…after the storm…

 

…after the storm…

              -body worn and battle torn- completely exhausted with the imbalance of invasion /

trying to stabilize in a world not accustomed to upheaval.  

                                                                            broken and battered down,

about to topple over / i close my eyes and imagine what life was 

                                                                                                                                 …before the storm…

-Tessa Christensen-

©BeautyIsInTheJourney2014

Wrecker of All Things Stable.

My oh my, what a start to 2014.

I have been home in the United States for a week and a half after deciding to leave Thailand amidst a month long struggle with an awful stomach bug.  Unfortunately, I was unable to get a handle on it, even though I made several trips to the hospital, and, after progressing to the point where I was unable to eat, I hightailed it out of the land of smiles back to my Rocky Mountains to recuperate.

This stomach bug turns out to be an ameba that has been hitchhiking it’s way around my digestive system causing quite a bit of upheaval and chaos.

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Wrecker of all things stable.

I am on the mend, trying to adjust again to a gluten-heavy diet and colder temperatures.  My main focus is putting the weight I lost back on and trying to maintain healthy hydration levels.  Even though this is not the way I imagined I would leave Thailand, I have loved this entire experience from beginning to end.

Here is a recap of the first two weeks of January before I headed back to Colorado:

Sports Day:  Finals were coming up fast and there was a lot of stress in the air, so the Director arranged a fun-filled day with activities that pitted blue, yellow, green, and pink teams against each other.

Finals: For the past four months, I taught English Lab, which gave me the flexibility to have some fun with their finals 🙂  My students had to write a play in English then act it out with costumes and props!

King Rama IV palace:  The city of Phetchaburi stretches across flat land, except for one very prominent hill, where King Rama IV built one of many palaces.  Ajan Surasit took me on a field trip to learn about some local history (with a very impressive view).

It was just a few days after my visit to the palace that I boarded a plane to start the long journey home.  I left feeling defeated and weak, but so thankful for having been given the chance to teach some amazing students, visit beautiful beaches, and meet some like-minded people wanting to make a difference.

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The last sunset.

I am not yet done with  you, Thailand; I will return to further explore what you have to offer….just minus the amebas!

©BeautyIsInTheJourney2014

Rearview Mirror.

My favorite moments of 2013:

I started off 2013 tinkering with the idea of opening an Etsy shop. Ended up having a ton of fun taking pictures and making cards.  (Still tinkering with the idea of my own Etsy shop).

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In February, a Pinnacles reunion took place in Las Vegas filled with reminiscing and bullsh*t.  Friends, we need to schedule another one of these…I am low on my debauchery quota.

Below, you will find a calm collection of photos; the only 10 that didn’t have any inappropriate content.

(Michael D., you were the hardest to get into this photo album!)

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WINTER!!!!

After being away from Colorado for 6 years, I finally got to experience a winter season again!!

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Scored a new job in April with a non-profit that partnered with the US Forest Service.  Moved to the Vail Valley and played in the Rocky Mountains for the summer!

Marked the 1 year anniversary of The Car Crash and subsequent eye surgery to reattach my retina.

Look close and you will see my permanently blown pupil.  It’s all in perspective.

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In July, I worked and partied hard at the Red Ants Pants Music Festival in Montana, which saw over 10,000 people dancing to the likes of Merle Haggard, Robert Earl Keen, The Wailin’ Jennys, and Todd Snider.

Moved to Thailand to be an English Teacher in October!

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2013 was a clusterf*ck of exploration…

 a mish-mash of wild / misadventures, many twists and turns…

2014 holds a lot of promise…

©BeautyIsInTheJourney2014

Holiday Craze

I heard the jubilant pops and bangs from exploding fireworks outside my window and knew that the residents of Phetchaburi were celebrating 12:00am, January 1, 2014.

Unfortunately, my New Year’s plans were waylaid by a horrible bout of food poisoning coupled with dysentery (yes…dysentery).  So, I curled up at home instead of in Hua Hin and Bangkok, trying to recover my ability to eat food and take in electrolytes.

However, I did get one great day on the beach with Molly before she convinced me to seek help at the local hospital.

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Thanks, Molly, for spending a part of your break with me and having my back!

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The rest of my holiday craziness was engulfed with parties and Christmas dinner 🙂

The “Princess Party” took place on December 20th and required me to, once again, dress in an elaborate get-up.  This outfit was more on the lines of modern day, formal attire–this type of dress is what you would see the Queen wear today.  I participated in a traditional Thai dance with 4 other teachers, and watched as every single student “won” a prize in a raffle.  It was an immensely entertaining night.

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Then Christmas Day rolled around, and I found that I was quite homesick.  I had been able to Skype with my Mom, brother, and sister-in-law, and had a quick chat with my Dad, but my heart ached.  Oiy, this was a tough day.

However, my Thai support system didn’t disappoint!  Kati and Chulay drove me to the one and only Christian gathering in the whole of Phetchaburi City.  I had a hard time trying to explain that I am not a practicing Christian, but all they could do was ask, “Church?”  Sure, why not!  We enjoyed a very different Christmas dinner filled with curry, boiled eggs, and a lot of rice.  And I got to meet a few new farang trying to enjoy some holiday spirit.  I was then ushered into church where we sang “Silent Night” and “Joy to the World” in Thai!!  It was something that I was really happy to be a part of.

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All in all, the 2013 holiday season was filled with love and lonliness, wracked with some illness, and utterly unforgettable.

 

©BeautyIsInTheJourney2013