This February, we were required to attend a training for Christar in Thailand. In spite of Christar often having conferences and meetings in Thailand, and Bobby having been with Christar for about 9 years (I think), we had never been to Thailand! We'd heard plenty a story from our co-workers about their adventures in Thailand, so to be honest, we went into this with much reservation! Every person we talked to that had been to Thailand ended up getting sick while they were there, so having to deal with that while taking care of a 9 month old was not too exciting! (Plus having to try to make sure he didn't get sick either!) Neither of us really enjoys travel, and even though you'd probably never guess it from the career we've chosen, we are not very adventurous!!
We survived the trip ok...let's just say I hope I don't ever have to fly with a 9 month old ever again!! It was very different from his 5 month trip where he slept so much and was a lot les mobile! He did ok, but it was a long trip for both of us. We chose to do an overnight flight that was about 5 hours I think (plus two one hour flights on each end) hoping that with it being night time, Joshua would sleep better. We didn't get a whole lot of sleep, but like I said, we survived! (But arrived pretty exhausted!) J really enjoyed interacting with people in the airports, and as usual, he attracted a lot of attention!
On the way home, in front of us there was a little 2 or 3 year old boy traveling with his mom and he got sick at least 3 times (including a few times all over his poor mom!) and in spite of his screaming each time he got sick, J slept right through it. I felt SO bad for that poor Mom and was praying for her the whole time!! It was a good reminder to me that things could always be worse!!
We arrived two days before the training started so it was nice to have that adjustment time. At first we were a bit surprised by the place we were staying (it was less luxurious than we had pictured...or what the website pictured I should say!) I feel guilty saying that though because it really was a beautiful place to stay. By the end of our stay it had really grown on us.
Anyway, in the first two days, we managed to get in on a chance to ride an elephant!! We had a good time, and it's now something I can cross off my bucket list, but we probably won't ever do it again. I won't go into details as to why though. Joshua seemed to really enjoy the rough rocking motion and slept in the carrier most of the ride!
We had a really great time getting to interact with so many other families in the same stage of life as us and share our struggles and joys together! We got to reconnect with some of the people we did our (my) initial training with back in the States before and after I joined Christar so it was especially fun catching up with them. The training itself was pretty good...it was refreshing to hear English teaching from the Word and worship in English (although I missed out on a lot of that because of J's schedule).
There was childcare provided and there was a great couple looking after the little ones! That was a real blessing to me and J seemed to really enjoy it at first. Toward the end of the week though, he was pretty ready to spend more time with Mommy and Daddy! (And I'm pretty sure the couple looking after the babies were more than ready for their break too!!) There was a boy about 6 weeks older than J, a girl about a month younger than J and a 1 year old boy so J got plenty of playtime! He was the only one who couldn't crawl though so sometimes he got a little overwhelmed when they all decided to come over and play where he was playing (and climb on top of him!) it was really fun for me to see him play with other babies his age because we don't get a lot of opportunities to do that here.
After the training, we had a week of family vacation, staying at the same place we were at for the training. (again, neither of us wanted to venture out to a new place, especially since J had adjusted so well to where we were!) it was really refreshing to have that down time and process things we had taken in the previous week, and just enjoy hanging out together! We didn't really venture far from the resort and didn't do much sightseeing but we did spend a day at the zoo/aquarium because it was SO amazing! We had gone with everyone as an "outing" in the middle of the week to break up the training, but it was so big that we just had to go back!
Some would probably call us crazy for the lack of exploring we did, but for both of us, our idea of vacation is staying put, with no agenda! I'm so thankful we are the same that way because we were both able to get the refreshment we needed and we were both happy!
I think that's pretty much it, so now I'll just let pictures do the talking...
Where we stayed
We were so thankful J slept so well while we were there!
Petting a giraffe was also crossed off my bucket list!!
Daddy even got to go to Pizza Hut!!
Bobby doing some serious negotiating with the taxi driver on the way home from the zoo ;) This guy gave us the option to pay him extra and sit in the air conditioned cab with him instead of the open back seat!
J LOVED the staff at the hotel restaurant...and they loved him! On one of our first nights there, the waiter held J and walked around the pool/ restaurant with him so we could have a quiet dinner together!! That meant so much to me and I was so thankful! We got spoiled with quite a bit of babysitting time while we were there and even got to go "out" on a date one night while our supervisor sat in the room with J while he slept! We just went to the restaurant at the hotel and had milkshakes, but we also played a fun conversation game that got both of us talking a lot (not usual for us!) and it was really fun!
So this laying by the pool dream I had before we got there was just a little different than I pictured...somehow I forgot to factor in that we'd have a 9 month old baby to entertain while we were there! ;) but, it was still a relaxing treat for just a few minutes here and there!
And to close, here's some glimpses to the beauty we were surrounded by...
We won't be rushing back to Thailand anytime soon, but in spite of our fears going into this trip, we ended up having a really good time and none of the three of us got sick!! I'm really thankful we were able to do this. It was a much needed rest for our family and we made a lot of special memories!