We can’t believe 1 week has passed already, it has been full of feeling greatly welcomed, newness, adjustment, defrosting/melting (due to the heat and this is not even the hottest period!) and subjecting the local Thai’s, especially where we are staying to our awful Thai pronunciations!
The day before jumping in at the deep end with language study (Tuesday 3 July), we had one last day of visiting one of the key sights in Bangkok, the ‘Wat Arun – The Temple of Dawn’ (this is the same place/picture we have as our strap banner on our blog). It is one of the most elegant pagoda’s and landmarks in Thailand. With our paltry Thai! We managed to take 2 local river boats to the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. An unbelievable sight to behold; it is hard to put into words, the amazing detailed workmanship or scale of this particular temple. In another blog entry we will explain more about the spiritual aspects of Thailand.
In the afternoon we had a tour of what will be our work place in the coming weeks, months and years with NightLight International. The offices are not big, but the work, outreach,
restoration and prayer that is happening is far greater. Stunning handcrafted jewellery, paper flowers (and believe us they look so real) and hand printed t-shirts are some of the work being produced here and sold to help these ladies gain an economic alternative out of the sex industry. We have begun to meet some of the ladies who work at NightLight and as the relationships are built, we will hear more from them. They have already traded with us; we will help them with their English and they will help us with our Thai!
We started our language lessons on Wednesday 4 July, morning sessions from 8am – 12pm. Four hours everyday of what we can only describe as a ‘baptism of fire’.
Thai is a very tonal language with 5 tones, which means that 1 word could have five meanings! So it’s important to try and pronounce the word or tone correctly, just in case you say something completely out of context or inappropriate!!! It is also a totally scripted language, so the Roman letters are purely to help us learn to pronounce it. 3 days later (12 hours total so far), we have face ache from learning all the Thai tones, vowels and consonants! The whole lesson is practically in Thai, which mean the majority of us in the class sit there with blank faces. However there is an upside, we are starting to make friends with others who are in the same boat as us; who come from a range of different countries: India, Japan, Korea & Israel. Also fortunately our ‘Khruu’ (Thai for teacher), has a brilliant sense of humour, so this is helping to make the lessons fun. We have a long way to go, but we’re in for the long haul.
Please continue to keep us in your prayers for the language learning and also as we have started the process of looking for a permanent home. Please pray that we will find a home at a good price and good location as this will further help us to settle and build friendships with the locals.