It felt like an eventful weekend for our lives in Mae Sot, so I’m stealing the high & low technique from a fellow blogger that I follow/stalk.
High: I started off Saturday early by playing in a soccer tournament at 9am. This was a fun idea, until…
Low: It was freakishly hot.
Low: The opposing team was fourteen-year-olds, some of which weren’t wearing shoes, which makes it hard for me to be as aggressive as my teammates might have wished.
Low: I am also downright horrible at football, which makes it hard for me to play as well as my teammates would wish. And to top it off, my eyes are having some allergy problems this rainy season, and at times there were definitely two soccer balls, making it difficult to know which one to kick for. I guessed wrong a few times.
High: We won anyway!
High: We started renovating the front area of our house into a community space! This is exciting because it creates a space we can welcome the community into our home in a place designed for us to have conversations, play games, enjoy tea, get medicine; and generally continue to build relationships that are not confined to our front porch, but in the warmth of a home.
Low: This required shifting a curtain from one wall to another. We borrowed the drill the week before. We had measured & the lengths were the same; shouldn’t take long, right? We measured poorly, only to discover on chairs that the spaces are about 2mm different–just enough to make life really difficult. It became a three hour task, including a trip with an 8 foot pole on the motorbike to a local metal shop to have new holes drilled.
Despite a really frustrating afternoon, the curtains are now hanging and divide the community space from the rest of our home.
High: We had one of our neighbor friends build us some shelves. The shelves were communicated in a second language, and all that considered–they turned out great!
Low: Let’s just say the shelves are very, very sturdy and style wasn’t a high priority.
High: I talked for over an hour in Karen with some of the neighbor ladies on Saturday! While we talk often, it is usually in shorter bouts or about medical issues. So while my medical vocabulary is quite expansive, it is easier to follow along if you know the general subject. It was quite an accomplishment to have a lengthy conversation about somewhat random conversations that I could still follow.
High: I didn’t have a headache after said conversation!
High: We purchased a huge metal board for magnets in the community space, which the kids are already excited about.
Low & High: We only lost it out of the back of our truck once on the way home!
Low: It required four coats of paint–two on each side–to prevent rusting. I put on the first coat on Sunday afternoon, at which point I discovered it was oil-based paint. Really, we knew that but didn’t think it through until I had oil-based paint covering my hands and nothing to remove it.
Low: I tried nail polish remover, at which point I discovered three large cuts on my hand.
Low: By the time Stephen got home, we were late to meet friends for dinner and had no plan, so I walked out the door with sticky paint all over my hands.
High: We borrowed paint thinner from a friend late that night.
Low: Throughout multiple coats of paint, I have since re-discovered the three cuts on my hand multiple times.
High: We were invited to a birthday party on Sunday morning! The newest baby in the community had his one-week party, a common celebration around here. This included sweet, sweet tea, coconut-y rice, and music.
High: We got to witness the mummifying swaddling of Burmese families. Wow.
By the way–the music isn’t edited in. That would be the one-week-old baby party music.
High (that is not a Low yet): The kids, or perhaps some adults, concocted this gem of a “toy.” It involves a small toddler bike, ridden by a four-year-old, that pulls a baby walker on wheels while the young child puts his feet up on a board. Its endearing to see the ingenuity and a sweet little boy looking after his 10-month-old brother, but it does illicit a little fear of this becoming a hospital visit sometime in the future…