We're in Bangkok.
Despite the #ThaiCoup we decided to carry on with our flight plans and spend a couple days in Phuket before heading to the heart of the disturbance and anti-coup protests of Bangkok.
We spent well over 5 hours out and about today and saw less than 12 solders. Seriously if I didn't believe the reporters on the ground here I would have said there's no coup at all. Life runs as it normally would.
And so it does for us too.
We thought Becky was scheduled to have her LASIK surgery this past Friday (day after we arrived in Bangkok) but after the Surgeon ran her through the tests he strongly cautioned us suggesting it could cause complications for Becky's eyesight. This is the second Doctor in Bangkok we've been to, the first was great but extremely expensive (almost at the US level of $4,500 for both eyes). The first doctor said there were no problems with Becky's eye that would cause any alarm or areas of concern. The second (cheaper, only $2,300) Doctor with a great reputation said otherwise. So on Saturday we found a third LASIK center and visited that surgeon who affirmed the first doctor's perspective that indeed Becky's eyes are okay and able to be operated on.
But through all of this back and forth we prayed and researched and in the end decided not to pursue LASIK. This is an emotional loss for Becky as she has worn glasses since the 5th grade and has dreamt since then of surgery to improve her eyesight. When it came down to it the long term risks were just too high for her to be excited about it anymore. Now we wait until heaven for her eyesight to be restored. (This decision deserves it's own post, when Becky gets time!)
We thought we had quality internet access in Thailand and Bangkok at the place we are staying at but it turns out the internet access is not available from our current apartment (same apartment complex as last visit to Bangkok but a different apartment) and so we've spent the first 4 days trying to solve that problem. Today we were able to score a mifi device (rental) which has almost solved the problem. At least we can watch videos online now. Uploading the Gigs of pics and videos we've taken over the past couple weeks? Yeah that'll take a long time at this rate!
We eat street food here. We've found it to be an easy way to get the kids into trying new things. For the most part it has worked. And frankly we've been really blessed to not have any sickness from food poisoning etc from anything we've eaten. I was just reflecting on this today; that while we are struggling to get enough veggies we're finding that meat, rice, fried bread, fruit, and various drinks/smoothies we buy from street vendors are keeping life fun and us healthy. We long for some better vegetable choices. If we were to cook at home that'd be easy but from the street vendors veggies are rare.
We've had minor health concerns, like Thys falling and cutting his chin which needed 5 stitches in Ubud Bali, or myself getting an instant stabbing migraine due to cabin pressure on one of our flights, or some minor diarrhea, or Alia getting Pink Eye. But all in all we're really healthy despite these things.
Work and Finances Update
I've lost two clients in the past month, one due to budget cuts due to lower than projected enrollment, another due to a shift in staffing and not seeing the value we add despite enrollment numbers hitting a record high. Neither of these were because I'm outside the US. But both stung in their own right. And now the screws are tight. If you know of any businesses who need online marketing help it'd be awesome to connect them to Connex. This next week is dedicated to bringing in new clients and increasing revenue from other sources/projects. Please be in prayer that work will arrive.
We don't have our next tickets purchased yet, by design. We wanted to wait until Becky was 100% healed from LASIK surgery before committing to another long haul flight. However since Becky is not having LASIK afterall we're now able to go whenever. Yet we didn't have Internet access well enough to do the research we need to book tickets. So it's been a crazy couple of days of "Are we going to do LASIK?" to "Can we leave, the Internet is slow here" to "I'm glad we're back in Thailand and Bangkok" to "Ug, when are we buying tickets?" -- next stop is South Africa where we hope to setup shop for a while, rent a place for 2 or 3 months, travel around a bit, connect with old friends, make new friends and hopefully pick up a couple of clients.
We're homeless. It's hard to explain to the random english speaking taxi driver, but we're on a mission to find out if we can find a place to live that is cheaper than life in the US/Michigan, where the climate is right for our family (anyone from Michigan knows how hard this past winter was!) and where Internet is fast.
We've discovered that even though the climate in SouthEast Asia is sweat-the-instant-you-step-out-of-air-conditioning, Bali has a charm than has impacted our crew and Thailand is easy to live in. If only we could make it cooler in both places. :)
So we're visiting South Africa in their Winter. To see if we can dig it in the coldest time of the year, but also because that's the best time of year to see wildlife (since it's dry and they congregate at watering holes).