It's been suggested that, since our reason for coming here was to teach English, that I should maybe mention teaching in at least one blog post! 
As I write this our students are involved in a loud and enthusiastic games session. This is how we end our afternoon, and the games get the students eagerly practicing their English.

We start our mornings with a half-hour session of worship, testimonies, and prayer.

More to come

Bui villages - the visit

In one of the villages there is one Christian family. The husband heard about God from a German missionary when he was young, but didn't believe at that time. He was an apprentice Buddhist monk in his teens, and it wasn't until he was in prison, with his wife and new child at home, that he found that his temple wouldn't help him and his village wanted nothing to do with him. The missionary, however, was willing to care for him and his family. He was in prison for many years, and became a Christian there, while shackled in a room packed with prisoners. It was still several years until he got out. Once he was home his wife became a Christian, then his father, due to some spectacularly answered prayers. Unfortunately he and his family suffer a lot of persecution and rejection from the villagers.

The next village has 4 or 5 families of believers. Church services alternate between the first member's home and a home in the next village. The host in the other village is a wo…

Bui Villages - the drive

On Saturday we took a trip to two Bui villages. Compared to the villages we went to last week, these ones seemed more accessible - they were along a 2 lane road that connected two larger communities.

Some armies march on their stomachs - ours sort of dawdles along - fuelled by coffee stops.

On the way were drove through beautiful forests. I think they were national parks. The trees were planted in 1967.

Then of course, it was time to stop for lunch. Darryl directed the driver to the most amazing restaurant. I don't know what Canadian inspectors would think of it, but the food was amazing!
 The kitchen
 The kitchen
The counter and bar
Food ready for cooking

Ready to eat

Afternoon Coffee at the Woo Cafe

This morning Fiona and I went to the church of one of our students. It was a very enthusiastic service and a missionary from Singapore preached in English and the pastor translated into Thai. Afterward we had the customary whole church lunch - spicy fish soup and rice. The church rents space in a hotel and has only been in existence since February.
After the lunch we walked to the Woo Cafe - a coffee shop and gallery that Ying worked at before coming to Calgary. On the way we passed numerous stalls selling fruits and vegetables. We picked up some finger-sized bananas to take into Wycliffe tomorrow, and a couple of mangoes.
Here are some market shots:

We then crossed the river and found our way to the Woo Cafe.

It features wonderful desserts as well as meals,
and is filled with flowers. They must keep half the orchid growers in Chiang Mai in business.
The orange soft cake and coffee were delicious.

After that we caught a Grab car (like Uber) home.

Rainy Season

I think in Canada you might hear someone say, "Is it cold enough for you?" I think here the equivalent might be, "Is it raining hard enough for you?"

Wat says that the rainy season features more and heavier rain into August and September. We have had a couple of very heavy rains, but they don't seem to last too long. After this rain we went to the night bazaar, driving through very flooded roads, in places with fountains coming up out of the sidewalk drains!

To and From

This short post will show you how we get from our accommodation at Dara Place to the Wycliffe office, and back home.

Kim (associate pastor at Wat's church) picks us up at 8:10 with his songthaew. It has a covered back with benches. There are curtains that will close the windows if it is raining. So far we haven't had a ride in the rain. Kim was one of our beginner students last year and would love to join us, but a new daughter at home is taking his time while his wife works. So we have one of us in the cab for each ride, helping him with his English. The truck is a good way for him to get his family and church members around.

Kim's Songthaew
The drive is only a few kilometres long so normally takes less than 10 minutes. The trickiest part is a U-turn that has to happen into the very busy opposite lanes. 

Leaving Dara Place
The road's quiet this morning!
We dismount at Wycliffe.

At 3:00 pm Kim arrives to take us home. Sometimes some of us walk, just to stretch our legs…

Bisu villages

On Saturday we went by van to two Bisu villages in the northeastern part of Thailand, about 3 hours drive from Chiang Mai.

Coffee with a View

We stopped for coffee at the aptly named "Coffee with a View" and proceeded to the first of two villages for lunch. If you are a locavore you would have loved the lunch - everything on the table other than the water bottles had gone no more than a few hundred metres from where it was grown. Even if you aren't a locavore you would have loved the lunch - the freshest of greens and vegetables and pineapple and mango.

We ate by forming a ball of sticky rice and dipping it in a salsa of pepper, garlic and I'm not sure what else. It was wonderful! Depending on spice tolerance you could put a lot or a little salsa on the rice. There were cucumber slices for cooling down.

Making the salsa

In this first village there is only one professed Christian - a young man (animist/Buddhist) who for years was hired by Wycliffe to help with the Bis…