the Vernon Journal

Serving the Kingdom in Southeast Asia

Filtering by Tag: home

Feral Cats and Fake Markers

I think the nesting bug has set in, as we have been frantically scraping, spraying, scrubbing and situating our home in Chiang Rai. Things that we were previously oblivious too are now glaring testimonies of how much life will have to change when we have a child. OK, so we're really not that panicked, but we are working hard on projects that should get done before the baby comes.

The only thing I'm currently concerned about is teaching our child to drive. I love Thailand and the people here, but I constantly switch between fearing them and fearing for them when driving.

An Evil Feral Cat nesting on our roof In this time in the city, while working in the house, we have been hearing strange noises coming from our "attic". The other day while climbing onto the flat roof above our porch to unclog our drains, I saw three adult cats and five kittens scrambling away - the adults over the roof and the kittens into it.

Suffice it to say we are unhappy with the idea of Feral Cats nesting in our roof, but there is not much you can do to get rid of them, I tried to shoo them off but was met with the response in the picture on the right. Out of ideas, I have asked Lori to get me a high-powered pellet gun. We'll let you know how that turns out.

Just because it looks like a Sharpie does not mean it writes like one Amidst the shopping for furniture, organizational supplies, and tools, we stumbled upon a hidden treasure. A five-pack of Sharpie Markers for only 25 baht (about US$0.80)!?! These are impossible to find here, and are wonderful for labeling CDs. However, after closer inspection (click on the image to view) we realized that it was not a pack of Sharpie Markers, but rather a pack of Skerple Markers. But hey, they should write the same, right?

Guess what? They don't. They bleed all over paper and I've yet to try them on a CD. Foiled again.

I think we should have about two more good weeks of work here in the city getting everything ready before Lori hits that "I'm too uncomfortable to do anything" point. That is plenty of time to finish the errands on her list, then it's down to finalizing my honey-dos (crib, rehang two doors, repair all the leaking sinks, child-proof the tool room, put the fear of God into those darn cats...)

Really this has been a great time, preparing for our little newcomer, spending time together and with Esther and doing many of those projects we have been "too busy" to do for the last 2 years.

Lastly, and this word is important, there is wonderful and exciting news hidden within this post. I'm not allowed to officially say anything yet, but with very little mental effort you should be able to figure it out!

Our Little Mountain Village

Dama Gojo Jo Ley means "I live in Dama Gojo". And that we do, our little Akha mountain village is called Dama Gojo and has begun to feel a little like home to us. We wanted to share a few still shots from our slow paced (yet exhausting... read our most recent newsletter for more info) life in an Akha village. The first shot is A-Ju (nicknamed A-WA). He is mostly deaf, but has adopted us as his project. He has shown us around Mae Salong, shown us how to get water and because of his hearing loss he is a great communicator without the use of words, a large blessing to us. The next still is our first meal cooked by Bu-Cheu and Lori in our home. Then we have Lori with the women elders of the surrounding villages. The dark shot is our view, and two of Paul's language friends A-Go and Law-Pi. Lori's chaw (friend) Mi-Pa is helping us prepare some fish and bugs (again, see our most recent newsletter) for dinner. Finally the most common sight in an Akha village - a baby sleeping in a sarong tied to his mother's (or, in this case, grandmother's) back.

Akha Boy, AWa, showing us the Monkey at a Buddhist TempleAkha Food is Very Spicy!Akha women wearing their headdressesView of Doi Mae Salong tea plantationsMaking Akha SalsaAkha Grandma carrying Akha child

Hut Sweet Home

Through an amazing series of events we are moving up to Doi Mae Salong (a Chinese town about 90 km from Chiang Rai) on March 22nd. We first went to Mae Salong early in March and when the villagers heard we were looking for a place to learn Akha they all skipped work in the tea fields and built us a beautiful home. We will first be up there for two weeks at which point we will return to Chiang Rai for a kids camp. We are likely to be traveling between Chiang Rai and Mae Salong frequently, but we willbe doing most of our language learning, therefore spending much of our first year, in Mae Salong. You can read more of our updates on our online journal journey notes.

Akha HutAkha HutAkha HutAkha VillageAkha VillageAkha Village

Home, Sweet Home!

After months of "nomadic life" we finally have a place to call our own. We arrived at the Akha Outreach Foundation (A.K.A. House of Joy/H.O.J.) on Monday afternoon and promptly began settling in. We spent our first night on very hard twin beds and decided that it was time to invest in a softer double bed. ourroom Dan (another American here at H.O.J.) and his Akha wife, Maam, took us shopping for a bed, and we were lucky to find a great deal which included a mattress pad, a set of sheets and four pillows for free when we purchased a mattress. So we've had our new bed for one night and now we're off again. We are heading out in just a few hours to spend the night in an Akha village called Doi Chang (or Elephant Mountain). I guess we're not completely done with our "nomadic life" yet... but at least we have a home base! We'll be sure to send out another update with all the details of our first night in an Akha village when we get back!.

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