Around the world

Around the world; a Nation Hopper's journy to teach on all 7 continents.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas post

Is up!!

For some reason the blog posted it UNDER the previous two posts (aka scroll down a bit to find it).... and the font is funky... and I only got 2/5 videos up... BUT it has great pictures! 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I have a completely amazing post about Christmas in the works. Unfortunately it takes a day and a half to load ONE video and there are 5. I refuse to put the post up without all of the videos because that would be like a Christmas with no Santa. Please be patient, I promise it will be worth the wait!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Adventure x II

Yesterday was totally and completely epic, it filled the 5th spot in my top five favorite days in Thailand. First stop on our adventure was to a shelter in Surin where Walai and Pissamai talked with a woman who is expecting a baby any day and is currently homeless. While they were talking Noo and I entertained the cutest little boy I think I have ever seen. Little did we know he was actually a she, normally Thai girls have their hair very very long and braided.

Walai talking to the director of the Surin shelter

The next stop was a gas station which had a delightful selection of potatoe chips.

'Baked bacon cheese with seaweed'

'Peking duck' 

'Hot and spicy crab'

'BBQ squid' 

As fun as bacon cheese and seaweed chips are, the next stop was even better. 

Elephants!! We went to the Surin elephant park. I now know what I want to be when I grow up, an elephant raiser. This place was amazing, its a group of elephant trainers living in the elephant park. The elephants literally sit in the raisers front yard. 

How cool would that be to wake up in the morning, walk out your front door and pet an elephant? It reminds me of one of the opening scenes in Finding Nemo where Marlin says "They wake up in the morning, poke their little heads out and they see a whale!" This is how I picture living in an elephant park. We walked around, said hello to a few elephants, 

Most of the elephants around were really big so we went looking for a smaller one to play with. We saw a sign pointing to two twin babies (which are super rare) and went to see them. Their raiser gave us some sugar cane to feed them. They were both sick and the one I was petting was more interested in smelling and tickling me then eating. 

After playing with the twins we went to see the elephant show. We saw an elephant paint a picture, 

And swing a hoola hoop on its trunk, 

THEN I rode him! 

Just kidding, I rode his younger brother, 

 Beau and I were at eye level with the roofs of the houses

Noo and Mott were on a smaller elephant. 

This is going to be me one day, 

Yes, it's official. Forget teaching swim lessons, forget teaching English. I'm running away to Thailand to become an elephant raiser. 

I also let an elephant give me a massage

And walk over me. 

According to Buddhists religion, when you have an elephant walk over you like this, it erases all your bad luck. So I'm expecting 2012 to be a kick ass year, thanks to my elephant friend. 

Sunday, December 25, 2011


I’ve spent every Christmas with my family….. This year was no exception. Sure, it wasn’t the ‘traditional’ Christmas eve party. It was eighty degrees out, we ate fried rice and cucumber instead of little smokies and fondue, the Christmas carols were in another language, and there were no chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Come Christmas morning there were no presents (as we opened them the night before), there was no turkey or roast beast, no family poker game, or alas Scatagories, and there was no trip to the theater to catch a flick. There was a wonderful afternoon spent watching the Guardians of Gawhol and sniggling with some munchkins, left over fried rice, and a Barbie fashion show. This has been one of the best holidays I have ever had. 

Last night, Christmas eve, the house was fit to burst with love, Christmas spirit, and an overwhelming sense of family. The girls and staff danced and sang before the gift exchange and dinner. Folks from the church came by and celebrated with us. I got the girls on film dancing. However, the staff macarana was not captured on film and I swear not on purpose. I had the camera out and ready, but the 'push and shoot' directions did not translate well. 

The OFT Family 

Ging, me, Noo, and Plah 

Well, I fail at loading videos on the internet. The good news is that I got two of the five up! 

This one is a video of the girls in my house, May, Fai, Nat, and Prae, doing the sprinkler and lawn mower dance. 

Here are all the kids singing a Thai Christmas song with the pastors wife and friend. 

I received a Christmas update from Chris and Suzan from India! The kids put on a play, pictures below.