Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Morning with Mary

This week is my first week of summer vacation. My school year ended with a great program and it was sad to see the Rabbit Class go.  Monday was spent updating my visa out at immigration. It is a whole day process, but luckily our school secretary helps and gets all the paper work in order. I can now live here for 1 more year and feel free to travel around when I feel necessary!

Today and yesterday morning I started my day with a walk through Lumpini Park. I joined the hundreds of people who go there every morning for their exercise or just to meet with friends. Most of the people look retirement age, although you do see groups of moms with strollers and younger people too. Runners, walkers, groups and individuals practicing martial arts, groups enjoying breakfast, groups chanting, individuals selling lottery tickets to the locals. I've never had the chance to visit Lumpini in the AM, but I love it. Less tourists, more locals. A good sweat to start your day in a peaceful place in the middle of a big city. I'll go again tomorrow.

I'm not great at taking photos but, here are some from my walk today. I took some from a distance, so I'll make them big for you to see.

Group Tai Chi. So Peaceful to watch

I didn't get the name of this statue, but I think the group sitting by it picked a nice spot  to  enjoy the morning.

man by himself doing tai chi

"Unity, Growth, & Peace"

A place to keep out of the sun or rain

of course I saw some giant lizards 

Chinese Pagoda. There were people doing Tai Chi right by where I took this photo, I wanted to get both, but felt a little funny taking their picture so close to them...

"A Mother's Love" This is one of my favorite statues in Lumpini. If  I have a baby (most likely not going to happen) here in Bangkok I want to get my photo take near this statue pregnant.

Guess the name of this statue before you keep reading...... 

"Women in the Next Three Decades"

A view from the rear... No need to enlarge, you get the idea

Pretty ground, so peaceful and on the other side of the fence is 6+ lanes of busy traffic.

"Elderly Center" You could hear laughter from inside.

Group doing what looks like Tai Chi, but with these pretty fans.
Women doing some type of martial art with long pole

Lumpini's Spirit House: Pretty

Monday, June 20, 2011

Small World

Today at school one of the new teachers  who will start in August came in to introduce herself, have a look around, and if she was like me on my first day at Mulberry House, get a bit overwhelmed. When she came by the Rabbit Room I introduced myself and that's when I realized what I small world we live in.... Here's what I found out.

Her name: Mary (same as me!)
Where she grew up: Minnesota (Eden Prairie to be specific which is a suburb of the Twin Cities about an hour from where Greg and I moved)
Her boyfriend who was with her today: She met him at Iowa State University (I attended The University of Iowa, Iowa State's rival!)
He's from Nevada, Iowa ( I do where it is) and is currently in Thailand working for the Peace Corp.
Her previous teaching experience: Lisbon, Iowa while living more towards Mt. Vernon and Marion (I grew up my whole life in Marion)

Talk about a small world...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

This last weekend we experienced something new in Thailand for the first time in nine months.


No taxis, no motorbikes, no busses, no trains, no people, no dogs, no blaring music. Even the wind was calm so that there were hardly any waves lapping against the shore. Welcome to the of Koh Chang.

The six hour trip to Koh Chang makes it just far enough away that it is not a popular weekend getaway for folks from Bangkok, but Mary’s four day weekend from school made for the perfect time to travel a bit farther.

Things were looking dreary on the ferry from the mainland.

The roads on the island are like a roller coaster (minus any safety features of course)

Soon the sun would come out and paradise would appear! This is the view from the porch of our private bungalow.

We found amazing seafood for dinner on the pier in the bay. It was also a great spot to watch the sunset. You could even watch the fish swim by below your feet while you ate!

The resort had sea kayaks that you could use to explore the area.

This was a very welcome sight when you’re used to the crowded beaches closer to Bangkok

Bang Ban Bao is a town built entirely along a pier into the bay.


This is the view at breakfast.

More time at the beach.

Our friend Tara came with us for the weekend. Greg and Tara are enjoying lunch at the local beach bar.

Before we headed back to Bangkok we explored the other side of the island. Not much for beaches, but there are a few quiet fishing villages and plenty of jungle.

We were sad to leave and already want to go back!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Thank You!

Thank you to Steph and Danny Kimball, Jen and Dave Tiede, Jes and Ryan French, & Karen and Dennis Fenton ( I think I got everyone, but let me know if I missed someone) for sending us one of the best care packages (cards not in photo) we have ever received! It arrived on Memorial Day!