Thailand (#23)

I've been home for almost a month now, and when people ask me "How was Thailand?" I say, "Great!"

The weather was perfect. The food was amazing. The bargains were cheap.
Evening entertainment -
Settlers of Catan
In class
The company was fun. What more  could you want? But when they ask, "Did you do anything exciting?" I struggle to find something to share. This year, I really didn't do much, and that was OK. Part of the reason was that I've been there before, and I've done the elephants and tigers already. Part of the reason was that part of my fun budget was devoted to my layover in Singapore. And part of the reason was that I was there for other reasons... like to study and reconnect with my cohort members. Both of those goals were certainly achieved. It was kind of sad to realize that this was my last winter study term in Thailand. I may have to find an excuse to go back though! It was sad and happy, because that means I'm getting closer to finishing my degree. This semester I'm doing my major research project (on vocabulary acquisition). This summer I'm off to LA for my last summer term. Then at the end of December I'll be finished grad school! It seems to have gone by so fast. Then what? Well that's one of the big questions I need to ask this year. Armed with my MA in TESOL, what's the next step for me? I could stay right where I am, or I could try to find a job teaching in a university where I imagine my career to take me someday. Well one thing I know is that God will open that door when the time is right. And my job right now is to be prepared to walk through it. It's a growing process.

Lights at the Market
I discovered a new photo app for my phone while I was traveling - Instagram, and as I result I got some cool shots of rather ordinary stuff. So here's some of my Thailand trip in photos:
Pad Thai
One story from Thailand: I went to an international church one Sunday, and happened to sit next to three travelers from China. Since it was my first time at the church I had to stand up and introduce myself, so I said I'm from Canada, but I live in Taiwan. When I sat down the guy next to me asked if I could speak Chinese, and I said yes. I chatted with them a little bit and found out that it was their first time too, and they weren't believers. They had gone to the church on someone's recommendation. But they didn't understand a lot of what was going on also because of their English ability. So I was able to translate some of the service for them. I also found the scripture passage in simplified Chinese on my phone and let them read along so they weren't totally lost. It was really cool to be able to share with them in that way! I also ran into them again later at the night market, which was really fun! Knowing Chinese can really open a lot of doors! Here's the passage being preached on that day:
2 Corinthians 214 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? 17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.