1 year on…

Last weekend (the 12/13th May) was my 1 year anniversary since moving to Thailand. I can still vividly remember the day I said goodbye to my family at Heathrow airport and sitting in the departure lounge feeling overwhelmed with the enormity of what I was doing and then arriving in Bangkok the next day and being greeted by my BMS teammates. I will never forget the heat and humidity that hits you as you walk out of the airport. I remember the taxi journey to my accommodation at the language school, feeling so tired after the long flight but wanting to take in everything that I saw as we drove pass. For my first evening meal I found a stall that made great pad thai, which I went back to several times during the month I stayed at the language school.

So much has happened in this year, I attended language school for 6 months and made some great friends with the other student. I loved meeting people from different countries and finding out their reasons for learning Thai, they were mostly missionaries but there were also students wanting to work or study in Thailand as well. One of my classes had 11 other students in it and 7 different nations represented. Then at the end of last year I moved up to Chiang Mai to continue my language training with a personal tutor and slowly start to get involved with the project. During this year, I have been settling into the local community and learning about  the Thai culture, while making a few faux pars along the way.

Although this year has been an exciting year, it has had it trials as well. Language learning has been tough and frustrating at times, with many days feeling like you will never be able string a simple sentence together let alone have a full on conversation with someone. However, it has made those moments, when I surprise myself with the amount Thai that does come out of my mouth, even sweeter.

Getting used being away from family and friends has been difficult as well. Having my first Christmas, birthday and Easter away from the UK was hard. But you appreciate it all the more when the people around you reach out and open up their homes so you can celebrate these days together. Plus I have enjoyed celebrating Thai holidays as well, such as, Loy Krathong and Song Khran.

I think it is fair to say that I would not have made it through this first year without knowing that God was beside me every step of the way and being able to turn to Him to give me the strength to face both the good days and the bad ones. One of the many bible verses that I have clung to this past year is Psalm 121: 1-2

I lift my eyes up to the mountains-where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

As I have read these verses again and again it has helped me to look above the situation I am in and know I am being sustained by the one who is even bigger than the heavens and the earth.

blog photo (2)

To celebrate my first year in Thailand I took a workshop in loom weaving. Thailand has a long heritage with making handicrafts so I thought it would be fun to have a go at one of them and made a wall hanging. I was pretty proud of what I made.



 

Going into my 2nd year in Thailand will see me starting to work at my project full time, which I am really excited about and I’m sure that my 2nd year will go by just as quickly as the first.