Saturday, October 24, 2009

Snippets of the past days . . .

I was at the Honda shop getting my oil changed, and needed to use the restroom. Instead of asking, “Where is the restroom?” I accidentally asked, “Where can I shower?” J

I was so excited to successfully use my language at the market to purchase 10 eggs (they don’t sell them by the dozen here- but by 10). After making my egg purchase, I proceeded to drop my bagful of eggs on the concrete while trying to put on my motorbike helmet… only 3 survived L

The neighborhood I am living in has been super lively… as the Tat Luang Festival is coming up on Nov. 2nd. There’s like a HUGE carnival nightly 2 blocks from my house… complete with blow up toys and rides for kids, rounds of bingo, ring toss and balloon games, cotton candy and popcorn, and of course, lots and lots of BeerLao. Really, it isn’t too different from the state fair.

There is amazing street food just around the corner from my current house. My new favorite dish is called “tam mak tua”… green beans with tomatoes, peanuts, sugar, fish sauce, 1 chili pepper (more than one pepper is too spicy for me)- YUM.

One of the Lao teachers at Candlelight made it to the top 20 finalists who were trying out to be announcers for the 25th SEA Games (to be held HERE in Vientiane). Last night there was a MAJOR show at the culture hall downtown for the final tryout- including traditional Lao singing, dancing, and the 20 contestants reading from a script in Lao and English. It was comparable to many elimination reality shows you see on TV. The quality of the show was excellent (although our friend wasn’t chosen), and made me excited for the honor Laos has to host the SEA Games- basically like the Olympics for South East Asia!

The city has been growing with excitement and preparation for the SEA Games- and has even been paving some of the dirt roads on my route to school each day (this particular road is now paved on both sides).

I participated in a 5K run hosted by the ambassador from Singapore… I originally thought it was to benefit those in Southern Laos hit by Typhoon Katsena… but then learned it was to benefit disabled children here? Not quite sure, but it seemed like a good use of time, money, and energy- even though it was at 6 am on Saturday morning. It was quite fun to fill the main streets of Vientiane with so many runners.

I unpacked the last of my bags… and found sweatshirts and scarves and hats for cold weather. Maybe I’ll use them at some point, but at the moment, it just bewilders me and makes me start to perspire just thinking about putting those things on.

I visited my Lao family, and my little sister gave me a funny picture she’d drawn based on the book I’d given her. A sweet pr. reminder!

My language class randomly decided to have an ice cream party just for the fun of it- we each brought something to contribute- ice cream, chocolate syrup, cones, peanuts, and bananas.

“Helmet Hair” is a daily reality. There isn’t much hope for a good hair day when you drive a motorbike in a hot and humid climate… but as I heard someone say this week- I guess safety comes before beauty. However, I did go to my first Lao wedding and had the best up-do of my life for just over $2.00... and wore a traditional Lao outfit for the first time (pictured below with teammates Sarah & Bethann).

I have been stuck on this quote from Mother Theresa, “Fix your eyes on the Crucified and nothing else will be of much importance to you.” I’m also reading biographies of early workers here that are very inspiring and challenging.

I spent a few hours using internet at my ‘regular’ spot (a hotel lobby), and was surprised by the price when I went to pay the worker. So I began to use my market bargaining vocabulary and asked in Lao if he’d be able to lower the price. He was so happy I was speaking Lao that he took $1.00 off of my total and asked me to come again!

I’ve enjoyed going out for fruit shakes with the young people after Sunday morning fellowship. The gal in the middle with the gray flowered top and orangish sinh skirt is my current roommate- Nang, from Thailand.


Aunt Barb said...

Great job, Suz! Love your blogs. Thanks for keeping us update about what to think about. Love you...

dawn said...

Such a fun glimpse of your life, Suz. It's great fun to read. where's the picture of your helmut hair?? :)


Lila Michelle said...

Thank you so sharing, Suz!! I absolutely love reading about your life there!!! Luvs (Anya)

Anonymous said...

It's kind of sad to be home and be so many time zones away again! Even though we were still so far away, only three time zones made us feel so much closer to you! Great blog you tons.

Steve & Laurel said...

Suzy -- We just came home from Colorado Springs where we spent three weeks living in your house on Sabbatical while your parents were abroad. After seeing your picture in every room in the house, daily, we feel we've been properly introduced, and can become acquainted with your life in Laos.

We've posted your prayer card on our 'fridge and are praying for you. Keep up the good work -- we love reading your blog.

Steve & Laurel Shields