Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Trip to the States and Back Again

My last post was April 24, over a month since I last posted. I seem to get writer’s block (maybe writer’s lack of motivation) when I come back after a trip home. I assumed the longer I am here the easier to go back and forth, but the opposite is the case. I keep telling myself, 9 months, like being pregnant! I can do this. I had a great trip to the states to see Kristine graduate and celebrate lots of other milestones – Steve’s and Krystle’s birthdays, and Mother’s Day for me and my mom. The best part was just being there – with my kids and my mom. I have been very fortunate in returning home 3 times and having my kids visit (Tiney and Steve are here in 5 weeks!), but there are long dry spells that seem to last forever. I think I am ready to blog again…but with this introduction, not so sure!! Kristine completed her Masters in Clinical Nurse Leader (summa cum laude!), a tough 4 year program. She AND Steve are happy to put that chapter behind them and enjoy a less hectic schedule.
I got to meet Krystle, Thom’s girlfriend, in person for the first time. A welcome addition as she fit right in. A full house in Tiney and Steve’s small place – Kayley and Zach, Thom and Krystle, me and mom, and the two dogs. Lots of fun with some time to enjoy St. John’s, a charming little town in Portland. AND cousins Laine and Steve drove all the way from Prineville to spend the afternoon with us. So good to see them both.
Left Portland to go to Oakland for a couple of days with Thom and KayKay. Got to see Kayley’s new office and meet her boss. She works a few blocks from the Embarcadero in the city, cool spot, great job with Lymphoma and Leukemia Society. Had a lovely dinner in Sausalito with friends, the Onceas, and celebrated Susan’s birthday. Also, had such a great day just hanging out with Thom in SF and Golden Gate Park.
The trip was only 6 full days on the ground, PC was NOT flexible in time off, which I am not happy about. As others have reminded me, it is the federal government. No time to hit OC, a very big miss. Nice to have all the amenities we take for granted in the states – electricity (in Thailand not grounded and things like computers run very hot and it goes off in frequent storms), hot water (none in rural areas), running water (been off for 2 days…again), a comfy bed, understanding every single person I talk to! Thailand is definitely a developing country with poverty and lack of infrastructure and quality schools interfering with progress. I think (and many would agree) that Buddhism is one of the reasons Thais are so friendly. The other side of that coin, however, is a bit of mai bpen rai (never mind), kind of a fatalism and acceptance without questioning. One of the things said in training was not to ask Why? Just not high on the list of what is important. Actually, that list is hypothetical, probably not one.

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