This morning, I had a nice chat with my family before breakfast (just typing on Skype – I actually prefer that to talking (I’m just not a big phone person…), but I guess I should let them hear my voice sometime! haha). After that, we had breakfast and then headed off to NightLight.
In the mornings, there is a devotional time for about an hour. Usually it’s held in a nearby church so that everyone can fit into the same room. Some of the girls led some choruses which were really beautiful. It’s interesting because all of the girls sing and clap along, but many of them are not Christians. It was really great to see that even though they may not believe yet, they are still there, exposed to the Truth and provided with the opportunity to learn more and and explore our faith – hopefully, of course, leading to a decision to believe. The final song we sang was one we know in English, “Hosanna” (Let the weak say I am strong, Let the poor say I am rich…). Some of us sang it in English and it was such a cool feeling on the chorus because, of course, “hosanna” is the same in English and Thai, so it sort of reinforced the fact that despite the language difference, we were all singing the same thing to the same god.
Anyway, after that, Sandra did a devotional introducing a new series she’s doing about “God Encounters”, trying to explain what it means to really meet with God in a meaningful way. She’ll talk about some people in the Bible who met with God, and also have some people share their testimonies about “God moments” in their lives. It should be really good…
After that, I took all of the pretty dollar store items I brought with me to the lady who teaches the girls English. She uses them as motivational prizes. It was just perfect that I brought them today because there were about 15 girls who needed to pick up prizes today! So, we spread out the things (hair clips, notebooks, slinkies, stickers, etc) out on the floor of the office and the girls came in to pick what they wanted. They absolutely loved everything and I had so much fun watching them look at everything and figure out what they wanted (“Which necklace colour suits my skin colouring best?” etc.). After, they all looked up at me and said, “Thank you for the compliments!” Their teacher has taught them a number of phrases to use when people come to tour NightLight (“Welcome to NightLight” and “Thank you for the compliments”, for example), but it’s funny because they do understand the gist of what they’re saying, but not necessarily each specific word. So, to say thank you, I got the full phrase! Their teacher then taught them to say “Thank you for the presents!” The girls are so sweet…
After that, I went into one of the jewelry making rooms and some of the girls showed me how to make the necklace pattern they were working on. I made two necklaces!!! They were encouraged to try using their English with me, so they asked me some questions – my name, my age, where I’m from, etc. It turned out I was sitting next to a girl exactly my age! There were five girls at my table ranging from 21 (I think – I can’t quite remember) to 46. The names here are so hard to remember because they are short (many are just one syllable) so there isn’t much to “trigger” a memory of a name! Either you remember or you don’t! 😛
We ate lunch at NightLight. Every morning, some of the girls prepare the lunch (they go to the market to get fresh food, etc). The food is SO good! It’s fresh and spicy and very, very yummy!
After lunch, a couple of us went with one of the staff to a grocery store that carries American stuff (like salsa, Lucky Charms, etc.). For those who live here all the time, that is quite a treat! It’s more expensive, but is really nice when you need something you can’t find in a regular Thai place. I ended up getting a package of Menthos flavoured like Coke – yummy! They only cost 12 baht, and a good rough estimate to keep in mind is $1 is about 30 baht. I bought a huge water bottle for 15 baht. Everything is quite cheap here (regular water bottles are 5).
I worked a bit on some prep for teaching ESL after that. Then, we left for home. At the end of the sky train is a shopping plaza where we picked up a few items. I enjoyed walking through the grocery store to see all the different types of foods they have. Maybe I’ll take some pictures sometime… On our way out, we stopped at the McDonalds and they have a McCafe (like a Starbucks). I’ve never seen one before. We got iced coffees, came home, and then I went and had a nap. This was followed by dinner and a walk. We walked down to the mosque and the canal. It’s Ramadan right now, so the mosque is covered (tastefully, I mean) in white Christmas lights (um… Ramadan lights? haha) and was so pretty. So was walking along the canal – but the walkway is only as thick as a sidewalk and I was afraid to think too much about walking straight lest I lose my balance and topple right in! 😛
Okay – I’ve got to go to be now…
Just two more short notes:
1. There are plenty of things I can take pictures of, but right now I’m so caught up in experiencing everything that I don’t think of taking out my camera! Don’t worry, though! I am definitely going to make a concerted effort to take plenty of pictures in the next few days – maybe Saturday?
2. I do need and intend to respond to some letters/emails from people. Please don’t think they haven’t been very much appreciated!!! I’m planning to be back up to speed with things by the end of the weekend… 🙂