Saturday, April 7, 2012

Udon Thani

Meeting Fa for the first time was one of the best parts of this trip by far. Suppara Mawong, or "Fa" which means blue sky, and I have been writing letters back and forth for 6 years through Compassion Int. It is quite an understatement to say that it was a joy to finally meet her. After our trip to Cambodia, we flew to Udon Thani. Compassion arranged for someone to pick us up from our B&B in Udon Thani and drive us to Fa's village just 2 hours away and even translate for us. We got to visit her elementary school and home. In the afternoon Fa's mom prepared a huge delicious Thai lunch that we shared with Fa's church teachers. Her little brother "Pi" was hilarious. We brought him a toy car from Cambodia and he was rolling it across the table and running around with it whooping and hollering making sure everyone understood that he was the center of attention---which he was. We were so honored to meet Fa's wonderful family. We'll never forget it.

 Fa's parents:

 Her church teachers:
 Looking through some of my old letters that I sent to Fa years ago

These were some post cards I sent her looks like Edinburgh, Chicago, and New Orleans I think.

And look! There's a picture from a long time ago of Andrew Oliver and I with "Welcome Back" signs at Snow Patrol's second concert in Tulsa, OK.

 Back to our B&B. We went for a bike ride to the very nearby lake at sunset. Breathtakingly beautiful.

 One of the B&B owners was a gourmet chef. Yes please. He and his wife are from Belgium and had lots to talk about. We had a great time chatting with them, especially with Tony- the chef- who loved to tell us all the details of how he made each dish. What a character!

 Delicious sandwiches and a Hungarian goulash.
 Don't ask me why, but Tony insisted on including home made french fries and mayo with the goulash. I must say it was a very nice addition.
 Wow, breakfast!!! What a great trip.

Bangkok! We were only here for a couple days really, but we saw quite a bit considering the time restraint. The boat ride was fun and

The first night we rented an apartment near the river so it was easy to catch a boat-bus towards the Grand Palace. Later in the trip we came back to Bangkok and stayed in a hostel in a different area where we had good food, time to walk around aimlessly, and even get some really great and inexpensive Thai massages. Jordan said he was in pain the whole time (which you should understand completely if you've ever had a thai massage) but I was used to it b/c I had a few on Koh Samui.  After the massage, his expression was one of pain and relief that made me chuckle quite mercilessly.
Enjoy these pictures. I'm not very good at blogging, so I'll let the pictures do the rest------

 And yes, it's Pad Thai for us once again. It was a seedy place but it was a fun experience.

Wat Po...Can't remember the correct spelling. Oops.

 That's one BIG Buddha. Very impressive.

Bangkok Flower Market

 Bangkok Grand Palace:

 The colors were so stunning- everywhere you turned!

 a small portion of giant murals

 This lovely street vendor made the pad thai right there in front of you. Fresh and very very cheap.
Pad Thai is OH so good