It's time that I start this blogging thing, yes? Bets on for how many posts I actually muster. I'll aim for fortnightly.. or at least bi-annually.
It may work out to be somewhere between the two. Here goes.
So it's currently 11.30pm and 25 degrees here in Chiang Rai, Northern Thailand; I think I am acclimatising already- I was looking for my jacket to put on this evening in this chilly weather. I'm super Thai and it's only been a week or so.
It's definitely not where I thought I would be 6 weeks ago… I was applying for jobs at the Wyndham Council and planning a camping trip for when I got back from winter youth camp .
Ha. Well, i do have a backpack, have felt quite disorientated twice and I haven't slept much so that's pretty much inline with any hiking trip.
For those of you that I haven't yet informed, I'm in Thailand for a while! Sorry about that, it was kind of last minute ;) - I am helping an organisation called Destiny Rescue that aims to restore girls that have been in child slavery. My job is to manage a cafe for the girls to work in (and also to start a bit of a dance studio thing).
This is one of the more public endeavours that DR have attempted and i'm just putting it out there, it will be UNREAL. Just not quite in Bess-Impatient-Should-Already-Exist-Energiser timing. Hehehe. Oh.
I had a mild panic a day or two back- when I saw the stage at which this cafe is at.. (Not quite a tear, but a big, deep breathe and long route back home on bike required!)
A bit of think-space time offered me the remembrance that it's obvious that this is something I am supposed to be doing. Too many signs and way too good a-timing; I'd have to be slightly dumber than I am not to realise.
Be it the amazing gift of plane tickets, or seeing the word 'GO' everywhere I looked OR when somebody says "Is this the wisest thing you should be doing at this point in your life?" (to which my rebellious streak says 'confirmation'), I feel as though this is an amazing opportunity that will increase my faith, trust and experiences beyond what I can currently know.
I'm living the very cool Cam & Ash Hodges- the most hospitable couple to grace this planet, like ever.. This living arrangement is indefinite, but enjoyable while it will last.
Sal & Josh Brown couldn't quite bear to say bye-bye to Bessie so soon and so have followed me over here…. or are visiting their other buddies. BUT seriously, to see me. Meals and towels (Awkward. It is the same colour..) are shared and it seems that there is always a guest coming and staying a few nights.
I've also been able to catch up with a friend in Chiang Mai whom I met on my previous travels and also a Tiny Toones Cambodia connection up here in CR. It's pretty beautiful, this people-packed existence.
There's an excellent community of people over here working for DR- old, young, cool, not cool, singles, families, funny people, not as funny people, but all people that are passionate about this work and faithful to a Heavenly Father. It's pretty excellent. One dude, whom I met on Tuesday knew of my coming a few weeks earlier, was pretty angry when he saw me "Oh, I thought you would be really fat, cos your name is Bessie and it's a fat persons name" A backhanded compliment I guess, but I like the kid who said it. Alex, I'll happily blame my parents- for both the name or the dietary intake.
Today was a day that I needed- I basically will have to create my own job and make it happen. This is the only way this thing is going to work!
I will have about 12 Rescued girls who will be my staff and are currently getting 'cafe' specific English lessons. 4 girls are our main cooks- the other girls are to be wait staff & baristas. Due to language barriers and the big differences in cultural expectations surrounding food service, the training will be slow and simple.
After sourcing products and making MANY language blunders all day, I got to cook with these girls and to be honest, it flipping rocked. They are totally fun and funny, I can't give names for protection reasons, but I pretty much love them all a bundle already. They are between the ages of 16-18. They bag me cos I'm white, I bag them cos they like Justin Bieber. Lucky for me- I have delegated MYSELF in charge of music. But seriously, i feel like this will be a very blessed thing, working day in, day out with these girls.
I am planning to get This language lessons, I'd hate to only have basic niceties exchanged between us all, I hope I can learn quickly to build these relationships well.
In many different ways, I'm realising the power of knowing the truth about an Almighty, life-giving God in a deeper way as the security of being at home is no longer available to me. Not that it's set in to any huge degree just yet- why would it? I get to hug cute babies, run around in singlets, dance, ride a motorbike (no, i didn't maybe kind of stack already) and live as creatively and energetically as I want to..
Thus far, I wanted to say how much love I'm carrying in my heart (I'm not doing an emotional thing here, don't worry, keep reading).. from everyone who I know back home and around the world. So many words, prayers, smiles, verses, high fives and encouragements. I have varying sources of wisdom by my side: Yen magazine, google map (Thai street names SUCK) the Great Gatesby and the Bible.. I have a box full of incredible powerful letters that only a truly phenomenal community could give to me and I have a deep knowledge in my heart that I have been set apart and only by His grace am I able to do many many things.
Anyway, I'm tired from ALL THE ACTIVITIES of the day.
I presently have no light in my room and whilst I have impeccable eyesight (carrots REPRESENT), I really need to buy a lightbulb tomorrow, because I wish to see without strain. Hard life I know. Tomorrow also brings with it a cooking class, cafe equipment sourcing and a waterfall. On that satisfying note, good night.
Ps. We found a cobra about 50m down the road rearing it's head at drivers by a few days back. Only mildly anxious. Much love. x