As I walked by a table where three five-year-olds were having a conversation as they did their school work, I overheard one say, “Heaven is where no worries.” I moved on so that they could continue uninterrupted and I thought how lovely. The child who spoke was a Korean missionary child. Her English was not perfect but she was able to communicate.
My mind has gone back to that simple thought several times since I heard it. I take a deep breath from time to time and think that thought. It is so easy to get on a worry track.
With two months of relatively dry weather and cooler temperatures, normalcy has returned to Chiang Mai. After three damaging floods before October 2005, there is now a lot of activity that will hopefully prevent severe flood damage next year. The river is being dredged and truckloads of sand are being carried away. Cement walls and steps are being constructed in low areas. Many places that were in the path of the water have a neater, cleaner look than ever before. One of those places is First Thai Church. Members and friends have rallied to clean out the mud and debris that had filled the low area. A new building project is now underway. This will raise and strengthen the lowest area, mainly used for funeral services and church meals.
The school year is now half over. A new student from England brings my total to eighteen. It will take time for her to feel part of the group even though the others are being helpful. She had been home-schooled and a full day away from her Mom is still hard for her.
International Day will be our next school celebration. This takes place February 24th. Students will dress in their country’s representative outfits and parents will help set up areas representing their home countries with books, flags, posters, information and food. Students will have time to visit all these places and sample the foods. The afternoon will be an assembly that will include dances and songs from these ten countries. It is wonderful to see these children be proud of their home countries and enjoy each other’s homes.
Easter is during an April break that we have each year. It is the hottest time and everybody needs a break badly by then. Some folks retreat to the mountains where there are breezes and lower temperatures and others head to the beach. I will be visiting former mission friends in New Zealand and exploring Christchurch. It will be cool since it is fall there at that time. When I return the Songkron Festival will be going on. This is the time when, for three days or more, water is thrown on you wherever you go. It is not unusual to see the people in pick-up trucks, filled with water-filled oil drums, drive by splashing everyone in sight.
The school is now beginning to plan for the next teaching year. Usually teachers come for a two-year stay. The administration is working on replacements now and or changes that are necessary. Since teachers are hired from overseas this is no easy task and must be thought about far in advance. If any of you reading this are interested in a teaching position overseas in a wonderful K- 12 school, you can check out the school website at
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Thank you for your Christmas letters and cards. It was great to hear from so many of you and get caught up a bit. I hope this finds each of you well and enjoying life.
My best to you,
Michal Dobson is a missionary with the Church of Christ in Thailand, assigned to the Chiang Mai International School. She serves as an elementary teacher and also assists in the development of curriculum.