Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Week Roundup

I have written a lot this week. Unfortunately, everything is either super personal or could get me into trouble with certain authorities. I'm all controversial and envelope pushing doncha know.

This has been an extremely interesting week though. I'll take you on a little trip if you like...

Thursday was Thanksgiving.

Since I've been a kid, my family hasn't been the most traditional with holidays. Thanksgiving or Christmas usually finds the Pham family on some picnic or bike ride. We have been known to eat raman noodles or a Domino's pizza for Christmas dinner. It's not that we're poor, or don't like cooking, it's just that my parents raised us with the view that holidays are truly about spending time with each other.

So this year I wasn't expecting much of a traditional Thanksgiving, but it turned out to be a mix of tradition and community.
Jimmy and Kelly Sustar had the staff of Compasio over to their house. Joanne Brown and Kelly cooked all day and when we came together to eat, we had everything that a traditional Thanksgiving should have! Chicken, fresh bread, green beans, mashed potatoes, gravy, and pies. It was so awesome!
(creepy Jimmy face)

(This is Doon, he's three weeks old
and staying with the Sustars for now.
I am in love with him.)

Friday was the last day of the Compasio internship program and we had a graduation/get together with the whole Compasio family!

(Compasio Training School 2010 graduates!)

(Again... creepy Jimmy.)

(Mix of Safehouse, Sustar, Babyhouse, and Brown kids
waiting patiently for food)


(Little Doon and Me.
I'm obviously quite thrilled to be holding him :D)

It's so crazy to think about how much Compasio has grown since I arrived in January. We had just a handful of staff back then, but come September we had tripled our number! We have close to 30 staff members now!

I continue to attend Burmese Church and it's gotten to the point where I can understand bits and pieces of the sermon, but even more exciting than that is the opportunity for me to interact with the people there.

(Mae Sot Evangelical Church family photo)

(Rebecca; One of my students and friends)

(Pattay; my younger sister and one of the three girls I live with)

Sunday night I went to a Burmese rock concert. It was AMAZING. There were three fairly well known Burmese singers who performed and it was an awesome time all around.
(Blessed, Siri, and Adam: "Stay close to us. We'll protect you.")

(Artistic shot of my friend Nyi Nyi)

(The guys)

(There were so many people there!)

(Four levels of viewing:
1. as close to the stage as possible 5% 2. mid section with seats 20%
3. standing room only 50% 4. climbing nearby fences and trees for a free view 25%)

(One of the best parts of the concert was the people sitting in front of us)

(We acted pretty civilized)

(But they were quite intoxicated and danced like crazy)

(We managed to contain ourselves.... until we got home)

(my sister was so excited she showed us
how she would act if she were on that stage)

(My other sister, Le, didn't go to the concert)

(So instead we took some extremely Burmese style photos,
down to the serious faces and Burmese style skirts)

I'm glad I had such an amazing weekend, because Monday and Tuesday were going to be as packed as pigs in a truck (wait..what? In America they don't transport loads of pigs stacked on top of each other, as a two story truck zooms through one way streets, pigs squealing and leaving behind the sweet scent of swine? Oh.. I guess that could just be a Thailand thing.)

My role in Compasio has taken an office-y turn. With the hiring and empowering of Burmese speakers, the English speaking staff have been focusing on other things, giving them full control to build relationship with the community around us. I have taken over a lot of human resources tasks as well as accounting. Let me say briefly that I kind of despise math. I think if I can get by in life with the bare minimum requirement of math, I will. In a heartbeat. But, I've found that I surprisingly enjoy accounting. It makes sense, and it's kind of beautiful. It fits together and you can trace everything, like a story.

However it got to the point where I wanted to DIE.

BUT I made it! I got through it, and everything turned out okay. Granted, it took 6 straight hours of work, but it is finished. Come December 30 I will be so prepared and knowledgable that Accounting Beast won't even know what hit it.

So it's December 1, 2010, and I feel like I'm in a really great place. I'm still unclear about the future, but I have peace. God has come through for me this week more times than I can count.

So thanks for sticking with me for these past 10 months, which is how long this blog post seems to be huh?


I want to end with something my friend Jimmy (see creepy photos above) said to me this week,

"When it comes down to it, it's not really about what you can do,
it's about the kind of person you are going to be."


Rachel S. said...

I love it Kates! I so wish I coulda been there for all those fun times and memories. But I'm glad you guys got to share them. Thanks for the little picture into your world. :)

I. Pham said...

If you think some of those Pham Thanksgiving meals were low, you should have seen what we had this year. First of all, we got it at a gas station. Second, we ate it in a motel room where we had a reservation, but there was no staff of any kind even onsite when we arrived; they had left the key to our (unlocked) room under a Pennysaver inside the room. Ok, I think you got the gist of it.
Still, it was a spectacular Thanksgiving in one of the most beautiful locations I've ever seen.