One Night In Bangkok And The World’s Your Oyster…

Is it possible we are in Thailand? Yes, I suppose it is! Our trip is going so fast. The boys and I keep looking at each other and saying things like, “Wow! We’re in Moscow!”, “Can you believe we are in Beijing?”, “Dad, we’re actually in Hong Kong”, and now, “Holy cow, we’re in Bangkok’!

Thailand is beautiful. We arrived last week into Bangkok. The aunt and uncle of one of Buck’s best friends in Charlotte, picked us up at the airport. We were wisked off, straight away, to a small town called Sattihip (pronounced Sat-a-heap).

It’s a cool, funky beach town with a Thai Naval base, about two hours south of Bangkok. Luckily we stayed with Uncle Awoot, who was a 3-Star Officer, so we were able to enjoy the perks of the Naval base. We ate great seafood whilst enjoying the breeze and ocean view, the boys sailed to an island off the coast, we played and argued with monkeys, had a few motorcycle rides, and swam in the ocean.

 

But then back to our focus…. We arrived at The Special Education Center, a day school and live-in orphanage for kids with Down Syndrome and Autism.

We were falling in love all over again. One little girl, Ice, stole my heart. She reminded me of my dear friend, Cher Ferreyra. She and I just “got” each other.  

Buck buddied up with Fat, a rambunctious boy with an infectious smile, and Jackson spent some quality time with Thai, an adorable little girl who seemed to have a crush on him.  All of these kids have severe challenges but have an incredible sense of joy.   It really warms my heart to know that this place actually exists. The principal and director of the school is a saint.  She is so great with the kids and has dedicated her life to this work.

We only had less than a week at this location, so our duties were to play basketball, jump on trampolines, hold babies and hug on the kids. Tough life, eh? These kids took no time with jumping in and making us feel welcome. The joy of volunteering is that there is no “get familiar time”. Everywhere we have visited, within a two-minute period, we have felt like family. The Love Revolution is alive and well, and currently in Thailand!

The countryside of Sattahip is breathtaking… the crystal blue ocean, tropical mountains, and the wonderful, friendly natives. The Wats (the temples) are a sight to see and we even got to hang out with some monks at one of the Wats. And, well the food, exquisite! The cuisine is my favorite so far.

From Sattahip, we arrived in Bangkok for a few days. We had a little time to see some street markets, The Grand Palace (really impressive) and unfortunately nurse a cold. Arghh….

We are now on the plane heading to Chiang Mai, where we will work with the elephants at a Reserve. We are very excited about the prospects… we just have to watch our toes…

More to follow….

8 Comments

  1. Laurie Wilson

    This is amazing. Wish I could be with you at this school; is there anything as beautiful as a child with Downs Syndrome? We miss you, but the time is really passing quickly. Can hardly believe that you are in your third month. We love you and think and pray for you daily. Keep on lovin’ xoxo

  2. bo henderson

    It is AMAZING that you can tear yourselves away from each group you are with knowing how they grad your heart….I am certain I would be a mass of jello, all squiggly each time I had to say goodbye. I so look forward to what adventure you have, what place you are in, whose lives you are touching….now that is reality show at its best! Hope the cold is short lived and contained to only you…who needs to share that…ugh! Anyway my guys, much joy on your way, much love here to you to share as you can, and always, we’ll leave a light on for you! HUGS and love, til your next post….XOXOXOBO

  3. Linda Frazure

    Oh John and boys how exciting is your blog Wish I could be there to hug some of those special children.. I just can’t believe how awesome an adventure this is and How you can bring some love and hope to these children.. I just thank the Lord that he has placed these wonderful Doctors and people in the lives of these children. Miss you guys and are praying for safe travel Love you all….. Lin

  4. Ed Smith

    Glad for our brief chat. Good hearing from you guys as always. Each adventure sounds just as exciting and rewarding as the one before. Glad things are going well. Glad Jackson is feeling better. You think you might need to COME BACK home to see a Dr? lol. Thanks for keeping us updated. Hugs to all and continued safe jouneys! xoxo-Ed

  5. susan McMullen

    Once again the refrain:”The love you take is equal to the love you make.” Early in my career as a psychologist I worked in special education, and those kids stole my heart. Your comments brought back happy memories of that long ago time. I love reading about your adventures and continue to think of you and the boys each morning as you keep spreading the joy. xxoo

  6. Roberto Elinan

    I guess I run out of words to describe the feeling of satisfaction I enjoy, just by looking at your pictures. I’m deffinitely following you guys during your trip … just as much as I’m sending all my positive energy to help you deal with your quest … (as if you need it … LOL …!)

  7. kristina haddd

    Oh J.D. – it’s just such a jolt of inspiration every time I get to read one of these…like a little christmas present every time filled with amazing stories, insights – always makes me cry and smile at the same time! LOVE YOU!!!! xoxo

  8. Margaret Benson

    Sawatdeeka JD & Sons, enjoy your time in Thailand, the Land of the Yellow Robes. I am missing the Monks, the food & the wonderful people I met in Thailand. If you have the time visit Wat Luang Phor Sodh southwest of Bangkok. You can stay for free, practice meditation and chanting and teach the Monks English!

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