Debbie was one of my close friends in college, and then after college we got even closer when five couples started a supper club–and those people became our main support group. Now the couples are a little bit scattered around southern and central California–but one couple, Debbie and Les, traveled way to Thailand. Debbie and her husband Les are raising their kiddos in a very different culture. It was wonderful to visit with them a few weeks ago and see how it works for them abroad. I interviewed her so you can get an inside peek into their family life as well!
A. Misha: our ten year old super reader. Sydney: our seven year old budding artist. Lillie Belle: our four year old affectionate firecracker. Eva: two and a half, so hide the nail polish, permanent markers and breakables!
A. 1) Taking a shower. During hot season I take three or four a day!
2) Mango & sticky rice. If you’ve ever tasted it, you’ll understand.
3) All my worlds touch here. I was born in New Zealand, raised in Colombia, and spent my adult life in both California and Russia. In Thailand I am surrounded by memories of my tropical upbringing in Colombia with the plant-life, fruits and weather, am working with Americans, send my kids to a bilingual school run and taught by New Zealanders and enjoy visits from our old Russian friends frequently, as Thailand is the number one tourist destination for Russia.
A. Having a chance to experience life as an outsider is a gift. I believe it will give them a heart of compassion and understanding for those they encounter in the future that may not fit in. I hope that sacrificing ease and comfort for the sake of bringing justice and dignity to the marginalized and impoverished will grow a selfless worldview in them.
A. I feel guilty when I realize I am more worried about people thinking I am a perfect mom with kids who behave exactly how I want them to, than I am actually concerned with loving my kids well and raising them in this messy world to hope in Jesus.
A. Yes! And everything new I have tried has been delicious. (I have to confess, I haven’t tried fried bugs, but I do firmly believe that if and when I do, I will think they were pretty good, considering they were…fried bugs.) My favorite new dish that I have grown to love here is Som Tam. A salad made primarily from shredded unripe payaya, with tomatoes, lime juice, garlic, chilli peppers, fish sauce, and nuts – it is a perfect combination of spicy, sour, sweet, and salty.
A. A one-hour, ten-dollar Thai massage does the trick every time.
A. Learning another language. The actual language is fascinating and unlike any I’ve ever studied, but with a full life as mom of four I feel like I never have enough time or energy to devote to it. Not being understood never feels good.
A. I throw on a helmet, hop on the back of his motorcycle and we head off to try out a new restaurant, walk the night market, or sit in a quiet café to talk over coffee.
A. I will be traveling to visit my thirtieth country this month: China. With our parents in California (and mine retiring to New Zealand next year), a sister in Colombia and a brother in London, I am grooming one of my children to grow up and become a commercial airline pilot, because all this travel is killing our budget!
Is there an adventure or experience you desire for yourself or your family? Please share!