to eat 1 tyeaspoon of cilli flakes. Jresse also learnt that you don't chase chilli with milk - oit was looking pretty ugly for a while, but Jesse pulled through.

THe team met in the hotel lobby, then walked into the slum together. We passed Rod's house on the way, and he led us on a mad dash through back alleys, and almost through people's homes to the Ta Rua Church.

We were warmly welcomed by ther Ta Rua Community. We cpouldn't understand what they were saying, we couldn't understand their praise songs, but it was great to be part of this community.

Steve spoke this morning, with Rod translating to Thai. It went as well as it couldm, though some onf steve's staiories losta bit in context, culture.

The Ta Rua community provided lunch for us - what an amazing spread. Most of it was mild (i think they took pity on us) but the falvours were amazing., It makes me think that our food mustseem pretty bland to others.

fter lunch we wlaked ti the community centre - about five ,imiutesd from the church, still in the slum. Here we broke into teachin groups - i will be working with Ash (Unoh worker who lives here), Jesse, and Jill form Sydney,a nd Uriker form Swantson St. We have tomorrow planned ansd part of Tuesday. We are working in the Rong Moo slum,shichis built at the old slaugherhouse. We're told thatofficially the slaughter house is closed, but woprk still goes on here. Tomorrow we will be teaching 'what's you're mame', and parts of the body,so we will be singing 'heads shoulders...' and 'hoke pokey', as well as playing simon says.

The CPOmmunity Centre just erru[ptyed - as write, there are people watching the Liverpool/Man United mtch live, and Man United just scored their second goal. Thai people are crazy about footvball, especially mte males, and most support one of these ytwqo teams.

This afternoon the 'Farungs'(foregners)were invited to play football; on a grass pitch. It was nine a side, and once ytuo have a goal scored agianst you, you lose, the next team take your place. We sacored one goals, by me as goalie, and this basically staes how bad we were. Howevere, sport is such a great way of breaking down barriers. The other teams certtainly laughted at us, especially gas we had our shirst off, and our farungness showed bright white, but the were laughing with us. We enjoyed rthre opportunity to mix with community - this is wahat this trip is aobut - engagining and sharing.

Coming back to the community centre (i am still here - it is 8:30pm local time), Adam and i spent some time ith some of the local kids, playing football on the conrete pitch, offering them target practice by standing in the goals, and getting to know their names, and vice versa. Once again, what a priveledge to just hang with these guys. As one person from team put it, we don't know the language, but sport, and especially football, crosses our cultures,a nd allows us to communitcate very effectivewly.

This will be an exciting week. We are learning to engage with the commuity hear, to communicate effectively, and perhaps to eat strange tihngs. Some guys came into the centre a offering us a pre packed snack. Once i took a bite, i was told, through ASh, that it was dried spiced cuttle fish. I should have picked up that some of the thai odidn't eat it, but then trust is a great thing. Thai humour is subtle but very amusing (eben though we saeem tyo be on the wrong end of it).

Sorry about the typos - trying to type fast

More in the next day or two,

Andy!!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Hi all. As the others have probably said we arrived safely in Bangkok at about 6:30(Thia time)and 9:30 your time.
It is very warm and their is an interesting smell in the air.
Our drive from the airport(25km east of the city)to Boss Tower was amazing. There are palm trees everywhere and groups of people in the back of trucks zipping down the freeway. We also saw the edges of slum communities along the freeway.
This is an exciting city.
See you!

WE made it and were still alive

We arrived in bangkok today and it was soooo hot, and really exciting. Everything went quite smooth and there were no hastles and we got through fine except we got ripped of by a taxi guy which sucked. Later on we are going to go for a walk around the streets and check out the scene. I hope nobody misses us to much, and i hope everyone is healthy and doing well. I'll see you in 10 days, untill then
Goodbye Jesse

we're here - Andy

We've made it, after an overnight flight that kept on going. Not much sleep. Being offered green curry for one of our meals was great - yes, it was airplane food, but still GOOD!

Jesse got 'pre sellected', and had his carry on baggage seched for traces of explosives. They didn't find anything.

Catching a taxi to our hotel was an eye openner. I think this city is wned by motor bike ownersm, and they qare everywhere. THose people who think my driving is aggressive should come over here.

We're now trying to rest a bit, and waiting for others to arrive. We'll venture out later this afternoon, but for now, it's just nice to soak it all in.

Tomorrow we will meet with the Ta Rua community, where sTeve will be speaking. Tonight i think we are sharing a meal with the rest of the team, and tomorrow afternoon we start to plan our lessons for the classes for the rest of the week.

More later,
Andy!!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Two days to go - '06

If you're just joining this blog, (and i'm guessing most of you will be), from below this point are postings form last year's trip. This year we are:
Andy, Rory, Jesse, Adam & Dean.

Two sleeps to go until we meet at the airport. I spoke with Jesse tonight, who is VERY excited aboput Friday. I can't wait to get going, meet the whole team in Bangkok, and start doing what we've been working towards for 1/2 the year - teaching English in the slums of Klong Touey.

We will endeavour to to update this blog daily once we are there, and I'll be encouraging the guys to make regular entries on how they are going and what they are experiencing.

YOU can support us through prayer, and also through messages. Yes, you can respond to our postings, by clicking on the icon below. Please journey with us.

I'll post more from Bangkok,

Andy!!