Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A Short Break

Grandma and Grandpa arrived January 11 safe and sound, although tired from a 24 hour flight. Since then we have had the flu and colds among other things and have not gotten out much. We are planning to begin sight seeing soon.

Needless to say Helen is in heaven right now. She is very attached to my mom and I am already wondering how she will handle Grandma saying goodbye in a few weeks.

So for now, we will take a break from blogging and enjoy being together with my parents.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Chiang Mai

In the middle of December we took a few days and headed up to Chiang Mai. It is about an 8 hour drive from Bangkok in the northern part of Thailand. Chiang Mai is the second largest city in Thailand with approximately 1 million people (Bangkok has 13 million!) The city still has some of its ancient stone wall and moat around the center part of the city. It is a charming and artistic place to visit.

On our visit to Chiang Mai, we were able to see how paper is made and then turned into fans and umbrellas. Here Daniel and I are pounding the paper pulp. This has to be done continuously for 4 hours!

Watching an artist hand paint a fan.

Checking out a waterfall.

Meeting up with friends of a friend of mine. Thanks, Keri, for connecting us! We had a great time!!

We visited an amazing flower garden. It was so beautiful, I asked Pun if we could live there. As I looked at all of our pictures from this garden, no one picture really catured its essence, so I chose one with Daniel. :)

I was really hoping to see an area where the hill tribe people live. There are several tribes scattered across Northern Thailand. Here is a picture looking down at their homes.

We drove on some beautiful mountain roads. This particular road is just above the hill tribe.

Helen and Daniel wanted to see elephants. Here Daniel and I are riding bare back. Helen, who was very excited by it all, would not ride one.

I inadvertantly turned our camera to b/w. So here are our "by accident" artistic pictures!

The Night Bazaar Market--great shopping!

Thailand is known for its beautiful orchids. We went to visit an orchid farm only to find out that most of the flowers had been sent to the Flora Expo being held in Chiang Mai in honor of the King. We did find a few, and here is a shot of one of the prettiest ones we saw.

Chiang Mai is a place you could visit over and over again and never see it all. We left hoping to return as soon as possible!

Thai Family Pictures

Every time I put up a new post I always think to myself "I will post sooner next time!" But it doesn't seem to happen. There always seems to be something that keeps me from getting back to the blog. I seem to average a post a week. Sorry about that for those who would like more updates. But I love your feedback and emails.

So I want to introduce you to this wonderful new family of mine. Honestly, they have truly made us feel at home here. We see each other often, as most of the family (all of them, that is, except one Aunt and Uncle and the cousins who are studying abroad) live right on the same block as us. We are trying to take advantage of this as we won't be this close for long.

Many of you have already met Pun's parents. Here they are holding Helen while she naps. This was taken within the first few weeks after we arrived. We were at a city park.

It is Pun's Mom's side that all live on one block. She has 5 siblings (3 sisters and 2 brothers). Here is her youngest brother, Uncle Rote, playing with Daniel. The kids LOVE this family. Everyone is always feeding them, bringing them toys, or playing with them!

Here is a cute picture of two of the sisters with Pun's Grandma. Aunt Jad (the one in orange) is very dear to Pun. She was like a second Mom to Pun growing up. I have been enjoying Aunt Joy (in blue). She has been so kind to us. Grandma doesn't speak much English but smiles at me a lot!

This is Pun's Great Aunt. I have already posted her picture once before but I couldn't resist putting this one up. This woman is 102 (103 in March). She was in the silk business and used to make and sell silk material. She is now completely blind. The last few times I have gone to visit her she has been sitting up on her bed feeding herself. She has the sweetest smile when something tickles her. She always reminds me (through and interpreter, of course) to work harder at my Thai so we can talk. She has never seen a Westerner before, but tells me as she holds my hands that they seem just like Thai hands! :)

This last picture is of Aunt Jad with her husband Uncle Pirote and another one of Pun's cousins, Nu. Nu was teaching me Thai until she got too busy with her job. I miss seeing her regularly but really appreciated her willingness to teach me.

Later, I will introduce you to more of my Thai Family. They really are a great family and are teaching me so many new things. They are also so patient with me and my "foreign ways."

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