Well…writer’s block got the best of me…not because I didn’t have something to say (has that ever happened…no)…but because I was applying the rule of “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all”. I learn this little tidbit from my very own mouth about three times a day when I am discipling my three little children.
So…we got the visas…and in a surprising turn of events, that was the easy part. We all boarded a bus back to the border town of Udon Thani in Thailand with our very pretty, sparkly visas in those oh-so-valuable little blue passports. We stopped in at a mall, did some Christmas shopping and happily made our way to the bus station to catch our bus home. As the sweet little Thai girl took us on the bus, we quickly saw that a) this bus wasn’t the same as the bus we came on…b) there didn’t appear to be a block of five “waiting-for-the-Rathmells-to-come-sit-in-me” seats anywhere… Things were adding up quickly and this situation turned into an hour and a half of Buddy, Mr. Western culture “What do you mean we don’t have our seats – we bought our tickets 2 weeks ago” and Bus Station Attendant (in shack) Eastern culture “I can’t understand you and will not look in your eyes” duking it out.
Thankfully, some random guy spoke English and was forced into being our translator as Buddy looks at all four of us and says, “OCCUPY THE BUS!” – just get on a seat and don’t leave. So- we spread out on the bus – Jack and Adrianne in the back, wide-eyed and staking their claim. Megan and I in the front watching Buddy use Western logic to win the day…(this is where the writer’s block came in…at this point, I’m just about fed up with Thai culture and want to lose my mind, but I just let Buddy do it for me, cuz I was busy occupying…)
Long story short – they end up getting us a “taxi” which amounted to some random guy that had a Mitsubishi Lancer tricked out race car, with racing suspension to drive us through the night to Chiang Mai. With the kids and me in the back jostled back and forth over seemingly every mountain in Thailand, some of us slept, some of us cried, most of us whined but we made it back. Buddy stayed awake all night to make sure that said driver stayed awake….but we didn’t have to worry because said driver simply smoked all the way to Chiang Mai and rolled the windows down so that the arctic mountain air could cryogenically freeze us through the night. I later told Buddy that if we have any supporters out there who latently want us to suffer because that’s what missionaries are supposed to do…we checked that off the list this year! (Although now that I’m reading the Hiding Place, I think I haven’t suffered ever!)
So…that’s the nuts and bolts…we made it back on Christmas Eve morning and after a day of recovery…Christmas came and joy was had by all…great friends visited and we have survived the Christmas season.
Now…the New Year is afresh and these are the things on my docket:
1. Figure out a way to get Megan on this blog…we do have a third child.
2. Read at least 52 books this year…this will be on another blog that I’m trying to get up and running at jenrathmell.com (Stay tuned).
3. Edit my dissertation…at one point while talking to my editor, he was scrolling down and actually said the word, “Eww…” while looking at my paper…this degree is one in humility only, I’ve decided.
4. Get over my current annual sinus infection.
There’s more happening…and I promise to blog about them later…just wanted to get over this initial hump of blogging in the New Year!
Love to all of you!