Saturday, June 30, 2007

Just Another Adventure...

You know, since coming to the land of smiles (also known as Thailand:D), I've not had one boring day. At all! Each day has been quite the little adventure inside this whole big summer adventure (which, by the way, is flying by unbelievably fast!!! Um, hello? Time? Slow down!).

Today's adventure began bright and early with a phone call from one of my dearest friends saying her baby was born:o). That's always exciting news to hear! After going back to bed to try to catch a few more hours of sleep, I finally dragged myself out of bed and got ready for a day at the Chatuchuk market in downtown Bangkok. Susie wanted to go to pick up some last minute souvenirs and we all wanted to spend time there too, so it really worked out well:o). Our mode of transportation this time was a bus... and for 19 baht (61 cents - I dare you to find that price in the States to travel 45 minutes away!) we were set to go to Chatuchuk!!! Some of the girls weren't too sure how they would handle the ride, but the Lord really blessed me with the ability to travel without getting sick, so I enjoyed my ride:o).

That's one thing I wish I could do more often in the States: take public transportation. Whether bus, tram, taxi, songtow (riding in the back of a pick-up), metro or a tuk-tuk (I have yet to ride in one... but that's on my list:D), I think that's one of the many perks in traveling to a foreign country. Public transportation is relatively cheap and when you can't ride ~ you walk. So as you can see, it's a lose-lose situation (said tongue-in-cheek!):o).

Once we got off the bus, we headed for the market. I was about to voice my disappointment at all the street vendors thinking it was Chatuchuk ("we traveled into town for this???") when April finally found the entrance to the market.

Oh. my. goodness!

The shops!

The variety!

The bargains!

The vastness!

Chatuchuk is not small by any means, and we certainly did not cover even a quarter of it. But anytime I see a bargain with good stuff, I'm a happy shopper:o). As it was, I did get three gifts, but I can't disclose what I got because two of the three people might be reading this;o). But the rest of the time I just enjoyed walking around and looking at all the little shops. I will say that the tin roof did nothing for circulating the cool air. What a relief it was to step outside and stand under an umbrella!

Deciding to take a bus home was an easy decision to make... the problem was actually finding the correct bus:o). After standing around for about 20 minutes, we got on to a rather-crowded bus. After paying 8 baht (25 cents) for the ride (bargains! bargains! I love bargains!), I snagged the seat behind the bus driver and that began the ride to Future Park (the mall) where we needed to get groceries... you might think I'm joking, but 4 girls can eat!!! Our poor fridge was quite empty!

As we were approaching Future Park, the driver did something I have never seen a bus do before: he cut across 5 lanes of traffic; from the left side all the way to the right side, and there wasn't one angry horn beep or shouting. This is Asia after all; and you squirm in where you can. If you don't stand your ground, then tough... you just lost your place! I laughed as I remembered my poor friend driving me to the airport and how she was terrified after I made her cut across 4 lanes of New York traffic...:o). I guess I fit right in with city craziness;o).

There was one downside to the entire day. After we went food shopping, we stepped outside to flag down a taxi to go home. This one taxi driver took a look at 3 farangs (Susie, April, and I ~ foreigners) and told Psalm 100 baht for the ride. That is crazy! Normally the taxi ride from Future Park to our house is around 50 baht, if that. But that's the way it is over here; a national will get charged a lower fee while a farang will be charged double. After not being able to get another taxi and in the midst of a torrential downpour... we took that taxi. To make the situation more "humorous", Susie remembered as we were winding our way around Future Park that we left our Chatuchuk bags at the grocery store!!! So Susie and April dashed out of the taxi to get our bags... Psalm and I paid the 100 baht for the taxi ride... and Susie and April caught another taxi home. It's a good thing we got such a bargain on our rides to and from Bangkok ~ we made up for it leaving Future Park.

Sometimes, that's just the way it is... but hey! This day was anything but boring!

Oh, and why am I posting this at midnight? Well, I went to bed around 8:30 and was sleeping when one of my housemates (who shall remain nameless:D) came into the bedroom and said, "Oh? Are you sleeping?"

Well, I was...

That's the way it is... it's all part of the adventure:o).

Monday, June 25, 2007

Oh The Memories!

This past weekend was the first time we did anything "tourist-y" since I've gotten to Thailand. Although that is not why I came, it's always nice to take a peak at the country I'm in! For Susie's birthday (which was Monday) we girls bought her a ticket to go to the aquarium in Bangkok, and the day was full of memories from start to finish (refer back to my last post if you need a reminder as to how it started!!!)

For starters, we decided taking a taxi for the 45 minute drive would be much more preferable over going on a bus (which could be standing room only on an air conditioner-less bus -nothankyou!) So Pookie, April, Psalm, and I squeezed into the back seat while Susie got to enjoy all the leg room in the front:o). Going on a Saturday meant tons of traffic, so we held that position until we were in the middle of Bangkok when Psalm couldn't stand the crampness anymore. When our taxi driver got out of the car to ask directions from another taxi driver, Psalm and Susie pulled a Chinese fire-drill and a much more relieved Psalm got to stretch her legs in the front seat:o).

After getting to the aquarium, and deciding that we all were starving (!), we went to the huge food court and just stared at all the people... I'm not exaggerating if I say there were 600-800 people there! Finding a table proved to be an interesting feat; we finally snagged one and rushed off in the direction of:

Burger King!

Yes people, I come all the way to Thailand and all any of us could think about was Burger King (well, Pookie wanted Subway but couldn't find it:D).

Susie and I ordered our meals first and I kid you not that their service was the fastest I have ever had!!! I ordered it and within 10 seconds I had the food on my tray!

Psalm and April

The aquarium was pretty cool (it was even better than the one I saw in Camden, NJ!) and the ticket was $13.00 which included a free drink, popcorn, ice cream and a 4-D movie... not too bad, although after the movie Pookie, in her blunt way, came out and said, "That movie was dumb!"

We also got to go on a glass-bottom boat. That was a little cheesy, but hey, at least they tried and we got to see some cool sharks and fish:o).

Susie in the "rainforest".
Psalm ~ always smiling... always happy:o).

We couldn't leave without watching the last five minutes of the Little Mermaid on these shark body pillows:o).

And then we celebrated Susie's birthday on Monday night with some gifts, a "cake" (we went to MIXES International Culinary School to learn how to open that pre-packaged cake-snack:D), and some quotes on getting older and some other things. Tuesday night we are going to a Lebanese restaurant in Bangkok... Susie's choice!

The whole weekend was very pleasant and we girls had a great time! April and Susie leave in two weeks, which is not going to be a happy occasion, so we're trying to do as much as possible with them before they leave.

Posting may be sporadic, but before the posts can be written, the memories gotta be made:o).

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Irony Of It All...

Although I doubt that most missionaries stuff tissues in their ears, Bro. Tom is the exception!

But I really couldn't blame him... after asking one of the bowling lane employees for headphones and having that interpreted for "beer" (don't ask me how they got that out of headphones!), Bro. Tom came up with his own alternative to help block out the rather obnoxious loud speaker talking these two people were doing.

So after a fun evening of bowling and cramming us 5 girls into one of those photo booth-thingys, we came home and began to discuss what we were going to do for today. To fully appreciate this post would mean listening in on a conversation we girls had around 8:30 PM Friday night:

April: "What time do we want to go to the aquarium in the morning?"

Susie and Anne: {Cringe} "The later, the better!"

(A few minutes later...)

April: "Ok, so what time do we want to leave? Do we want to take a taxi, bus, or go with Bro. Tom?"

Susie: "What time is Bro. Tom leaving?"

April: "Um, let me check..."

(April checks with Bro. Tom and finds out that he's leaving around 10:30)

Anne: "So why don't we go to town with Bro. Tom" {cringe} "at 10:30?"

Susie: "Well, at least it isn't 8:30."

April: "Yeah, it's Saturday morning!"

Anne: "Ok, so 10:30 it is!"

So after watching a movie and heading off to bed around midnight, it seemed like such a good idea to sleep in on Saturday morning; especially after a week of learning video editing. So with happy thoughts of sleeping in, we all traipsed off to bed.

At 5:30 AM Saturday morning, I found myself standing next to the desk in the bedroom answering the rather loud ringing of the phone.

Me: {Very sleepy} "Hello?" (At least I hope that's what I said!)

Man: "Hello?"

Me: {Becoming more awake} "Hello?"

Man: "This is _____ (some newspaper place). We would like to offer you the _____ Paper for only $2.80 a week!!!! (Waaaaay too excited about this deal!)

Me: "Hello?"

Man: "Ummm, do you know your zipcode?"

Me: "No."

Man: "You don't? Do you live in Texas?"

Me: "NO! I live in THAILAND!"

Man: "Thailand?" {He must have been an educated idiot or something.}

Me: "Yes, Thailand."

{Silence on the other end}

Me: "This is a Vonage phone."

Man: "Oh... um, o-kaaaaay. I'll, um, I'll call back later. Bye."

Me: Yeah, bye."

By this time, I am fully awake. I stare at the clock and I just want to cry. Does this man realize what he just did to my sleep? I mean, I didn't even get the full 8 hours I normally need!

As I walk downstairs into our rather humid living room, I flop on the chair and just think to myself, "Murphy. Murphy's Law." Murphy strikes again!

Edited to add:

I laughed when I read this e-mail from my mom... the irony of it all!

"Hi Anne,
Good morning! Hope and pray you had a good night's sleep."


Thursday, June 21, 2007

What Do We Do All Day?

~ Read~

~Play on the computer~

~Lounge around and pillow fights~

~Order pizza~

~Eat from the noodle man~

~Ride around in the back of pick-up trucks~

~Prop the chin up~

~Watch Susie work~

~Have "hair" night~

~Walk to get a taxi to go to the mall!~

Well, that's what we do when we're not: in the office for 8 hours... making dinner... cleaning... sleeping...having services... praying...

Yup, that pretty much makes up our moments... hours... days... weeks...

Tonight we're doing something different; we're going bowling;o).

(This has nothing to do with this post, but go on over to Tiffany's and wish her a happy birthday!!!!! Today is her birthday... well, it is for me anyway! I'm 11 hours ahead of EST so make sure you wish her happy birthday sometime on Friday... thanks!)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Just Another Blonde Moment!

This trip is destined to be full of blonde moments, based on an e-mail I sent to Bro. Tom and the reply I got before I even left:

Me ~ "I leave JFK at noon on Tuesday June 5th and get into Bangkok 4:10 PM on Wednesday June 6th."

Bro. Tom ~ "Anne, Gotta get more specific than that if you want to see our smiling faces at the airport. What is the airline and flight number?"

Uh, HELLO!!!

How blonde could I be?:o)

So with that as the pace setter, I've lived up to being a blonde, quick on accident, I assure you! (And btw, there's less "blondeness" now...April cut Psalm's and my hair tonight!)

I'll spare you all of the "I am so blonde!" moments, but this one I have to share.

Ever since I arrived two weeks ago, I jumped right in with the chores, doing my fair share. Well, the other day, I noticed the dish soap bottle was getting really low, so I mentioned to April we needed to buy some. She looked a little surprised that we went through the whole bottle, but two more people have come recently, meaning more dishes. Tonight was my turn to wash, and I decided to fill up the dish soap bottle with the soap. As I was staring quizzically at the color of the soap, Susie came into the kitchen and I asked, "Is this the right soap?" pointing to the yellow liquid. Susie said yes, so I replied, "Then why is this" (holding up the "dish" soap bottle) "green and this" (pointing to the extra soap) "yellow?"

Susie quickly informed me that the green stuff was vegetable water, not dish soap!!! So for the past two weeks, I've been washing all of our dishes with vegetable water, instead of using dish soap....


I felt pretty stupid for not realizing the difference, especially since "vegetable water" was clearly written in English, not in Thai:o).

Well, April and Susie had a good laugh over it, and I felt only slightly better when Psalm admitted she made the same mistake:o).

So that was another blonde moment brought to you by Anne... but don't worry, I'm rubbing off on April! She's had more blonde moments since I've gotten here;o). So maybe, she'll take away some of my blondeness;o).

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Quick Pics!

Psalm's parents came down on Thursday night so we took a quick picture of all of us girls on Friday morning.... enjoy!
(From left to right: Susie, Psalm, yours truly, April, Krinny, and Psalm's mom Su)

(From left to right: Susie, Pookie, Su, Psalm, yours truly again(!), and April)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


I'm not sure if this should be classified under "funny" or "unbelievable".... Good grief! Only in New Jersey...:o)

Dog Sent To Prison

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Very Best Place.

I awoke early in the morning and made my way downstairs for my daily peek at the clock. Like usual, the time registered 5:30. I'm nothing else if not consistent! Making my way towards the controller, I turn the air con on, hoping for some relieve from the rather oppressive humidity. April had told me that the air con "sings" when it gets turned on. I heard the singing and put the controller down, only to hear the air con mournfully belt out a last note. Dismayed, I tried turning on the air con again, but to no avail. The machine simply refused to work! I did some things while waiting for one of the other girls to get up. She tried it too, and was just as successful less as I was. Chagrined, we trot out to the van where the air con was at full blast. Finally, some cool air!

Pulling up along side the Thai church, we file out and dutifully leave our shoes at the door, along with dozens of other sandals. We enter in just as Sunday School is finishing up. Taking our place towards the back, we girls sit down with the ceiling fans feverishly working to cool down the rather warm room. Soon the service starts with a song. We girls sing in English; the rest gathered in the rather large room sing in Thai. An awesome sound penetrates the air as the Thai and Philippino members worship the Lord in a language that is sounding more and more familiar with each passing day. Giving me the goosebumps, my mind wanders to that one day in the future when every tribe, tongue, and nation will be present to do the very same thing we were doing at the moment.

After one song, the pastor gets up to the pulpit. Although he opens no Bible, he begins to talk very animatedly. Within a few minutes, hands start to raise all around the room. I lean towards Susie to ask what in the world is he talking about and Susie whispers back he'll let us know if it pertains to us. Finally the pastor says in English there is a trip taking place sometime in October. It finally dawns on me that he had been making announcements for the past five minutes! Satisfied that the people really weren't being disrespectful to the Pastor or God's Word, I wait until the announcements are over before I pay close attention again.

Once again we pick up the red covered hymn books and praise the Lord in song. The song service ends after another hymn and a young man from the States gets up and sings "In Christ Alone". With our hearts prepared for the service through the singing, the pastor directs our eyes to the book of John. Although the young lady doesn't come back to translate until half-way through the service, I read the chapter and let the words sink in.

I notice the pastor beckoning to Bro. Tom to come forward and sit in a chair. It is the classic illustration of putting your faith in a chair by sitting down and then he parallels that truth to Jesus. I contemplate that as I listen to the national young lady translate for Susie and I. The service soon ends with a song sung to the tune of Edelweiss. With that, we are invited to stay for lunch and fellowship with the church members.

We return home and are quickly reminded that the air con has not had a miraculous resurrection. Now hot, sticky and a little tired, we girls get Pookie to call the air con guy. While we wait for him to come, Psalm, April, and I go down to Pookie's house where the air con is working at full speed. We step in the door and just soak up the cool air. Not minding the dead cockroach on the floor, we meander our way through Pook's house and wind up in her room. One homemade movie (The Gaudet Team 2007) later, with our sides aching from laughing, the air con guys come and fix our air con. We consider asking them to check out our bedroom air con too, but are stopped dead in our tracks when Pookie quotes us a price of 8,000 baht ($246) to fix the living room air con. Deciding that we don't need it checked after all, April runs over to Krinny's house to borrow 3,000 baht. Between the two of us we pay the air con man, decidedly cooler but much more poor. Thankful that there were four girls here to split the cost, we shudder to think how much of a financial strain that would have been on just two girls.

The evening service begins with Bro. Tom speaking from Ephesians 3:13-4:17. Psalm is soon in tears from a jet lag-induced headache and she goes off to bed. My eyes begin to droop as well, as jet lag is still affecting me. As the service ends, I head for the stairs with a call over my shoulder to wake me up at 9. I blissfully fall into bed for a 2-hour nap and wake up in time to get ready to watch LVBC's morning service online. Pookie chats me, asking me how to view the service, so we chat back and forth a few moments. During that time, the service was put on "live" so I settle back onto the sofa with my Bible on my lap and watch a very familiar auditorium come into view.

Having the privilege to be a part of three very different services that day floats through my mind as I head for the stairs. Sunday sets the tone for the week and as I settle down for the evening, I think to myself that is why Sunday is always my favorite day, no matter what country I'm in... no matter what problems may occur during the day. I close my eyes, thankful to be in the very best place of all: God's will for my life at this moment!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Romanticizing The Mission Field.

Each trip I go on takes me further and further away from when I was a teenager and I romanticized the mission field. My first trip to Prague reminded me a lot of the USA, except for the food and the mode of travel. My next trip was to South Africa, but again, I stayed at the Wilhites house which was (mostly) free from any wild and insect life. But my eyes were being opened whenever we traveled to the dusty village of Mothiba in Africa. There I saw chicken heads, feet, and claws in a pot. There I felt the bumps along a poorly constructed dirt road. There I experienced (in a small way) the African way of life. Going back to the Czech Republic for the second time was a tad bit different from my first trip, since we headed out for the countryside instead of staying in the city. But the countryside of the Czech Republic reminded me so much of Pennsylvania and the village of Modrice was very quaint.

Coming to Thailand has got to be the most interesting experience of all of my trips. For starters, I'm living here. I'm not a guest in someone's house; I will not go home in two weeks. My clothes and personal items are all stored in a standing wardrobe and my suitcases are stashed under the stairs. This is my home for the next two months. Seeing the way the kitchen operates was a definite eye-opener. Susie and April (this is a second stay for both) are very used to it, but to my unaccustomed eye, it's different.

And this is the mission field.

Having been in this country for a couple of days, I can already tell this is going to be an amazing stay. I've had to kick myself out of my American mentality and force myself to try new things. By nature, I am a very consistent person. True, I'm spontaneous, but I'm very consistent in my spontaneity (is that possible?!?!). Going out of my comfort zone has been the theme so far, but that is a good thing! When I get comfortable and "know what to do", my dependency on God drops swiftly.

April and I were talking about how people back in the USA often have the perception that all a missionary does is hand out tracts all day and do Bible/discipleship studies. But that is so not true! There are the "mundane" things of life that need to be done. Meals cooked, floors washed, e-mails sent, blogs updated (!), going to 7-11, running to the mall and to the computer store, forgetting to take along packages for the post office so you have to have it run into town for 80 baht, and so many other things make up a day in the life of a missionary.

My mind still stumbles when I see a price tag of 45,000 baht and yesterday Pookie and I had the hardest time trying to convert that into American dollars:o). I can't believe the sun sets by 7 PM and is up by 5 AM. Staying home at night is a change, but a very nice change! Tasting the food is going to be trial and error before I know what is spicy and hot and what is not. But I wouldn't change it for the world! This is where God put me and I'm enjoying every minute!

The Adventure Has Begun.

Just a little FYI ~ I did arrive in Thailand safely:o). Getting to JFK Airport was a little bit of an adventure, and I was even a little concerned that I might not have enough time to check-in and get through security; HA! Even though I arrived 1/2 hour later than when I wanted to, it only took me 20 minutes to go through everything. So I sat at my gate, pen in hand, writing out thank-you notes from graduation.

Once I got on the plane, I fell asleep right away and totally missed the fact that we were just sitting on the ground! I was tired!!! Sleeping on a plane is never on my "to-do" list, but I made do with what I had to work with:o). After a very uneventful flight (that's always a good thing!), I arrived and made it through customs within a couple of minutes... I'm just wondering if on my way home it's going to be that easy;o).

Later on we went to Future Park where I had my first taste of kimchee at a Japanese restaurant. I should've, should've, should've tried using the chopsticks Junijie gave me for my birthday... I'm determined to master them before I leave!

I'm trying to get myself on Thailand time, and it was nice to talk with April (one of my roommates) for 3 hours until midnight. Going to bed at 12 and waking up at 5:30 is a short night, but I'm hoping to get it down pat within a few days:o).

Driving around with Bro.Gaudet has definitely been a reminder of the USA; especially on the streets of NYC. But I love it! Being in Thailand for a grand total of 1 day does not make me an expert, but I think I'm going to like it here:D.

And that my friends, was my little journey to get here:o). We jumped right in today on working on the "Good and Evil" booklet, and it's a little out of my comfort zone, but I am definitely ready and willing to learn! But hey, this whole trip could be classified as under "out of my comfort zone". But it's a good thing; I'm sure about that!

Monday, June 4, 2007


The whirlwind of a fast-paced week is over... the family has gone home; the graduation is celebrated (I had no idea we could fit 85 people in and around our house!). Sunday was good... the last song of the night was "Calvary's Blood". I thought that was the right song to end with since Christ's blood alone has saved me and He's the One who has been guiding my every footstep. Today was a busy day as well... filled with "good-byes", especially to one very dear family who make their move to Florida at the end of this month. The nice thing is I'll get to visit them when I make my yearly trek down to Orlando later this year:o). Ah, yes. Silver linings in what could be a very dark cloud... but they are following God's leading, which is so important!

I still have all my packing to do... my brain really hasn't engaged in the fact that I'm moving away for 2 1/2 months! I suppose I should take a skirt or two along:o). I'm going to go pack and try to sleep a little before pulling out at 6 AM in the morning... the next post should be from Bangkok!!! So until then, here's a glimpse of some mighty special people in my life! Too-da-loo!

Nephews Andrew and Trevor playing

Andrew trying to enter the ladies room. At least he's polite; he knocks every time;o).

From left to right: Tom, me, Neil, Jack, Mary, Phil, and Grammie ~ 6 of her 11 grandchildren. My grandmother is not doing well at all, and I'm praying that she will make it through the summer until I come back.

Grammie with Tiana, Ethan, Trevor, Tyler and Andrew... 5 of her 8 great-grandchildren!

Three blondes: my cousin Neil, my brother Tom, and my nephew Andrew:o).

A Memorial Day picnic at the Rogers with the Wolfs and Jack and Kim.

Big boy baby Ethan ~ weighing in at around 15 pounds for a 2-month-old!

My nephew Andrew, or as Phil calls him, Kendrew, since Andrew is the exact image of his daddy!

Me and my sis-in-law Sarah.

My niece Tiana and I.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

It's Done.

The food is in the fridge for the celebration, the family is in, and the school work for graduation is done! Since it's been a hectic week, I figured a couple of more minutes crammed into this day won't hurt;o).

This day was always a far-off distant dream for me, but I'm glad to report it's been worth it all. All those late nights of studying.... all those hours of cramming... all those long reports for Eschatology, Minor & Major Prophets... all the frustrations of trying to learn everything in the Baptist History book (300 pages long... good thing the final was "open book"; finding the answer in those pages was the hard part!)... all the charts, presentations, and projects for various classes are turned in... Philosophy of Education (my first education class and I don't mind telling you it was the most boring one!) with all of the cassette tapes Rachel and I listened to on the front porch of church... the summer courses I took to get done on time... all the finals that had me reviewing the previous 10 weeks of material..."the" big English Project...

It's all DONE.

And I'm glad!

Graduating from Lehigh Valley Baptist Bible Institute is (to me!) a wonderful opportunity that the Lord has given to me. Jen B. and I are the first girls to graduate from LVBBI (Jen gets credit for being the first girl:D) and I'm glad I've taken the road "less traveled" and have reached this point.

So goodnight all.... today's graduation day!!!!