Dear little one,
Here in Yangon, they call you ka-lei-lei (“kalei” means child, and the extra “lei” means small, or baby). I ate so much watermelon when I first got here that the locals said you must be a boy. Someone saw me eating a whole avocado and asserted that you were going to be a white baby. (Shocking, considering your parentage, eh?) I’ve been told to stay inside night and day, to wear a thick shirt, to stay off my bike (much to the chagrin of the neighbors, I haven’t taken that advice), to avoid anything hot, cold, spicy, or salty.… Continue Reading
Have no fear: we haven’t started accepting sponsorships from outdoor gear companies for our blog. After hearing about the catastrophic events in Nepal, I started thinking about a few items we own and brought here from the US, things that I’d be extra glad to have around in a time of serious shortages. And, given the time of year, and America’s upcoming gifting spree (Father’s Day and graduations), this might give you some helpful ideas for some products that have been tested and tried.… Continue Reading
If you were to join me in our courtyard for some breakfast and tea, you would be treated to the view of a menagerie of humans, animals and wheeled transportation passing by. It could take years to fully describe all the color and activity in this place—American suburbia can’t hold a candle to the color and movement that fill a typical Yangon neighborhood.
Our neighborhood is part of one of Yangon’s largest townships, and is called Mingaladon. We are bordered on the south by the Yangon airport (we can see our street from the air when we fly out of Yangon), and hemmed from the east by the Yangon city train (it’s a three minute walk from our house to the train station).… Continue Reading
I love to communicate. (Perhaps you’ve noted that, as I write here more frequently than Jim.) One of my weaknesses is that I am sometimes impatient to communicate. I like to be understood, and if I’ve been misunderstood, I yearn to make myself clear, as soon as possible. Part of that is just an old fashioned affinity for the facts, but the uglier side of it is my own impatience; wanting to make myself known and understood, regardless of whether the other person is ready.… Continue Reading
On Tuesday, Jim and I will be flying through international airspace, headed for Southeast Asia.
This week has been a long time coming; a slow climax preceded by several years of preparation, small good byes to all the little things that are familiar to me, and accumulating the things I imagine I’ll find necessary in a foreign place (not the least of which is a good supply of Earl Grey tea).
I feel as ready as I will ever be for the unknown things that lie in my path.… Continue Reading
To Jim, on the week marking your 32nd birthday and the two-year anniversary of our engagement.
In your first note to me, you asked, “have you slipped the surly bonds of America?” Which really meant, “tell me a story.” (I had no grand travel story to share, but I still replied courteously, since you were obviously a lonely missionary.)
Our first conversation topic was suffering. You told me of encountering tourists in Myanmar, one who frankly admitted, “I think that I’ve never looked into religion because I’ve never really had to go thru suffering in my life.”… Continue Reading
We thought we’d share some of Jim’s photos during his earlier years in the Golden Country. Enjoy!
Fishing Village, May 2006. The rolls resting in the fishing boat are made of bamboo, and are likely going to be brought downriver to be sold in Sittwe.
Mrauk U, 2006. Women going home from filling up their water jugs at the local well. If the jugs are half filled, they are much harder to carry on one’s head, because they will splash around much more.… Continue Reading
We have moved three times within the last year. After receiving the keys to our latest dwelling, we discovered that we would have to move out by the first of September. I had hoped so much that I wouldn’t have to move again before we hopped our flight to Asia this fall. The realization that I will likely start living out of my backpack in September has been challenging for me, because it signals an earlier-than-expected transition to the unknown.
I knew this would be happening eventually.… Continue Reading
I have some sizeable frustrations with Christian subculture. I find purity rings offensive to the gospel, I’m discouraged by Extreme Sabbatarians, dismayed by big spotlights shining on worship bands and I wish Christians used the word “love” with more care. Maybe someday I’ll take time to write publicly about my concerns with these things… not yet though; I haven’t developed the grace to be entirely kind in my criticisms.
However, there is an aspect of Christian subculture that I feel free to combat with more abandoned savagery.… Continue Reading