We just got back from a 10 day trip to Thailand. Fab times, I tell ya. We got to connect with some dear friends, eat way too much yummy food, and wear nothing associated with winter.
Highlight #1 was a reunion between our 4 African buddies, Micah, Sami, Judson, and Esayas. They are the sons of our good friends, Josh & Courtney, who happened to be in Thailand at the same time we were. Our boys spent a few months together in the Addis care center, and they've promised us they'll be friends for life.
Here they are in April 2011 (well, 3 out of 4 of them!):
And here they are in January 2012 (again, only 3 out of 4!):
Oh there's the forth one, happily addicting himself to his perma-Ergo state:
We took the kids to an indoor play place that only cost $1 per kid and was walking distance from our hotel. Yes, please! Here are the mamas showing off our well-I-didn't-see-that-coming babies:
Highlight #2 was getting to visit the elephant camp with the Vaughns and their posse.
All 11 of us (4 adults and 11 kiddos) rented a song tow (read: tricked-out pick-up truck with benches installed in the bed) for the morning and trekked out to the elephant camp to hang out with everyone's favorite pachyderm. One of the residents let us sit on his back as he gave us a grand tour of the facility. It was a jolly good (and bumpy) time.
Then we watched elephants do funny things like paint pictures, play harmonicas, and kick giant soccer balls soccer. But when one of the balls nearly took of the Vaughn's son's head, we thought it best to relocate our fun.
This is a kid who is stupified by the amount of fun he is having. If I had a baht for every time he exclaimed "Elfant!" through the course of our morning, I would have roughly $1 (not because he didn't say it a lot but simply because the baht to dollar conversion is so wonderfully low!).
This picture is courtesy of my mature husband. If you've ever woken in the middle of the night in a cold sweat because you weren't sure where you could purchase elephant dung, then this place will restore you to your cozy dreams.
Highlight #3: Making further progress in our betrothal plans between Micah & the Vaughn's daughter Makaria. Rumor has it that Micah ranked up there on her list of Thailand favorites. And I'd be lying if I didn't report that he daily asks about Karia (See? He already has a pet name for her!)
I will say, however, to any of you who might be at all envious of our ten days in Thailand, it ain't all it's cracked up to be! Sure, I'm quite thankful for our time there but ten days in Thailand means ten days of sharing a hotel room with babies, ten days of either sitting in the hall after they go to bed or going to bed with them (can you guess which one this preggo mama chose?), ten days of eating out (I'll admit that I even got tired of Subway!), ten days of kiddos nearing the precipice of craziness for lack of routine, ten days that make you quite relieved to be home again!
Home where the lights can stay on past 7 PM, home where I can dust of my rusty Chinese once more, home where traces of sanity seems to be re-entering our life, home where my son can sleep in a bed (ok, it's a pack&play...the poor dude has never slept in a bed or with a pillow one day in his life!) and not on the floor...
Home that we're leaving again in less than a week! We're flying back to the States on February 13. This is actually my very last Saturday night to spend on my couch. Lots of mixed emotions & thoughts going on in my heart & head. More on all this later... But for now, we're grateful for Thailand and grateful to be home!