Sunday, May 10, 2009

Back in Bangkok

Tom and arrived back in Bangkok on Friday afternoon. The time we spent with our family in Lithuania was wonderful. We have a new grandson, Levi Thomas, who was born in February. This was a much needed respite from the heat of Thailand. Spring is just now breaking out in Lithuania and all the fruit trees are blooming and the flowers are beautiful. Tom wore his jacket the whole time we were there, even inside the house. I was very comfortable wearing a fleece jacket also. I guess our blood has either thickened or thinned, or whatever they say it does when you live in a hot climate. 50 F. does seem really cold when you haven't been that cold in several years.

Our grandchildren are doing well and the two oldest are now fluent in the Lithuanian language. Maybe too fluent. There are words that they do not know the English equivalent for. My granddaughter wanted permission to go to "Lithuanian word." I asked her what it was in English and she couldn't tell me. You know, the place where the animals live. The "zoo." Ah, yes, the Zoo. At summer camp in Latvia last year, the counselors did not believe that they were Americans, when they asked them where they were from. They speak Lithuanian without an accent. They speak English at home and Lisa is homeschooling them in English language, spelling and American History. The 2 older kids both go to Lithuanian school and the third one starts in the Fall. Brian and Lisa have been in Lithuania for 11 years.

When we arrived, Brian asked me what we wanted to see and what we wanted to do. I told him "I don't want to go anywhere and I don't want to do anything. I want to do absolutely nothing for the whole month." That is exactly what we did. We stayed at home and did absolutely nothing and I loved it. Both Tom and I needed the break more than we realized. This was the first time in several years that we really rested. There were several days when Tom and Brian didn't even get dressed. Lisa and I got dressed, because we went to the store almost every day. They have a store called Maxima that is the equivalent to a small super-Walmart, where they have clothes, food, housewares, etc. Utena is a small town, so driving to Maxima every day was just enough work for one who is "on vacation." Wow, Europe is veeeery expensive!! Food and clothing are outrageous.

If there is a downside to our ministry, it is for me, only getting to see my grandchildren once every year or two. In the life of a small child, a year makes a big difference. The oldest three knew who we were, but of course, the baby will not remember us when we see him again. By the time the month was over, we had barely had time to reconnect and then it was time to leave. I am really thankful for the ability to talk on skype and at least see them and let them see us on camera when we talk to them. Modern technology has made things so much easier for us in the 21st century.

While we were gone, things ran well here in the office. We have a good staff of people with us now and they kept things moving. We are very thankful for Anne, Carolyn, and Pookie. Without them here to hold the ropes, there would have been no way we could have been gone for a month. Thanks, guys.