In our Pacific Northwest home, nature was as close as one’s backyard, or as far as a 20-minute drive to a well-wooded park. It didn’t take too much effort to get away from the sight of buildings or even other people, and was not difficult to find places where nature dwarfs humanity. In Yangon, there is no such luxurious way to get a change of pace. In the past year, I can only think of one 30-minute period of time where I could neither see nor hear other human beings.… Continue Reading
Perhaps it is because I am from the west coast of the U.S. (a region that is not as “churched” and not defined by enthusiasm about the sort of work we do), that every time I share about our life in photos or words, I am conscious of the prevailing doubtfulness towards Christians; Christians in ministry work being particularly suspicious. I write this because I share that doubtfulness; I am under no illusions that Christians are very nice people. In fact, I think a number of Christians who end up working in ministry do so because they don’t want to have a regular job, because they are trying to escape problems, or because they have an ugly savior complex.… Continue Reading
…In which I use a great deal of English to elaborate on learning a little bit of Burmese (Or Myanmar language, if you will. Since the language I am learning is the native tongue of the Burma people group, I will refer to it as Burmese for the remainder of this post. For more on the distinction between Myanmar and Burma, check out this link.)
Language learning is a great way to become childlike.
“Am I ever going to be able to communicate with anyone?”… Continue Reading
A journal of our wintertime
This has been my first tropical winter overseas. While our North American counterparts were donning scarves and hats and trotting out to the Christmas tree farms with hatchets or sledding snowy hills, we have been absorbing an entirely different sort of winter season. Sweet December—this is what the Karen and Burmese Christians call this time of year. And they are right. December and January have been pleasant months filled with cool breezes, 85-degree days and a (slightly more distant) winter sun.… Continue Reading
This fall has been a little more hectic than we anticipated! In between all the trips to medical clinics and hospitals for Breanna’s health, we still have had a great fall, and we were able to document it (thanks in part to Jim’s dad)!
This is where you go when you want to buy LOTS of tea.
Everyone in Yangon is pretty excited about the elections. One of the rules is that parties are only allowed to campaign for the 60 days prior to the election.… Continue Reading
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