28 June 2012

the start of summer...

...well technically it feels like summer all year round here but the start of what I will always classify in my mind as summertime. The last few weeks have been jammed packed with craziness as we hosted our first team from America and began teaching English at Kaset University.  It's been the busiest, craziest, and most fun weeks I've had so far here!

Last week we also started teaching English at Kaset and had over 80 students at our first class! Almost everyday we head to the huge cafeteria to eat lunch and just sit down and talk with students.  It has been really awesome getting to know them and meeting so many new people.  It has definitely been a good break from going to language school and transitioning to something new.

Our first team was from Perimeter Church in Hotlanta, Georgia and they brought 11 people, mostly high-schoolers.  They stayed for 2 weeks and we totally had a blast with them.  They were such servants and really blessed me with their love and encouragement during their time here.  I think I got too attached because it was definitely hard to see them go!  It was interesting being around them and being reminded of my first feelings when I got here 4 months ago.  After hosting them and bringing them around everywhere it definitely made me feel like for the first time I knew what was going on and it finally felt like I actually lived in BKK.

Here's the goodbye video I made for them with the highlights of their trip.  Check it out....because its awesome.  And so are you for watching it.

25 June 2012

michael jackson and conversations with a 2 year old.

In memory of Michael Jackson's death a few years ago today, I thought I would share a little about my cutie boy nephew Alex.

I think God really did have a plan to have this little guy in our family because he loves Michael Jackson just like his Aunt Fer.  We share the same affinity for dancing and singing loudly to the King of Pop.  Back when I was in High School I found this MJ shirt at Goodwill.  It was so little and cute that I had to buy it having no one to give it to because at the time I had no little cuties in my life.  I kept it all these years and little did I know that one day I would have a nephew that loooooved MJ too.

This is how our Skype conversation went the other day...
  Alex: "Michael Jackson's hair caught on fire"
  Me: "Oh really I actually didn't even know that."
  Alex: "Michael Jackson got sick"
  Alex: "Michael Jackson had too much medicine, too much medicine"
  Me: "Hahaha. Ok, I heard you the first 10 times. Yes, he did take too much medicine."

Gotta love the things that come out of a 2 yr olds mouth. How he knows these things I don't know but he is a little obsessed. 

Before I left I gave the shirt to him and he was pretty excited as you can tell. 

pretty sure it doesn't get any cuter than that. miss that little cutie.

08 June 2012

double take.

I was looking on the UWM website today and had to do a double take when I saw this...

I was so surprised! Oh, hey it's me.

I guess that is one of the small perks of being at a small agency.  You never know when you might become the front page of the website.  I'm on the slow road to fame.  So everyone go check it out and check out the other cool things going on at UWM, because UWM is where its at: http://www.uwm.org/

06 June 2012

terrible, awful, awkward, and just plain awesome.

because you know you love those kind of stories right?

because this is the awkwardness i feel then things like this happen to me...
This post is a long time coming but it's not always easy admitting all the ridiculously funny and embarrassing things you say and do.  But for the benefit of everyone and to lift people's spirits, I've decided to share. I'll definitely say that being overseas and learning a new language and culture will just humble you to the max.  It will throw you right off that little pedestal you had yourself on and you'll find yourself on the ground.  One thing I know for sure is that if you can't laugh at yourself then you don't need to move overseas because you will mess up, fail, and embarrass yourself more than a few times and you just have to learn to laugh about it.

Let's begin with the worst or the terrible, awful as I like to call it...

A month or two ago our friend, Dang, invited us to go to visit his work.  He works at a ministry that shares the Gospel in schools around Thailand.  As we were leaving, Dang was teaching us the phrase "God bless you" in Thai.  Well, when I heard it I thought it sound like a word in English so I repeated back what I thought I heard.  Then this awkward moment happened where the Thai people's eyes got all big and Dang politely told me that what I said was wrong, but they didn't really make any kind of big deal about it.  Later that night we are hanging out and I think I hear Dang tell his roommates the story of what I said, but I could only make out a little here and a little there.  So that gets me thinking that it probably was a bigger deal than I think but Thai people are just really nice and wouldn't want to call you out.  A few days later I decide to ask my friend, who lived in America for a while so she knows whats up, if she could tell me what I really said.  I told her and she literally screamed, doubled over, and told me she was blushing up to her ears.  Not exactly the reaction I was looking for!  She then tells me what it means and all the while is super embarrassed from saying it.  Then I go to my Thai-English dictionary just to make sure of how it is said so under no circumstance do I say it again and right there in parenthesis it says (extremely vulgar).  So basically I unknowingly said a highly offensive word.  (Now I know what you're thinking. What is the word, but to be proper I will spare you all from it.  Just know on a scale of 1-10 of being offensive, its an 11)  And what is the worst part about it?  I said it in the same sentence that I said the word "God" and to a group of people I just met.  Awesome.  I mean probably one of the most embarrassing things I've ever done but now I will always be able to laugh about it.

Then there are like 4 other words which are very similar in sound to this terrible, awful word!  I mean who does that, who makes several others words sound just like a super vulgar one?  So I live in constant  fear of saying those words and I often in class refuse to say them.

And I wish I could say that was the only thing, but it isn't.

I also successfully managed to say s*** to our Thai friend when studying the word for banana.

Before the Songkran holiday(see this post to learn about it) we had a substitute teacher one day in class.  She was talking about traditional Songkran and how the Thais would take a bowl of water and add in perfume and flowers before they blessed others with it.  It is a very sacred and old tradition.  I had recently learned the word for perfume so I thought I would be all awesome and say it, but instead I said "bathroom" because hey the words sound the same.  So basically I said they pour the bathroom water into the bowl of their most sacred ceremonies.  Our teacher lost it for at least 5 minutes.

The first week or so we were here we went to a retreat with our church and I really wanted to learn some Thai songs afterwards.  One of my friends wrote out how each word sounded to certain song and gave it to me so I could practice.  Well I started singing it and would go up to all my friends and sing it to them.  Come to find out like 3 weeks later that I was totally singing the wrong tune to the song.  I was confusing two completely different songs and my Thai friends were just too nice to tell me.  What is that?  After I go up to everyone thinking I'm all cool knowing a Thai song and it was completely wrong.  Humbled...yes.

One day in class our book 2 teacher was talking about dancing or shoulders or something like that so just being myself I stood up and literally did like a 1-2 second dance.  I mean I barely even moved my body and she completely lost it.  Full out giggles for like 5 minutes.  She could not even contain herself and I had to get class back on track because she was unable to get it together.  Now when she sees me she will randomly ask me to dance just to make her laugh.  Oh the joy you can so unintentionally bring to others!

Another day we were learning the word for stop (for cars, buses, taxis, etc.)  Well in our language class we use the phonetic alphabet to learn the words until we learn the Thai alphabet.  In phonetics the written "c" is the "j" sound. The word for stop is "cot".  And its very hard to train your brain to say a "j" sound when you see a "c".  So I was practicing what I would say to a taxi driver and instead of saying "cot" I said "khot" which means hug.  Basically I was talking about being in a taxi and telling the taxi driver I wanted a hug.  My teacher thought that was hilarious and now we always joke about randomly asking the taxi drivers for hugs.

So those are just a few of the word vomits (as I like to call them) that I've had since I've been here and they will not be the last!  I guess if I can bring someone joy by making them laugh at my mistakes then that's cool with me.