LA > Thailand > SF

Whew. It feels really strange being back in America. I got to process the trip with some people, but honestly at times, I’ve just wanted to hermit under a rock. Maybe having some reverse culture shock… haha. After a couple weeks of being back, I feel better though, haha. It really helped that I’m going to be living in SF for a bit, while my cousin travels. He has a 2bed flat & it worked out for me to sublet it for a few months! It’s a pretty big space & feels just right (:

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I’m really grateful that God orchestrated all of this for this season. I think after coming back from Thailand… a couple of things stand out in my mind and heart:
• I def love kids <3 like every time we went to a children’s home in Thailand, I just felt like “aw man… these kids just need someone to look out for them and love them…” I would be very okay if I couldn’t have kids of my own because I feel like there are so many unwanted and unloved in the world :(
• I still love counseling and I’m thinking if I combine it with art… maybe art therapy… for kids?! Ideal world = my full heart <3 so in the meantime, while I’m in the City, I’m going to try and volunteer at a hospital or some place to interact with kiddos. :D
• As much as i loved Umphang, I think I loved working with the team and investing in the younger women on the trip. it was awesome getting to know them more and pouring into them <3

Hm… I think those are all my swirlies for now. (: I might try and keep up with this blog if I can… just to document the adventure… but I very well might now. I realized I am bad at staying on top of it, haha.

PS. Here are the people who helped move me from LA to SF. So grateful them and their craziness :P

seoul much funnnn.

So ending up in Korea was actually really fun! Here are some snaps :P

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Some of my ponderings:

• hostels aren’t that bad! actually it’s neat meeting people who like to travel
• it’s really cool being able to be so close to nature + the city
• think i appreciated walking a lot more than when i was in LA haha
• the korean sauna/spa game is strong
• there were so many face masks everywhereeeee
• it was really interesting being in the subway and there was bomb shelter supplies #beingsoclosetonorthkorea
• i definitely enjoyed it more than i thought (:

a needed stamp + a long layover.

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So I know that I’m back home, but I wanted to finish up the blog and close the loop on the overseas adventures, haha. After Umphang, we were supposed to leave Thailand and go to Japan for 5 days! Buuuuuut… after looking at our flight times and blinking a bunch of times…. we realized that we wouldn’t be able to make the flight that would take us back home after Japan. #sigh! Rick suggested staying in Korea cause that is where we currently were.. so we did. Oh, also… I totally got fined for overstaying my visit. I miscommunicated with Cornerstone & didn’t get this stamp from immigration had to pay like 20,000baht… around $600… face. palm. Haha, living and learning.

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aaaaaand this is the shot I took when I was so tired and hungry that all I could do was lay down lol.

umphang.

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I was trying my best to be present while going on this mission trip. To be honest, it was hard because my heart was grieving the goodbyes. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed being with Bob & Grace's home church <3 It was really neat to hear how God has been working in their lives & what brought them each to Thailand.  This trip will be memorable for a few things:
- serving alongside Rick and seeing his heart for displaced people and refugees
- tractoring through the mud in the rain like an Indiana Jones ride!
- feeling the purity of the kids out in the villages
- getting a massage at the hospital from the some PT students
- worshipping at a church with the refugees
- getting to know the team members + playing werewolf with them :P

goodbyes are hard...

I think I have been avoiding writing the last few posts because avoiding pain is easier. Haha. I left for a mission trip with Bob and so had to say goodbye to Grace & Mochi. It was filled with tears and sad moments, gratefulness and a hoping that this will not be the last time I see them... I can definitely see how being on the mission field has many heartbreaking moments... the hellos and goodbyes falling under this category. Where there is openness and vulnerability, there is risk and trust, hardship and triumph... and in the end, depth in love. To say hello to this love and then goodbye to it, is always challenging. A healthy thing probably—but challenging. I am so grateful that God brought us together in this season and for the time we had together. 

They gave me the hand-made pottery on the right as a reminder of how I came and poured into their family and filled them. I felt very humbled by that... cause really, I felt that from them 1000% more.

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On the last night, Mochi was hanging out with me and really wanted me to give her some popcorn... so she tried to put herself in my line of sight... lol. Man, i miss her.

grand... adventures.

We decided to go to adventuring to check out the super-touristy "Grand Canyon Water Park" of Chiang Mai... Rick just wanted to cliff dive. The vibe there was interesting... kinda dead... with some american-looking people here and there... lol. It was about $3 to get in.

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On the other side, there was a wipeout-esque inflatable water playground (whaaa?)  That was separate and would have been a separate ticket, so we opted to just look at the view haha.

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But Rick did jump like 100 feet off a cliff! AAaaaaand we ended up in the ER lol. Sad times. His ears hurt so badly so we went to check it out. Thankfully, they were okay! No ruptured eardrums... just inflamed and had some pressure damage. Whew—talk about adventures.

On a random note, people in hospitals are very kind, gentle and patient... kinda a nice change from some in America. Also for painkillers, they gave us hella drugs lol. Don't think he took any... just some Advil. But wow. You don't need a prescription for any drugs out here... they are super cheap, and you can get as much as you want. Yikes. #thisisthailand