Friday, April 4, 2014

Academic Camp in March

Hi to everyone!  March has been a little different for us because we did not have language school. We took this month off so we could meet with the Southeast Asia group at Dolphin Bay, which is about 3 hours south of Bangkok. We enjoyed the fellowship with all who were there and were able to relax a couple of days. We did not see any dolphins, but we did manage to find some monkeys. As one of our group activities we visited Monkey Island where we were able to get up close and personal with a couple of the locals. After the island visit we hiked to a cave where King Mongkut first visited in the 1860.  In the 1890's the Pavillion was built by King Chulalongkorn.  Future Kings have continued to visit the site. The mountain is limestone and the holes were formed due to water, weather and time.  It was interesting to see how the mountain opened as you walked further down.  Hopefully, the pictures will explain what I am trying to say. We loved our time together and meeting others who are living and sharing in this area of the world.


Phyara Nakhun Cave

Temple in Phraya Nakhun Cave

Our Group Walking in the Cave

We have been working on our language by trying to use what we do know by talking to the kids that are in Bangkok for summer academic camp.  There are 23 students here sharing meals, devotion time, academic classes and fellowship with each other and the leaders. This has been a great opportunity for Noah to connect with several students and make some friends his age.  He has also been a part of the music team each morning. Hannah Grace has made her contribution as well.  She taught the students the moves to the theme song for the camp. 

Noah During Worship
Participating in Activities

Pam Teaching about Taking Care of Your Body
Kat Translating

Mod Helping Translate

Lunch Time

Worship and Motions

The Making of a Body

Our Bodies
Who We Are Inside and Out

It has been great to have the opportunity to get to know these kids just a little.  Conversations take a long time and many gestures are needed to help try and get your point across.  Sometimes nothing works with language, but the kids seem to know we care for them and that is most important. They seemed to be enjoying the camp and the activities that have been planned for them. They are already all special to us. Please keep them in yours prayers.

Thank you for your love and support to us.

Monday, March 3, 2014

February in Bangkok

What have we been up to?  In February, we have been able to get out a little more and see more of the sights in Bangkok.  We visited a Buddhist Temple, Wat Phao, which is near the Emerald Palace.  This Wat houses the Relining Buddha.  It was a Buddhist holiday, so there were many people coming and going around the Wat to worship.   It has been very hot lately and this day was no different.  Our trip to the temple was by sky train, then a boat ride. then a walk to the temple.  As we were exiting the market place we were informed the Wat was closed for about an hour.  The Tuk Tuk driver said he would take us to a different temple and return us back to the Emerald Palace.  Well… two hours later we were returned as promised, but not before we made two stops at a couple of tourist shops so he could get a gas voucher if we went in and made a small purchase.  One shop was tailor made clothes and the other fine jewelry and regular tourist merchandise.  Hannah Grace helped him out and bought a head band.
Buddhas Lining Temple Wall
Thai Buddhist Worshipping at Wat Phao
One of the Sitting Buddhas
River Ride
People at the Temple

HG and our Tuk Tuk Driver "Duk"

Pam and I are offering a coffee and conversation time each Sunday morning to allow anyone the opportunity to speak English. We began the conversation speaking about Love. We read from the Love  chapter because we felt like this was a topic everyone at least had an opinion about.  What we have found is we all have love with someone or something. Regardless of our culture or geographic location, love is an important aspect of who we are. We shared the conversation hearts that were sent to us from the US with this class to have a little fun. We must be getting older because there were several we didn't know what they meant.  It was a fun time and everyone enjoyed reading them aloud.  However, they didn't eat them, they wrapped them up to take home.  They think American candy is too sweet.


Until next time, may you share His Blessings and Peace.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

January In Thailand

Hi to everyone!   We have been in Thailand 2 months!  Here is some of our most recent pictures and happenings.

We finished up our first four weeks of Thai language speaking at the end of January.  During our last class we worked on some drills and then headed out on a field trip to the local market to try out our new language. Well, our teacher did have to step in a time or two to lend some help, but we managed to make a purchase or two.  Hannah Grace was the big winner, scoring three new dresses. We topped it off with lunch together and a bite of seaweed for a snack.

Our Thai class at the market
Hannah Grace enjoying some seaweed

Our teacher having a snack

In January we also started a coffee and conversation class on Sunday mornings at 9am.  The purpose is to allow anyone to come free of charge and practice their English speaking. There have been around 7-8 people attending with a broad level of speaking skills.  This is a fun class. We just chose the topic of love using the Love Chapter from 1 Corinthians as our guide.  We hope to see this grow and allow those who want to practice speaking English to have the chance and to have meaningful discussions.

Coffee and Conversation
A really good comment
Alex(left) and Top

On Sunday afternoons we are teaching English classes. We have five in one class and three in the other.  We try to make it fun for them to learn by bringing in games and doing role plays. They are eager to learn to speak English and some come from nearly and hour away. I think our learning Thai has helped us and our approach in teaching English. We understand the blank and puzzled looks we get from the students because we use those same looks in our Thai class.

Discussing there correct answer

Todd, Puckdee and Top

Puckdee, Pam and Top

Chapter 2 What's this?
Hope this helps you to know what we are up to.  As always we love you and thank you for your prayers and support.  Blessings to each of you.

Todd, Pam, Noah and Hannah Grace

Friday, January 10, 2014

Rak Thai Language School meets the Attaways!

                    Swatdii kha from Pam and Hannah Grace.  Swatdii khrap from Todd and Noah.  
                                 (Good morning, good afternoon, good evening and hello)

We have officially started language school to learn Thai and have completed Week 1.  Up until this week we have had a couple of Thai college students, Pam and Ti as language helpers.  Now in addition, the four of us are attending Rak Thai Language School.  Our teacher is named Siican and she is very good, and patient!  Class is from 9 to 12 each day with afternoon practice homework.  Our train ride to get there is around 30 minutes each way.
We have 7 of us in class, the four of us, Miki from Japan, Ju from Korea and Alex from Liverpool.  The class is very fast paced and difficult, but we are trying.  We spent the first 2 days learning new vowels and consonants then on day three went straight to sentences.  Siican speaks to us in Thai and we have to respond in Thai.
Front: Miki and HG  Back: Alex, Noah, Siican & Ju

Our family with Siican

Thai conversation

Thai vocabulary

Talk about being put on the spot :), but fortunately everyone is learning.  We are grateful for the opportunity to live in Bangkok at the Muang Thai Church so that we can attend language school before heading to the Northeast where not many people speak English.

Please continue to pray for us.  Pray that we will be able to grasp the Thai language in order to be able to communicate effectively.  Also please pray as we adjust to a new culture and for our family.  Sidney in North Charleston and Ashley as she begins her new semester in Reading, England.

                   May God bless you abundantly.  Thank you for being on this journey with us.