Friday, April 27, 2012

That crazy little thing called 'life'...

Wow.  This blog is in serious need of a good, long update.  Its amazing how crazy life has been lately and how "keeping the world informed" has just fallen by the wayside.  Sorry to all of you faithful readers!  Considering we are just weeks away from our little family addition, I anticipate having a lot more time at home, and hoping that will mean a bit more time for frequent updates... even if they have to be short and sweet.
View from our hotel room in Penang, Malaysia
We actually just returned home after a 2 week hiatus.  As many of you know, we had more than a few visa problems this time around and ended up having to leave the country in order to get new visas.  Seeing as we had an upcoming retreat with our fellow Thailand missionaries (TRAC-- Thailand Retreat and Consult) in Phuket, Malaysia was the closest option.  We were actually set to take our 1/2 year mark vacation around the same time, but unfortunately, instead of celebrating 6 months in Thailand, we had to get visa stuff done instead.  Oh well.  We tried to make the most of our time in Penang and did the best we could to make it our "holiday."

Much to Callie's delight, our hotel had the Disney Jr. channel in English.
Much of our free time was spent cuddling and watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse :)
Thankfully, we got our new visas with little to no hassle and were relieved to know we could actually return to Thailand in time for TRAC.  But, just a few days before we were set to head to Phuket, an earthquake hit Indonesia, consequently affecting us in Malaysia as well.

It was the CRAZIEST feeling!  Jon and I were sitting in our hotel room (on the 20th floor, might I add) one afternoon, watching TV while Callie napped, when all of sudden, our room literally starting rumbling and moving back and forth.  We stared at each other in total disbelief-- quickly realizing that we were both thinking the same thing-- "Is it just me or are you feeling that too!?"  We both jumped up and sprang into action.  I grabbed our passports and went to get Callie while Jon grabbed the backpack and our laptop.  The movement was intense enough that it had woken Callie from a dead sleep.

We grabbed her and ran into the hallway towards the elevator, feeling unsure about what to do.  Do you use an elevator during an earthquake?  Well... we sorta had to because I wasn't about to walk 20 flights of stairs at 34 weeks pregnant :)  So, we hopped in the elevator and prayed that we'd get to the main floor safely.  When we got downstairs, people seemed fairly calm and no one was running around panic-stricken, so we sat down in the lobby to wait to see if any of the hotel staff would say anything.  Jon finally asked a staff member that was walking by and he informed us that an earthquake had hit the coast of Indonesia and that we had just felt the after shocks of that.  He reassured us that everything was fine and that we had nothing to worry about.

So, rather than sit around and have Callie start to wonder what was going on, we decided to take her swimming to distract her (and ourselves, to be honest).  Jon ran back upstairs, got our swimsuits and we headed to the pool.  The pool was right on the beach and after being in the water for no more than 10 minutes, a staff came up to me and said, "I'm sorry Ma'am but I'm going to have to ask you to get out of the pool.  A tsunami warning has been issued and we need everyone to return to their rooms until we give further directions."

WHAT!?!?!  A tsunami warning!?  All I could think was, "Are you kidding me!?"
So, out of the pool we went (Callie was not very amused after having only 10 minutes in the water) and back up to our room on the 20th floor.  And we waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Until finally I told Jon that we needed to get supper.  He went down to the lobby to order McDonalds (isn't Asia amazing... fast food delivers here!) and find out what the status was on the potential tsunami.  The man at the front desk informed him that IF the tsunami was going to hit, it was estimated to come around 8-9pm that night.    So, we ate supper in our room, Callie watched cartoons and Jon and I sat out on our deck and watched the ocean all night... just waiting to see if the tsunami would come.

Well... thank the Lord, it never came.  Although that would've made for a pretty exciting newsletter, we're very grateful that we didn't have to experience something that scary :)

We spent our last couple of days just enjoying some family time at the pool and park.  Our hotel was very "kid-friendly" and Callie had an absolute blast splashing in the kiddie pool and sliding on the beach front play structure.

Now that we had our visas in hand and had had a few days to rest, it was time to head back to Thailand and join the rest of our fellow missionaries in Phuket for our annual conference/retreat.  
Flying into Phuket
The orchids in this country are INCREDIBLE... they grow like wild flowers everywhere!

We had an awesome week in Phuket, spending time with our Thailand MB Mission family, enjoying the beauty of Phuket and taking in lots of sessions/meetings.  The hotel was great, the company was great and the food was great!  We're so thankful for the friendships that were developed/deepened during TRAC and look forward to the next time we'll all be together again.

And that brings us to now.  We're back into the regular routine of life which includes language school everyday and lots of preparing for the little one that is due to join the family in a little over 4 weeks.  We'll be writing another module exam early next week so we continue to appreciate your prayers as we press forward with this language.  We have really enjoyed the reading/writing aspect and are finding that it opens a whole new world now that we can begin to read signs, menus and other written paraphernalia.  I'm hoping to get in at least another 2 weeks of language study before the baby comes-- we saw my doctor last night and she's thinking I'll likely be early, so we'll see what happens.  We'll be sure to keep you posted!


Jen Glen said...

So glad everyone is back safe and sound. We'll have to make sure we fit in another skype soon. And I'm sure we will be seeing A LOT more pictures of orchids once Mom gets there! ;)

Elissa said...

Wow, that is crazy! So thankful to hear that you guys are okay and are back home!

Mel said...

I just can't imagine WAITING for a possible tsunami to come!!! WOW...I can just picture you guys sitting by the window, watching the ocean and waiting. So glad you are all okay, and that nothing happened!

Robin said...

So glad you are all ok. Praying all goes well with the studies and the baby!