The last few months have been a bit hectic here in the north of Thailand. Funny how fast time goes by here. Seems like all the same festivals and events are repeating themselves with a strange tinge of familiarity. Even though they are not as new I keep finding new appreciation for the place and time I am in. Thailand can be difficult to live and work in, but if it was easy it wouldn't be worth it.
After a few weeks of down time in January we hosted a hundred kids from the Harrow International school in Bangkok. The kids were a bit younger than I was used to working with but I have to say that they were by far the best group I have ever worked with. Only had to say something once. Very respectful and much more intellectually mature than most kids their age. After a four day program they put on a skit competition that was so impressive I was speechless. Below is a short video the company put together.
2013 Harrow Year 8 Expedition
from Thailand Climbing
|Get paid to take kids on ziplines in the jungles of northern Thailand, pretty ok.|
All the days and events have sort of become a blur in my mind, not sure of the order anymore. Somewhere in there I made a trip to Kuala Lumpur for a visa run. The city was nice and easy to move around in, even stopped in to see our friends over at the Camp 5 climbing gym (largest in Asia?). Malaysia has a very diverse population and culture history. Lots of Indians, Chinese, and people from all over Asia. The food was great and the people watching was top notch. I think because it is such a melting pot it has lost its own unique aura as a country. For instance in Thailand most people are bound by Buddhism or some sort of national pride, didn't really feel that in Malaysia. It was interesting to check out, but wouldn't want to live there.
On a sad note my old dog died back home. He lived a long life, 15 years or so, but was getting to the point where his body just couldn't keep up. My parents had him cremated and put in a jar, which we plan on burying on the property whenever the next time I am home. Coupled with that two of my great uncles have passed away. Mortality is hitting home a bit more now days. That being said there has also been some balance. Dan and Maddie just had a baby boy, and a number of my other friends are getting married or are expecting kids soon. Circle of life (cue the Lion King music).
I also had my first ever visitor while abroad, my good friend bearded brother Elliott Curtis Johnson. We lived together in college, listened to the Commodores, at burger time, and had epic bearded holiday cards. It was good to see a familiar face from the great northern prairie. Ended up being able to do some things that were still on my Thailand bucket list, including a muay thai fight. Haha Eljoy is not the kind of person to bullshit on anything, so when he told me after every meal that "this is the best thing I have ever eaten," I knew he was being honest. Makes the heart at ease knowing that he had a great time here and that we still enjoy all the same things we used to. Most of the photos a short clips are courtesy of e-joy.
|Playing jenga with Elliott and a bar girl|
|The Wave and I|
|Trying to develop a green thumb|
|Wat Phra Singh|
|Soda straw (don't worry I didn't touch it)|
|Anxiety State Crisis Cave|
Katie headed back to the states for a few weeks to attend an outdoor educator conference in Colorado, and of course to see family and friends. It had been over a year since she was back. I was a bit jealous at first, but such is life, sabai sabai. It is nice having a bit of separation to regroup and recharge. I would be lying if I said I didn't miss her every moment of the day though. But as everything is finite she will be back soon enough.
That has been the last few months in a nutshell.