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.