Welcome to PlaaPlaaPlaa!

So you may be wondering why PlaaPlaaPlaa? What are those strange fish symbols above? What is ปลา and what does it mean? In short, this is a blog site, so surely there's going to be plenty of rambling. Unfortunately BlahBlahBlah was already taken, so I had to settle for the 'Plaa'. But there's actually more to it then just ramblings. The first fish symbol is actually a Christian symbol meaning ICTHUS - a greek acronymn which means "Jesus Christ is God's Son, the Saviour". The other strange letters you see in the last fish is actually the thai word for fish which funnily enough is pronounced "Plaa". So when you put it all together, this site is going to be my ramblings in telling people about how Jesus Christ is God's Son, the Saviour in Thailand (with plenty of good stories about food in between). Happy reading.

Monday, July 30, 2012


One of the common questions I get asked is 'what are some of the struggles of being over here as a single person?'. I'd be lying if i said there were none, but I also thank God that for the most, many of the struggles have been fairly minor in the big scheme of things. But no matter how big or little the struggle has been, God's providence in providing the help and support I've needed has been amazing.

So what have some of the struggles been?
Old & New Relationships
One of the hardest struggles I've had has been wisdom in managing friendships/relationships. It's actually a struggle that could just as easily happen back home, but I do think that operating in a second language does sometimes exacerbate the problem as there are times when things said are 'lost in translation'. I've found it challenging trying to balance my time with new friends without making old friends feel neglected. I'd really appreciate your prayers for wisdom in how to manage this in a godly way.

Giving Advice
I'm so thankful for local friends here who feel that they can open up to me. However sometimes it is a struggle to know when it is the right time to just sit and listen, to give advice or if I should step in and actually 'do' something. I know that I am still trying to get my head around so much of the culture here, so I often feel like I'm out of my depth to give any advice, but sometimes it is also hard to sit back and simply be a listening ear. Please pray for wisdom in knowing how to best help friends.

Creepy Crawlies
As stupid as this is, one of the biggest struggles I've had is having to deal with creepy crawlies in my house. I know that if I'm going to choose to be on my own I also have to get over my fear of bugs, flying beetles, cockroaches, spiders, rats and whatever other random 'nasty' happens to appear. So far the can of Baygon has got to be the best investment that I've made so far, but for some things, it's just not enough. But I do also thank God for the provision of friends with kids who love beetles, bugs and other randoms, so they've been able to come over and rescue me :)

Facing my fears.....

Thankfully things like climate, food, language have not been an issue...so far. I think it has definitely helped me to have lived here for a couple years already. Please pray that God continues to provide wisdom and support as I face whatever other struggles that might come my way.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Getting the Creative Juices flowing

One of the things I love about being here is the opportunity to try out lots of random things that I never thought i'd ever do, or even thought that I could do for that matter. It's amazing what you can actually do when you put your mind to it, have a bit of time, and are able to buy parts cheaply so mistakes aren't too costly. I was actually kinda impressed with our efforts last month in making our purple monster puppet, who has now been given the name Peepo, by watching a few 'how to' videos on youtube. At the time, we had also come up with a rough design for a puppet theatre too, but for a whole host of reasons we never got round to making it. But after Peepo made his debut in church a couple weeks back, we realised just how much more effective Peepo could be if he had a 'proper' puppet theatre so he could actually interact with the kids. So this past week, we finally set aside a few hours to try and make our concept a reality. After an amusing start where we realised that our 1.5m wide puppet theatre could in fact fit about 4 puppets, we made a few adjustments to the design and here's the end result. Peepo's theatre. Hopefully making it's appearance this Sunday.

The demountable frame made of water pipes and connectors

A bit of dodgy sewing, but it does the job

And voia, Peepo's new theatre

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hanging with Friends

It just occurred to me the other day that I haven't actually posted anything on this blog since the beginning of the month. As I stopped to think about why that is, I realised how non-stop this past month has been with various visitors and relationship building with Thai friends.

Dinner with the SMBC team at Goong-Ga-Ta

It was really exciting to be able to spend some time with the SMBC team while they were here on mission. I got to catch up with the team and share a bit about life here over a dinner and a lunch. On the teams last night I also ended up assisting some of the boys in living out their childhood fascination of lighting fireworks. It was exciting to be able to have the girls from the team come and spend a few days with me after their mission finished. Despite one of them somehow managing to get the childhood disease of hand, foot and mouth disease while she was here (so needing to rest up big time), i had heaps of fun hanging out with them, being able to give them a glimpse into my life here, introducing them to a few of my Thai friends, taking them along to my bible study group and even being able to join them in a Thai cooking class at my friend's cooking school, as well as a bit of time to chill out. Having the girls here brought back great memories of being back at college, great fellowship, silliness, food, encouragement, but sadly, no practical jokes :)

Thai cooking with the girls

the girls showing off their thai cooking skills

Suitably amused that the display at Chiang Mai airport was promoting koalas in Chiang Mai

Lots of my other time has also been spent building relationships and hanging out with lots of Thai friends. It's been great hanging out with lots of old friends, but i've also really been loving getting to know and some of the neighbours heaps more as well as well as spending time with some new Thai friends like P'Fon and her family. It's been a real blessing being able to spend time with them, be really encouraged by their wisdom and desire to serve God. It's also been heaps of fun just being able to hang out with them.

Hanging with P'Fon

For those who pray:
- Praise God for the opportunity to spend time with the SMBC this month
- Praise God for all new and old relationships with Thai friends
- Pray for wisdom in continued relationship building, that it will be godly and help others to know God more

Monday, July 2, 2012

What's an 'average week'?

It's really hard to describe an average week, or even an average day here for that matter. While there are a few constants, like 3 language lessons a week, cell group fri night, worship team on saturday night, and church all day sunday, every week seems to throw in some new random challenge - of late we've had 'the accident' with the motorbike, Jas breaking her leg, as well as other Thai friends who have needed some help with various stuff. Other weeks i need to visit the lawyer or immigration to sort out work permits and visas etc etc etc. On what feels like the odd occasion when there are no pressing 'emergencies', I tend to easily find things to keep me occupied. Usually this means hanging out with friends, doing some bible study prep, helping church with things like buying a new guitar for church, spending time with visitors, trying out new random recipes for 'lucky' friends, chatting with the neighbours, playing Words With Friends, and occasionally I also get to chill out with my guitar. It's amazing how quickly time just passes by. So in short, I don't think there really is an 'average week'. But that's also how I love it. It's nice having a bit of randomness thrown in each week to keep me on my toes and stop me from getting bored.

Here are a few random pics of the past couple weeks:

Enjoying the clearest views of Chiang Mai that i've ever seen from my friends place

Partying with the Church Worship Team

Language lessons with Khruu Jai

Enjoying the rare sight of a double rainbow

Attempting to make my first Thai dessert - Kanom Chun