Sorry that it's been awhile since I've posted. There hasn't been much new to tell you about, just the same routine every week - Thai language class on Monday, Wednesday, & Friday afternoons and teaching English class on Saturday mornings.
I thought you might find it interesting to see how I've traveled to class some days. Most of the time, Stephen drives me to class, which takes about 40 minutes to get there. On a few occassions that he hasn't been able to drive me, I've traveled three different ways.
The first time, I went with Nuan (the girl that lives here with the family & helps with everything from cooking to cleaning). A motorcycle taxi came to the house & picked us up to take us to the taxi stop. The type of taxi we use is a truck with a topper on it. In Thai, it is called a "song theew." (I just learned this in class last week :) ) We took two different song theews to get to Kad Suan Keew, or Central, a mall close to my school. From the mall, we walked a short distance, about 5 minutes, to my school. Traveling this way is pretty cheap, around 120 baht, or about $4, round trip.
Below are pictures of the motorcycle taxi & the green song theew we took:
I also traveled this way another day when Mary wanted to go with me. Once I figured it out, it was pretty fun!
Another way I got to school one day was with a lady who uses her personal car to drive people around. This was easier than the taxis, but quite a bit more expensive (300 baht or around $10 round trip). And she was a bit of a crazy driver, driving down the middle of the road & honking at everyone. It was pretty funny! She talked a lot, but only in Thai, so after we knew each other's names, there wasn't much else I understood that she was saying. I just smiled & nodded & she laughed. :)
Yesterday, this is how I traveled to school:
Simeon took me! (For those who don't know, Simeon drove the mission team around in February.) He is a motorcycle taxi driver. The idea of riding a motorcycle all the way to class on the super highway in all of the traffic sounded really exciting at first...until he arrived to pick me up, then I got a bit nervous. But, I knew I was in God's hands & in good hands with Simeon driving. The ride went well & was really fun as long as I didn't look ahead of us :) It gave me some confidence that, as I get more comfortable riding my motorcycle in the traffic, that I will be able (hopefully sooner rather than later) to ride my own motorcycle to school. And this wasn't as expensive as riding with the lady - only 200 baht or around $7.
(If you know me, you know I'm not that daring, so this is going to take a lot of getting used to! My Mom even laughed at me when I told her about the first time I rode to the small store near here & I went 40 kph. I thought for sure that was pretty fast, but when I looked up the conversion it was only around 25 mph!)
So, that's how I travel around Chiang Mai! Much thanks for your prayers for safety - God is definitely hearing them & answering! :)