May 17, 2009

Stinky trunks, multicultural swimming, and R&R

Its not easy being this pregnant this close to the Equator. Partly because I have to see myself in a bathing suit every afternoon in order to keep cool, which isn't very good for the self esteem (did you know that at 8 months pregnant the body sinks like an anchor?) and partly because the only comfortable maternity attire in this weather makes me look like an elephant under a sheet.

Speaking of elephants, we visited the an elephant camp the other day, and it was FASCINATING! They train the elephants to play soccer and paint quite beautiful paintings with their trunks. An elephant's trunk, by the way, is a strange combination of dry and oily, with long, sparse hairs all over it. After an elephant's trunk has been wrapped around your neck, you smell a little like animal dung and you want a shower more than anything.

Today is Zion's 2nd birthday. I will later post pictures of the mess-hall birthday party he will be having this evening. The little Thai ladies in the kitchen are baking him a cake. Daniel is golfing this morning. I hope he doesn't pass out from the heat. The boys are cranky today because we stayed up too late last night scoping out the wares at the Sunday market and eating fabulous Italian food at Girasole's with our Dutch friends and their two kids. The man who runs the restaurant is a real Italian, with thick black eyebrows that make him look like a cartoon character and the top buttons on his shirt undone to reveal his graying chest hair beneath. It started to storm so we head home in an open-sided taxi truck in the rain. Quite a night.

The other day at lunch, Daniel found himself engaged in an after-meal conversation with a woman from Bangladesh and her British husband, and an Indian woman and her German husband. The topic of conversation was television and it's devastating effects. Today, our boys swam in the pool with two little Finnish sisters who are being raised in Nepal. Finnish is the most beautiful language! Sunday morning we visited an Australian fellowship whose members were so excited about being there that they literally cheered when it was time to pass the offering.

I am so thankful that our boys get to interact with people from all over the world, people who are in Asia for the same reason we are, and who are also in Chiang Mai for some much-needed R&R.