Tonight I went to a Christmas party held by a woman I know from church. It was really great! I met a lot of new people (some of whom I’ve seen before at McDonald’s and the Pizza Company) and got to chat with some of the American ladies from church that I know but don’t talk with very often. We sang Christmas carols, played some fun games, and did a cookie swap. For the cookie swap, everyone was supposed to bring 6 bags of 6 cookies. After exchanging cookies at the party, you come home with 6 different kinds of cookies.
I wasn’t going to participate in the cookie swap because I don’t have a kitchen and can’t bake cookies. Terri, one of the women from church, correctly guessed that I wouldn’t be able to bring any cookies. She brought some for me! So in the end, I came home with a bunch of really yummy Christmas cookies. I have more cookies here than I want to eat, so I’m going to share them with Daniel.
Some highlights of the evening included chatting with a Korean woman who has been living here for 3 years, meeting a woman who has been in Thailand since 1966 (very interesting stories!), and eating a Mexican bean dip. The best thing was spending time with some really wonderful people.
At the end of the night, the host of the party invited me to spend Christmas day with her and her family (she has a husband and 3 little kids). I continue to be amazed at the kindness and hospitality I’ve received at church. Everyone has been so welcoming and has worked hard to make my life here comfortable and good. I’ve been invited to parties and gatherings for every American holiday that has passed since I’ve come to Thailand. I feel blessed to have found such a great community here.
I feel very well taken care of here. It’s actually kind of humbling. I’m in a position where I can’t do much for other people, and so many people here (colleagues, students, people from church, occasional strangers on the street) seem to be taking care of me. Thailand is an amazing place. It’s hard to imagine that people anywhere else in the world would be so kind.