25 August, 2009

24 August, 2009

out and about

Some lunch we had at a small mall called Number 1 plaza. It was pretty spicy. The dish on the right is some kind of basil chicken and the left is some duck dish.
The street off of our side street. A street is called a soi in Thailand.
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This is Bik, a friend of mine that developed the first time I was in Thailand some 3 years ago or so. He lives at BJD, a house through YWAM for students, you could compare it to Antioch fraternity, where I lived in Corvallis.
Bik has been hanging out with us since we got here, helping us get aquainted with the area, and a good person for Phil, Nolan, & I to ask questions of. All Thais have nicknames, usually given to them when they are born - Bik is a nick name and not his full name.
Phil & Nolan hanging out at the little cafe outside of BJD.
Posted by PicasaThis place looks much better than when I was here last - Bik has helped make it a really nice place to hang out and get a drink or snack.

Our host father, Mr. Brown

Thai's tend to address the parents of friends like they would address their own parents, so the Thais call him dad. This is Danny's father, who leases the large building that we are staying in along with many other people. Danny is a missionary here in Thailand and has been for 16 years. His parents moved here with a desire to have a place of hospitality for the many Thais and others alike that are serving the poor and broken in these areas. It is really helpful for the young Thais that stay here, because they have very little money, are going to university, and are working to love the poor and broken in this area of Bangkok.
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A few photos around the house

Phil & I in his room
Phil's taking notes, trying to soak up as much thai is possible. *good job Phil*
A picture out the window through a window screen.
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Arriving in Bangkok


We have arrived in Bangkok.

I will not lie, it was a long trip. We left Eugene airport at 5:20 am, flew to Portland, flew to Seattle. We were in Seattle by 7am or so and our connecting flight to South Korea did not depart until 2:30pm. From Seattle we flew almost 11 hours to Korea, nearly a 3 hour layover, and we finished with a 5.5 hour flight to Bangkok.

It seems as if small things always trigger the big realizations in my head. I woke up early Monday morning and took a shower. Many realizations followed. It’s almost as if my moment of realizing, “I am actually in Thailand now,” waited to grip me in the shower. The bathrooms are small cement rooms. There is a shower head, a squatter, and a reservoir for holding water. A squatter is simply a toilet without the seat – you just squat and go – it’s still made of porcelain, it still had a hole. The showers aren’t heated, but it is already hot at 7 am – hot enough to have a cold shower feel absolutely refreshing.

As all of these things folded into my mind I realized that I am really back in Thailand, I am in a very different place than Oregon and, that I am really happy to be here. The cold shower, cement bathroom, squatter, smell of Bangkok in the warm air, and mixed sounds of birds and cars seeping in through the windows combine to capture me in the present. Here I am, in Thailand, in Asia; I don’t have an itinerary, or a plane ticket home.

This is what our rooms look like, pretty much a small dorm room.
I went to the top of our building while it was raining, this is the view from the backside.
Squatty potty. They aren't half bad, but we are thankful to have access to western toilets too. When you use the toilets, you have to full the blue bowl with water 2-3 times and pour it down the toilet to essentially flush to the toilet.
Here is the shower - right next to everything else. It's unheated, but not too cold. We also have access to a shower that is heated. In Thailand they usually use small hot water heaters in each bathroom that only heat the water you are going to use - it probably saves a lot of energy.
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17 August, 2009

Last day in Portland

Margi flew out to Argentina this morning - she is going to serve the homeless in Buenos Aires with a great organization called Word Made Flesh.

After seeing Margi off, I have the privilege of spending another day chilling in Portland before I fly out to Asia this Saturday morning. I am going to miss Portland. The beautiful bridges and restful Willamette River. There is something very special about Portland and I will miss this city.

I stopped by Sip & Kranz, my previous employer - grabbed 6 bags of an intoxicating drink - stumptown coffee. HairBender, Panama Carmen Estate, Montes De Oro, Nicaragua Finca La Amistad, Ethiopia Wondo to name a few. Why is it so difficult to find great coffee around - so many have gone astray for bad beans and over roasted coffee. It works the same with other food - don't burn a good steak, it should be somewhere around the medium - not crispy. Who would overcook a beautiful piece of salmon. I wouldn't even want to burn a piece of toast - the black carbon tastes bad.

- Moving on -

I am sitting in a great cafe called Barista. I have realized that this might very well be the best espresso I will get for some 15 months. Surprisingly maybe, I am able to just fully enjoy this fact - content & thankful. yum. It's hard to beat a small double shot of espresso, hints of chocolate, dry blueberry, tantalizing aroma - folded with equal parts velvety milk in a small 4 0z cup. No poor aftertaste lingers - only delicate flavor compounds continue to grace my mouth and sense of smell.

I will miss Portland, and it will not be merely coffee that I miss.

Asia will be very different - the excitement and adventure. I've found learning to be one of the most satisfying and rewarding things I get to participate in -- in life. You cannot get away from learning when you travel to totally new areas. New cultures stretch you, they teach you things about yourself that were hidden before. I'm thankful for the opportunity to travel, learn, meet new people, and engage with a new culture -- all with good friends to enjoy this experience with. Sounds good huh? I think so.

I think that's all I got for now. Any thoughts out there? Why not take a leap and join the discussion. I disdain the idea of my blog being an exhibit - it should be participatory - it is a connecting point - please, join in with your thoughts, feelings, and comments.


13 August, 2009


Skype is great. If you don't have my skype name, this is it.


11 August, 2009

Passport Photo

This picture is preperation for an adventure, for international travel. Goodbye Portland, goodbye Oregon; hello Bangkok, hello Thailand & Taiwan. Goodbye baked potatoes, hello rice noodles. Goodbye Mcdonalds, hello Bangkok street food.

To Asia.

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Visiting Friends

Andrew & Renee came down to Junction City / Eugene to visit me over the last couple days. We took a hike at nearby Spencers Butte in South Eugene. Congradulations Andrew & Renee on your recent engagement, I'm stoked for you two. Oh, happy was I that Market of Choice in Eugene now brews Stumptown coffee in place of Full City coffee - good choice guys.

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06 August, 2009

Oregon Coast

I've been at the Oregon Coast all week. My grandparents built a house in Waldport years ago and this is where our experience of the Oregon Coast has taken shape.

We've been doing lots of swimming in the ocean and the pool, lots of eating, and lots of sitting around reading. It's been great.

I will post some more pictures soon.

2 weeks from Saturday and we fly out.