pictures and short update

Tomorrow is the big Talent Show I’ve been organizing.. which is why if you’ve tried to call or email, you may not have gotten a response.  I’ve been so stressed about it, but after our practice today, I’m feeling much better about everything.  Basically I’m the “Director” in charge of EVERYTHING, but the nice things is that the students themselves have prepared the acts, so I don’t have to worry about that!  I’ll post pictures when it’s all said and done!

To get away from the stress, a few of us went to see “Mamma Mia!” last night… it was AWESOME!  Okay, if you hate musicals, you may not enjoy it as much, but by the end of the movie I was ready to DANCE!  It was so cute, and reminded me of all the songs my parents used to sing to us back in the day :).  

OH, and in Nonthaburi, and every other city near the river are preparing for a potential flood! September will be one of the rainiest months in Thailand, as well as into October, and apparently some of the cities north of us have had some flooding, so everyone is gearing up, and stocking up on food.  We all have been buying water, and non-perishable food items to keep in our rooms upstairs, and as soon as it looks like it will flood, we’ll have to move all our furniture upstairs, and then be trapped in our house if it in fact DOES flood.  Of course, if we know in advance, we would evacuate up north to Chiang Mai, but it’s difficult to predict when or if it in fact will flood.  BUT, if we are trapped, I have lots of nuts, small soy milk boxes, peanut butter, and cereal.  Such a great selection, I KNOW!  🙂

Good news, we have 43 days until October break!  I can’t wait!  I’ll be flying to Cambodia, then taking an overnight train to Vietnam with several friends.  Should be a great relaxing break, and I’m excited to sight see around the both countries!  (I’m not sure if I already talked about October break, but it’s quite possible I did, because we are all looking forward to it!!)

Anyway, I’m praying a lot about what the future will bring, even though I know I have plenty of time to decide.  All the schools in Thailand are beginning to expect much more out of foreigners who want to come to teach, so if I do stay, I will for sure need to begin pursuing a teaching certificate, or MAT degree this January.  Decisions, decisions.  

Here’s a video I’ve made with my pictures up until this point.. for your viewing pleasure:

Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers, letters and emails!  May God bless you all!

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apologies

Apologies dear readers for my silence as of late.  The weeks continue to slip by, I still can’t believe it’s AUGUST!  Not only that, but the 18th of August.  Time surely does fly by, that’s for sure.  Schools back in the states are starting up and summer back home is quickly fading.  It’s also weird to think that weather back home will turn to fall in about a months time, and here it may only cool down to the 80’s during November and December.

School, and everything related to school is as busy as ever.  My current project will be the first annual GES Talent Show!  This will be September 5th, and right now I’m in the process of auditioning groups, and working with students on putting some acts together.  I’m nervous about it… I’m just hoping everything will come together for the big day.  

I’m getting more involved with my church, CCC (http://www.cccthailand.org). I’m helping with the youth group, and have enjoyed getting the youth pastors, Paul and Joni.  Yesterday, we had our big youth kick of night, and I along with my friend Jonathan lead worship for the kids.  There were about 60 kids that showed up, and overall the night was a big success.  Most of the students are apart of the International school: ISB (International School of Bangkok) which is one of the top schools in all of Bangkok.  It just so happens to be located right in Nichada, the International community (the church is also located in Nichada).  So, it’s a very interesting mix of students that come to the youth events.  Some aren’t really even Christians, or interested in Christianity, they just like hanging out and having a good time. The families in this community are EXTREMELY wealthy and work for companies like Chevron, Nike, and some work at various Embassies here in Thailand.  And when they say “international” it really is international!  There are people from EVERYWHERE!  Anyway, I’ll be helping out with the Jr. High girls house group beginning next month, so that will be a great way to invest in some of their lives.  I will also be leading worship pretty often now for the main services at CCC.  I’m excited to get to do some teaching about what worship really is.. through action.  The church, as I have described, has an interesting mix of people, and every year there is a huge turn over rate with the dynamic of the church, so starting a fresh new year will be good.

Haaaa.  Another week ahead of us.  Like I said, time has been passing so quickly, and the weekends even quicker!  I’m enjoying my time here still, like I’ve said many of times, to many of you, I’m so blessed to be apart of what God is doing in Thailand now.  It’s a great place to live, seriously!  I’ve been a little homesick, but it’s quite funny to me, because I only get homesick during the weekends (usually) and it’s almost always when we are on our way out to Nichada for church.  I don’t know why… the place only reminds me of Southern California!  Maybe it’s just the west coast I miss, and not really anything in particular.. I don’t know!

Physically I’m doing great.  I’ve had few issues at all with my stomach, and I’m just feeling great!  I’ve been training to run a half-marathon, which I’m not sure I will actually be ready for, or able to run since it’s not here in Bangkok. Either way, I’ll be running a race at some point during my time in Thailand, I just don’t know when yet!  I joined a gym not too far from here in one of the bigger malls.  It’s nice to get away several evenings each week to work up a good sweat… My friend Heidi and I take a class called “Body Jam” and it’s the highlight of my week!  Learning dances.. and all they speak is Thai, so you kind of stand in the back and try to follow what they are doing.  It’s great.. good music, and the moves are so “sexeeey” -as they say!  (Everything that ends in an “i” or “y” is automatically pronounced “eeee”.. FYI).  

Spiritually, the LORD has been doing so much in my heart, it’s hard to even put it into words.  I know this experience will go with me whatever comes after my time here, and I feel so blessed to be experiencing everything I’ve been able to so far.  I’m still learning to trust him fully.  I’m still learning to follow in faith.

On a closing note, in about two months we have our long awaited “October Break” which marks the end of our first semester.  I’ve already purchased a plane ticket to Cambodia, and I will be traveling with several other teachers around Cambodia and Vietnam for about 8 days, then returning to Bangkok and heading down south (not too far) to a few beaches here in Thailand.  All of us are looking forward to the break.. even if it is two months away!  Should be exciting.. another group is headed to Nepal to hike some of the trails beneath Everest!  CRAZY!

Hope you all are doing well, please do email me when you get the chance!  I love hearing from you all.  And of course you can phone me anytime as well (local 541 number!).

Blessings and His Grace to you all,
Meridith Rae 

meridith.johnson@gmail.com
541.255.2159 

Here are a few pictures from our holiday last week (the Queen’s Birthday/Mother’s Day).  We went shopping downtown at MBK, then to a small, quaint French place for dinner; “Le Cafe Siam”.