Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Haven’t written in a while, feels like it has been a snap of the fingers, per usual.  As promised I had my parents write a little bit about what their experiences were like while in Thailand.  I think the most surprising things came about while staying in my village.  I am not sure if going there first was a good or a bad idea but I am sure it could have been a little overwhelming considering their first lunch meal consisted of the local cuisine “soke lek” or raw beef in blood with sticky rice.  The rents took everything in stride and I was very proud of them for opening their hearts and minds to a new culture and new customs.  Here are their respective opinions of the trip:


Our recent trip to visit Luke assured us that he is surrounded by people who care for him and are concerned for his well being.  Luke’s house has the comforts of home including hot water for showering and washing machine for his clothes. He even treated us to some home cooking of sticky rice, eggs and some fruits that we have never eaten before like dragon fruit and sawarot. We were also introduced to his 2 tokay geckos (Sr. and Jr.). I ventured over to see Sr. closer but he scooted behind the cabinet as I got closer.

Another pleasant surprise is all of the wonderful meals we have eaten; I am sure I have some extra pounds when I thought I might loose weight. For the last days of our visit, we have been on the island of Koh Chang which has beautiful white beaches and the weather has been heavenly.

Most of all, we are so proud of Luke and very impressed with his ability to move about Thailand and communicate with the people in a very proficient and engaging way. Although I really just want to take Luke home with us now, I know he is committed to his personal goals in Thailand and see that he is definitely an ambassador representing all of us and this is an experience of a lifetime. I pray God’s continued protection and guidance for Luke during this journey.


Our visit was to reconnect with our son Luke whom we missed a great deal.  But another aspect was to meet the host families who had taken such good care of him. Flooding prevented us from visiting one such family.  Often Luke expressed that he was overwhelmed by their generosity as well as the generosity of the members in the community.  We discovered first hand what he was trying to explain to us over an eight month period.  I can’t remember ever experiencing such hospitality.  Nor have I been treated to such meals with all their variety and exquisite seasonings.  Each dish exploded with flavor with the grasses, leaves and spices that gave them their great flavor.  Because our stay was short and I had a concern for globe trotting that has nothing to do with vacationing, I avoided some of the more interesting dishes and took Luke at his word that they too were awesome.  Hopefully, there was no offense taken when we did not partake.

The markets were stunning.  After visiting the third market, each getting progressively larger, my thoughts were, “How do all the fresh vegetables, fruit, fish, chicken, pork, beef and spices appear daily for all to purchase?”  The variety alone would keep the best New York City shopper mesmerized.  And after any purchase is made meals need to be prepared which gives me an even greater appreciation for those who hosted us because they also put in a long day at the farm or in the rice fields.  Thai people are very hard working people who, even if exhausted won’t show it and will give of themselves to serve others with a smile.  I am humbled and honored to have my son as part of such a community.  He has grown to know the language and culture (giving us a crash course the night before) and is respectful of the customs.  I am even prouder of him now as I see the gifts he possessed as a young boy become refined shaping him into the man God created him to be.  His decision to join the Peace Corps is indeed a good one.  We love him and miss him but he is in good hands.  For a parent that provides a great deal of peace and I thank you all for that.   God bless you!

I suppose each and every parent is partial to their own kids.  We had a blast, I have been greatly humbled by my experiences so far which, in turn, have made me appreciate how fortunate I am in every aspect of life. 


My Grandma Mary was a genuine, sarcastically funny, carefree, caring and behind what some believed to have been a scowl, one of the kindest people I have ever known.  I remember when I was little I would always ask my mom to ask Grandma questions for me, scared of what the answer might be.  That was before I knew better.  I am honored to have been able to have spent 24 years of my life getting to know her and I am deeply saddened that I am unable to join in the celebration of her life.  I thank you, I will always love you and I will miss you greatly (I’ll send some stoishee, not for you, but just in case the other folks want some). 



Snake I found living in my laundry basket when I got back home from vacation