If you are wondering, I can assure you, we are busy! Josh is currently juggling work responsibilities for three different very worthwhile organizations in addition to trying to get our long-term visas squared away, and recently resuming his Thai language study. He's traveled a few times since we got back to Chiang Mai but for now is staying put until after this baby comes.
For Josh's work permit he has to submit pictures of the work he is doing. It's sort of funny but actually a nice excuse to get some pictures of Josh with his teammates doing what he does as he usually is pretty bad about taking pictures. I will include some of these photos at the bottom.
What else is going on? It seems like we are spending all our time at doctor's offices and hospitals. Of course I am in that stage of frequent prenatal visits. Five days from now I'll be having a cesarean section at a hospital here. We thought we had settled on which hospital it would be but are re-thinking that decision as we found out they no longer allow the father to be present in the operating room. We are writing a letter requesting an exception to this rule, but it's unlikely to be granted as I don't think they want to set a precedent. While other hospitals don't allow it either, some are nicer overall.
Also Josh has been in the E.R. twice since we got back to Chiang Mai. First because he gave himself a stiff electrical shock and needed to be checked out, he's fine by the way. And next because he, being a very tall person in a small person's world, sliced his head open on a sharp corrugated metal overhang at a gas station. Actually I suppose he and Bella have this injury in common. Josh had a lot of gushing blood, but just a few stitches fixed him up. Bella, our dog needed more than 50 stitches and 3 surgeries to put herself back together after her run-in with corrugated metal during our furlough.....I think Thailand might be a dangerous place to be!
We have also been catching the kids up on their immunizations before Little Baby Boy arrives. (At this rate Little Baby Boy is what his birth certificate is going to say as we are 5 days from delivery and still undecided) There are several things we have to vaccinate against here that are not standard in the U.S. like Japanese Encephalitis and Tuberculosis. Three out of four of the last days we have been at doctors offices and hospitals getting this taken care of. If I'm being honest, nothing makes me think about packing it up and moving back to the U.S. more than children's medical stuff in Thailand. Holding my kids down and watching them get painful shots (that will literally scar them for life) that they wouldn't need in the U.S. really is hard. Plus the medical system here is highly unorganized and I'm constantly questioning the level of care my kids are getting.
Around the Homestead
As for me, I am trying somewhat unsuccessfully to NOT be busy. I know that life is going to get a lot harder next week when Baby #3 arrives so I am laying off of Thai language study and other major responsibilities. I also have a history of swelling and blood pressure spikes towards the end of pregnancy. It makes my doctors and husband get all worried so I am trying to spend a decent amount of time with my feet up sipping lemon-water. :-) Of course this is only during those brief time periods where my kids do not need me for something.
So one of Josh's newest responsibilities involves partnering with another organization/team here called Project Restore. So far he is learning about some of their sustainable agricultural projects in the hopes that Global Hope Network can come alongside them and do some work together in impoverished villages in northern Thailand. That's the short version of what he's been doing. Hopefully soon he will write up a better explanation. Here are some pictures from his trips and work.
This is Bala, the village where Project Restore has helped Witoon in starting some sustainable agricultural projects. When Josh visited he slept in the house on the right front. Definitely rustic and 8 months pregnant me was glad to not be sleeping there! He wants to take Colby back next time.
Cutting some hands of bananas with Witoon. One of the perks of getting involved with sustainable agricultural work- free bananas! :-)
Witoon showing Josh his plantation.
Meeting with Jonathan, one of his new friends and co-workers. Changing the world over a cup of coffee.
Josh and Witoon at the banana market after unloading bananas.
And that's a lot of bananas.
Working with Tim on a new video project.
Cows that regularly commute through our neighborhood unattended to get to their pasture.
And just for good measure here is some cuteness to round out this blog post.
On an Easter egg hunt