I hate to think that something I’ve done is a waste. If things were my way, I would always learn something from the experiences I’ve had. I think that more than any other feeling or experience, I was determined to have something good come from my trip to Vietnam. It was on a quite street in Nha Trang that I forced myself stop and figure out why I had been feeling so down, so unlike myself. I had a revelation that night, and here’s what it was.
I realized that I had been so depressed about my situation because I was uncomfortable. I was uncomfortable with the language, uncomfortable being away from the familiar surroundings of Mae Sot, uncomfortable because I had no companionship, and uncomfortable because I was the only white person. As I sat there, it dawned on me that as a follower of Christ, I’m not really called to a life of comfort. I’ve been called to follow Jesus. As I reflected on this thought, I realized that Jesus didn’t live much of a comfortable life. During his ministry, he didn’t even have a place to call home. He didn’t have an apartment he could go home to at the end of the day. I doubt he even had a suitcase to carry his toothbrush in. It seems like if I have been called to be like Jesus, then I should be willing to live this kind of lifestyle. It was then that the blinders were taken off my eyes and I saw how selfish I had been. Instead of seeing what I could be doing to be a blessing to the people around me, I was self absorbed in my own pity party. From that point on, I saw things differently and I appreciated the country that Vietnam is. I also appreciated Thailand and what I have here.
To come back to Thailand was like taking a breath of fresh air. I felt so renewed, so refreshed for what is being done here. I also felt, without a doubt, that this is where God wants me to be right now. I think that has to be one of the best feelings in the world, to know that you are where God wants you to be. I’m thankful for the learning experience I had in Vietnam. I’m thankful that I got to spend time with my grandfather, who is such a cool guy by the way. But… I am so relieved to be back home. Here’s to the next nine months! Use me where you want me God. I am all yours.
Now… about that trip to the motherland.
Random happenings and observations: a compilation
- Guaranteed, everyone will have a tooth pick in their mouths after every meal. Guaranteed.
- There is the constant sound of honking and to step onto the street is to risk your life.
- The iced coffee is 1/5 coffee, 2/5 sweetened condensed milk, and 2/5 ice. Delicious.
- The food is out of this world spectacular.
- Double dipping is not an issue. Everyone has a bowl of rice and chopsticks and shares the food in the middle.
- You’re chased down the street by people trying to sell postcards, gum, and lottery tickets.
- The hotel reception keeps your passport (is this normal?) and you see them entering the information onto a public computer.
- It is completely normal to see a guy on a motorbike with a 35 lb. fish strapped to the back.
- Anyone can be a donglionaire. 19,000 dong= 1 USD
- If you listen carefully, you might pick up on your tour guide discussing different tasty meats including beef, pork, and dog
- At a rest stop, my uncle bought ice cream and French bread and made me an ice cream sandwich
- You’re caught off guard when you spot someone taller than 5’5. They literally tower over everyone else
- No shirt, no shoes, no pants, no problem. Walking around in boxers is completely normal.
- I walked into my aunt’s house and she immediately handed me a whole, chilled coconut with a straw sticking out the top. That’s hospitality.
- They NEVER make it till your order it.
- I think we drove past a Nazi graveyard at one point. Each tombstone had a swastika on it.
- I saw a kid get hit by a motorbike when playing in the ocean. Yeah. Never seen anything like that before. Don’t worry. He’s okay.
- Red lights are taken to mean yield signs here apparently.
- What? You have to pee? Oh no problem, just pullover to the side of the road. Everyone does it.
- Our bus had a microphone, so the tour guide had a little girl sit in front singing Vietnamese children’s songs while 14 adults clapped along, applauded enthusiastically, and shouted out requests.