Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Visa Run

Hi folks! 
I just wanted to let you know that we are heading down to Malaysia tonight. 
We need to renew our visa and the run to Penang is the best choice! We are excited to see a new country for a few days, eat some food and then be back in Thailand for 2 more months. 
Please pray for us as we travel south and then back. Its a 12 hour drive through the night, so we will be pretty tuckered out! We have to go through an extremely dangerous, hostile area.  We decided to travel with a group in order to be more safe, and I think that was a good choice! 
We will be back on Saturday, and will hit the ground running with the kids!
Thank you for your prayers. 

(A couple of weeks ago, at the beach watching the sunset. Look at Andrews amazing eyes!) 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

No Poo!

Since its been a while, I thought I would update y'all about our current hair situation! 

I wrote about going "No Poo" here and here.
As of now, Andrew and I are both 8.5 months free of shampoo! 
(Dont be grossed out, I promise that we are clean!) 

Heres my hair routine now: 
Every saturday I (Edolbina) wash my hair with 1 tablespoon of baking soda. I put it in the palm of my hand, dry. I add 1 drop of rosemary oil, then a few drops of water. It makes a paste and I rub this onto my scalp really well. I wait for a few minutes, then thoroughly wash the baking soda out. 

Thats it! 
Thats what I do, once a week. I will rinse my hair with just water, maybe 1 or 2 times a week. Other than that, my hair just does its thing. 
(I have to note, we shower at least 2 times a day, we just dont get our hair wet!)

I forgot to get Andrew to take a picture of my hair the day I washed it. So you get this. This was on Weds, 4 days after washing my hair.

What I love about No Poo:
-The cost! Its literally pennies to wash our hair! 
-The travel size! Its SO annoying to carry around shampoo and conditioner, not to mention, expensive! Now we have a small pill bottle that we fill with Baking Soda, thats it! This reason alone has made it worth it!
-Its hassle free! Once a week? Sounds good to me! 
-No extra chemicals and junk going onto (and into) my body!
-My hair is squeaky clean, even on friday (when its been 6 days since I have washed it) it hardly looks greasy. I only wash it on Saturday because I want it at its best for church on sunday! 

What I don't love about No Poo:
-I miss picking out shampoo. I love smelling them and choosing one! BUT this is a small thing, not something Id give in too, especially keeping the junk and chemicals in mind! 
-The lather. Sometimes I wish I could lather shampoo into my hair, if only for the feeling! This is something that I rarely think about now, as using BS is so normal now. 
-The adjustment period was gross. I looked a grease bucket. 4 weeks of greasy hair is not fun. (This has long since passed though)

Will we continue "No Poo"
Yes. 100% yes.
 I highly doubt I will ever go back to shampoo! 
Andrews hair never went though an adjustment period. His hair looks and feels awesome!  I think he would agree that he wont use shampoo again.

What about you guys, have you tried giving up shampoo?
Do you think we are crazy hippies? 

(If you do, I take it as a compliment!) 

After reading my MIL's comment, I thought I would add:
Our hair doesnt really smell like anything! Its just neutral! 
I sometimes miss the yummy smell of freshly washed hair. Even when we were using apple cider vinegar, once our hair was dry, there was absolutely no smell! You are welcome to smell our hair once we get home! 


Before I share some pictures, I just wanted to thank you all for your excitement and encouragement about moving to the Philippines! We are so beyond blessed! 

I realized that I haven't shared many pictures of the kids on the blog. This is for a number of reasons; To protect their privacy and their stories mostly. Sometimes I don't know what to say about them without having to tell you their background and (heartbreaking) history. But I do want you all to meet them. These kids are so special to us, we love living with them and being their "parents" for a season. While it certainly has its challenges, the kids are amazing. They blow me away with their joy, courage and love of life! 
I'd like you to meet some of them! 

I spend almost every day with Little Man, who has Fetal Alcohol. While all of the other kids go to school, I tutor Little Man, we cook, do laundry, work on writing, number and colours. I love this guy. He's hilarious, super sweet and so curious about everything. 

See this guy? Hes so cuddly and giggly. We'll call him B. 
B loves to get chased, play with robots and wrestle with the other boys. He is a noise with dirt on it. 

M is hilarious. She's the newest kid here and speaks the least amount of english. She is so funny as she learns, often referring to things as the wrong name, which always draws laughter. She is joyful and loves. She loves people, games, songs, food...everything! She forgives quickly and laughs often. 

Oh little S. 
S is full of life. She is a tough chick, always keeping up with the boys, but also has a sweet, sensitive spirit. She has deep sympathy for those around her, loves to play tricks and have a laugh. 

 So there are 4 of our littles. Aren't they amazing?! 
Now onto some fun pictures from the past month! 

I thought it was so interesting that Little Mans homework was to colour a picture of buddhists bowing down to their shrine. A refection of where we are living! Little Man was confused and didn't know what they were doing.

We went to some small waterfalls to swim. The kids lasted 5 minutes before getting out of the water, shaking! They are not used to being in cold water!

We spend most saturdays at the local beach. Its a great way to burn off energy and practise surfing! 

This guy has amazing balance and shows real skill at surfing! We might have a mini pro on our hands! 

Sweet P was practising fishing. What a beautiful place! 

On our day off, we went north to Khoa Lak, an area thats quite popular with german tourists! We enjoyed the beach but didn't like feeling like tourists again! 
This is an area that was completely devastated by the tsunami in 2004. Many resorts have been rebuilt over the past few years. Actually, if you have seen the movie "The Impossible" this is where that movie takes place. We watched the movie the other day and it really impacted us.  Its hard to see the place where so many died and lost family members. The memories are so real for those who live here. (More on that in another post though!) 

A beautiful sunset rainbow at the orphanage. 

Me with our girls. 
This was our angry face. Well, it was supposed to be. And yes, you will often find me with piles of children on my lap. Life is good. 

If you are Amanda or Sandi, stop reading now. 
We saw this giant spider while in Khoa Lak, the size of Andrews hand! Isn't that so gross! You have to look close at the picture. Yes its real. 

And thats life lately! Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

11 months of learning.

11 month; 11 things I don't want to forget. 

1. People in most countries have a fraction of what we have in Canada. Appreciate it.
2. First world problems arent problems. 

3. I cant make a difference. Its Christ in me, the hope of glory, who makes the difference. 

4. There is very little that I cannot live without. 
The perception that I cannot live without internet, a phone, makeup, fashionable clothes, hot water, a washing machine etc. has been completely shattered. 

5. Andrew is an incredibly strong, complex man. 
Love, respect and encourage him and he will blow. your. mind. 

6.Live in community when you can. It will keep you humble and teach you patience. 

7. When you don't share a common language, a smile and eye contact can go a long way. 

8. When the culture drives you crazy, pause and think back to Canada. It used to drive you crazy too. 

9. Toilet paper is optional. 

10. Just eat the food. The worst that could happen has already happened in India and you survived that!

11. You are overly blessed with an amazing, supportive family. Thank God everyday and never, ever take them for granted. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Some pretty exciting news!

So we have some pretty exciting news to share! 
I (Edolbina) have officially been accepted to go as a missionary with Newlife International School of Midwifery in the Philippines! 

(This is the exact moment I sent in my application! We were in Cambodia.)

I am so excited to have been chosen for this very challenging and selective program! Many of you know about my passion for birth and all things related. God has really brought it out in the past 4 years. While it was certainly an unexpected passion, we both feel very strongly about following this calling. God has been leading us in this direction for a while now, but has only revealed this part of His plan in the past few months. (probably because we would have said "No way! Thats too much!" if He has showed us earlier!)

Let me share an excerpt about the ministry:
 "We are missionaries on the mission field making a difference in the lives of tens of thousands of people. Most ministries in America are carefully insulated to avoid possible liability regarding multiple issues. Its not so on the mission field and many of the fruitful ministries that  are operating where the rubber meets the road. Likewise, we are fully exposed as we immerse ourselves into the chaos of rescuing teenage prostitutes, helping abandoned babies, working with pregnant drug addicts, protecting the dignity of a confused 13 year old pregnant girl who is scared to death of whats happening to her body. Newlife is not for the faint of heart. "

As a part of my schooling, I will be serving full-time in a free clinic. This clinic is run for the poorest of the poor in the surrounding area. I will be able to serve women who have no option for health care and who would, most likely, end up birthing their babies at home, without the help of a trained birth attendant. 
This is an incredible opportunity to serve! 
We are very excited that I get to do this. We have been praying about it for a quite some months now, and asked our closest friends (including our pastor) and family to pray with us about this. We really wanted to hear what God was saying, to us and those who know us best. We feel that God has confirmed so many things to us about this school. 

This means that in July of this year (2ish months after arriving back in Canada from our crazy grand adventure!), we will be packed and moving to the Philippines for the next 2-3 years!

Many of you are probably wondering "What about Andrew" and thats a GREAT question! He will be involved with many things while there. There is community development, as well as the chance to serve in maintenance at the birth clinic. There is coaching soccer, bible studies and church. Andrew will be involved as much as possible with these! Also, because I will be incredibly busy, he will be a huge support for me. 

While we are so excited for what God has in store for us in the Philippines, there is sadness involved as well. This means 2ish more years away from our family (including our precious nephews and nieces!) and that is hard. 

But we have committed our lives to the author and perfecter of our faith, our Saviour. This means that we will follow Him wherever He leads, trusting that He has all things worked out for us, because we love Him. 

If that means moving to a remote mountain town in the Philippines to catch babies, then so be it! 

We can not do this without your support. We are so grateful to have family and friends around us that pray for, support and love us. We thank God for you everyday. 
If you want too, you can check out the website at and see what its all about! 
This quote has been playing on my heart over the past weeks, as we were waiting to hear if we've been accepted or not. 

"Better to love God and die unknown than to love the world and be a hero; better to be content with poverty than to die a slave to wealth; better to have taken some risks and lost than to have done nothing and succeeded at it." 
-Erwin Lutzer
Please feel free to ask as many questions as you want. We will have a website up and running soon, which will have lots more info! Thank you! 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy V Day!

Happy Valentines Day! 

Enjoy some valentines cards that would go over really well in my mennonite family! 

We are celebrating by eating chocolate ice cream and watching a movie ("God grew tired of us") that will surely make us cry! 
Love your family something extra special today. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Farang in a Thai world!

On the way home from church, we saw a motorcycle accident, so we pulled over. Now this is a new concept to me. In India, the LAST thing you would do is pull over. To do so would be to say "This accident was my fault, I will pay". 
But pull over we did. I have my first aid and have had plenty of opportunities to use it, but Im by no means a pro. Well, in Thailand, it doesn't matter. Something is better than nothing! I am introduced as a nurse and quickly look the guy over. The front of the motorbike is completely destroyed. Its obvious that he hit the concrete median at a high speed. I quickly check his pulse and breathing and see that he is conscious. I ask them to translate for me as I ask questions. I am shocked to see that he is barely bleeding and has no obvious external injuries. While Im pretty sure a few ribs were broken, his lungs sounded good and he didn't seem to have a head injury. I was flabbergasted, by all accounts, his legs should have been broken, and probably his arm too! But nope, none obviously broken! As I was checking him, I hear the distinct "click" of a camera and, sure enough, upon looking up, I see others taking pictures of me. 
Can it be? A white, blond "nurse" comes around to make sure this man isn't dying, and yes, lets take a picture! 
I can only imagine where those pictures will turn up! 
While I can see the humour in this, especially now, my first thought was "Are you kidding me?! This man has just been in a serious accident and you are concerned with taking a picture of a farang?!" (Farang means foreigner) 
Mind you, I was wearing mascara so I did look exceptionally good! 

I heard the ambulance coming and, because I knew I couldn't do anything more for this man,  decided to leave before more people showed up. I didn't want them payed more attention to me than to the injured man. 
Life is funny. Andrew and I, because of our hair and skin, are noticed frequently here. Andrew especially, because of his height (and chiselled good looks!)
 Its not that we mind (although we certainly tire of it sometimes!) it just makes me sad. We are no more special than any of the people we encounter, but sometimes are treated as if we are!  
When I walk into the local market here, the shift in attention is almost audible. Its especially bad if I have one of the kids with me. 
I also wonder, when we are back in Canada, will it be strange not to be noticed? I certainly don't revel in it, but I am used to it by now. 
I guess all this to say, Im glad I was trained in first aid and I have frequently debated dying my hair black!
Don't worry mom's, I wont! Im not really into the vampire look!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Just another evening..

It was dark by the time we headed to the truck. The kids were all tucked into their beds and asleep. The sun had set and, with it, the temperature. Its usually around 28 for the night, chilly enough to be a relief from the heat of the day. 
We hop into the truck, thai music blaring, equipped with a flashlight each. In the back we had a net, a bucket, an empty rice bag and a small shovel. 
It only take a few minutes to get to the beach. Because its after sunset, the streets are quiet, with only the occasional car driving past. We pull up to the (completely deserted) beach and hop out. We kick our slippers ("flip-flops" if you aren't thai) under the truck and start toward the water. 
We are quiet because noise scares away our prey. 
Crab. We are here to catch crab.
J, the oldest at the orphanage, knows his place. He is the best at the water, watching for large crabs that dart for the sea. He sprints along the waves, net and flashlight in hand. Before I can even get my bearings, he has caught 2 crabs. 
While I'm not afraid of crabs, I do have a slight aversion to getting pinched by them, so I was quick to volunteer as the bag holder, I figured my odds of avoiding such pinches were best with that job. 
I quickly found that I was wrong. 
It didn't occur to me that if I am holding the bag, I am also holding the crabs. And crabs, like most animals, have an instinct to fight when attacked. And fight they did!
Every time one was caught and brought to me, I had to open the bag, fight off the ones inside and get the new one in, without letting the ones inside, out! 
I eventually got the hang of it.
We walked down the beach for about 45 mins. We dug holes, chased crabs and laughed a lot. Andrew is a master digger by now, while I tend to hang back until they are caught. Sometimes they come shooting out of those holes at lightning speed!
All together, we caught 30 crabs, not too bad for a quick trip. We shake off the sand from our feet and legs and clothes and hair and hop into the back of the truck. 
This is my favourite time. 
No one talks, as its late, we are tired and the wind rushes by and allows us to just be. Our hair whips in the wind, pulling off any leftover sand. We stop at a small store and grab a few drinks (ice green tea for me!) and continue on. 

Its those moments that I will always cherish. In the darkness, being at total peace with God and those around me. Happy in the simpleness of going to the beach and chasing crabs. At the beauty that surrounds us, in the land and people. This is our life. We are beyond blessed. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Currently (again!)

I always love when people do "currently" posts. 
I did one here and here.

Obsessing over: Frozen yogurt. We buy it and stick it in the freezer. Its so refreshing in the heat of the afternoon! 

Working on: 7 different blog posts. Im not good at finishing them! 

Thinking about: Our upcoming trip to Malaysia. We have to do a visa run and are excited to spend some time exploring! 

Anticipating: That we will be in Canada in less than 3 months. Thats crazy!

Listening to: Scrubs playing as I write this. It makes me laugh. 

Eating: Nothing right now, but I just drank some sweetened soy milk, delish! 

Wishing: That my teeth would stop hurting. I had a root canal in one and a crown put on on another and its still hurting, 5 days later! 

Dissing: Porn and its effect on the youth of today. Satan, using all the same old tricks. 

Laughing at: One of my littles, H. She is a little firecracker!