A Day in BKK

Top 10 random thoughts and observations from my first few days in Bangkok (BKK).

1. The Well is amazing — Great vision, amazing staff.  Picture a number of women making beautiful jewelry – laughing and sharing a very different, new life together.  Kids running around the four-story building that houses the activities of the Well while their moms work, making jewelry, artwork or helping run the organization.  Women practicing their English and teaching us Thai, and laughing a lot.  It’s a beautiful thing.

2. Moto-taxis (translation: death-defying, two-wheeled “flying objects” that zip through the crowded rush hour streets of Bangkok and help you actually arrive at your destination on time) are treacherous but SUPER fun.  And the only really efficient means of transportation to and from the BTS (train station).  Can’t think of a better combination of joy and terror, and rainstorms only intensify both emotions.

3. Cooking Thai food is much more fun (and tasty) when ingredients come from the local market.  Fresh chickens, green curry paste, hot peppers (really, really hot peppers)…. so good.  Looking forward to being able to do more than just point and grunt when I find something I want.

4. The Thai language is ridiculously hard.  There are five different ways (tones) to say the same three-letter word “maa”.  I find myself wanting to use a much more familiar four-letter word that I’m told is inappropriate for use by missionaries. 😉

5. I’ve met a number of folks passing through or recently relocating to Bangkok committed to investing in incarnational ministries similar to The Well.  Amazing to hear their stories and their hearts to live with, learn from, love and serve the Thai people in new and creative ways.

6. Skype is an amazing communication tool.  I was skeptical.  After “joining” a get-together of a number of friends in DC while in my pajamas (thanks to the time change), I am no longer.

7. Our kitchen floods when it rains.  Which is every day.  I’m getting used to cooking with bare feet in a few inches of standing water.

8. The “entertainment districts” of Bangkok are just as dark as they were during our visit two years ago, despite some new facades and updated neon lights.  But the women are just as precious and hungry for hugs and new friends.

9. I have loved getting reacquainted with a few folks we met at the Well two years ago, and to see how much they’ve grown, changed and developed into budding leaders, committed to investing in and loving those that remain trapped in a life that they themselves knew so well so few years ago.

10. I love my Bangkok house-mates and look forward to this being a true place of refuge as folks travel through or need a safe place to lay their head.  It’s a blessing of a house and I couldn’t ask for more amazing people to live life with here.

Bonus (#11)… I’m currently obsessed with the book “When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor…and Ourselves” by Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbett.  A must read for anyone interested in either short or long-term missions, poverty alleviation, economic development…or simply loving your neighbors.  Looking forward to continuing down my book list…

Looking ahead:  Heading to check out Buriram province on Monday for a few days.  Buriram is located in the Isan region, the region from which a vast majority of the women that end up working in the bars in Bangkok come.

More soon…..

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  • Comments (5)
    • Jessica
    • August 21st, 2010

    Cori!! Miss you so much, friend. I love reading your blog – you’re such a great writer 🙂 Stay strong and courageous, just like you’ve been so far. Praying for you. I loved seeing your face on Wednesday! Love you a million!

  1. Amazing how similar our experiences are. It rains every day here too! The transportation is crazy, fun. Our house floods in a few places!!! Wahoo.. I have to get that book, I bet its good. Bet youre getting a lot of “so how long you here for”, and “how do you find Thailand”… Prob “are you married” a lot too.

    • Rach
    • August 23rd, 2010

    I’m only interested in your story about one particular moto ride, so when that happens, you just let me know! Love you so much! I want to read that book you recommended! I just finished reading Three Cups of Tea and found it to be incredibly inspiring. Have you read it? If not, I can send you my copy! (Do we know what your address is?–I’m going to stalk your blog to see if it’s posted anywhere) 🙂 xoxo mwah!

    • Fred Clark
    • August 23rd, 2010

    Cori girl, so happy that you are sharing your adventure with us! You remain in our steadfast prayers.

    “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” –Deuteronomy 31:6

    God bless you and everyone at The Well.

    Fred & Rika Clark

    • Mom
    • August 25th, 2010

    Lots of prayers coming your way fro the Catholics and the Methodists and the B,hai…hope you are holding on tight in the taxi!

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