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I signed my family and myself up for Spartan Sprint a few months back, but due to some physical issues I myself could not participate this past weekend. But I still enjoyed cheering them on! There were 23 obstacles, spectators could only see the last 4. As soon as my peeps took off, we got a typical tropical thunderstorm lasting over an hour - I loved it because it cooled it off a bit, and they loved it because it made the obstacle course that much more fun!
This is the lightning monitoring app (Spark Bug) we use here in Thailand to keep an eye on when to seek shelter. School rules are if it's 10 miles out we clear the fields, etc. At the Spartan race just outside Bangkok this last weekend, the lightning was all around for awhile during an hour or so long thunderstorm. It started just after my family took off to start their race, and the race leaders delayed the next heat for a bit. But they let everyone on the course continue, even with all the metal obstacles, barbed wire crawl, water obstacles, etc. Everyone was safe in the end, no one was struck by lightning! And I enjoyed hanging out under my umbrella refreshed in the cooler temps brought on by the rain.
This is rural Cambodia. My family and I went here this weekend to visit kids at an orphanage that a fellow teacher started up 5 years ago. There is a actually a site right in Bangkok, Thailand, near where we live that helps children of Cambodian and Burmese constructions workers, and we visited the local centers in Cambodia itself. It was just an hour or so flight from Bangkok, and really the countryside wasn't that much different from the parts of rural Thailand that I've been to, but there is so much more poverty in Cambodia. Cambodia is a third world country, while Bangkok is considered a first world city in a second world country, and boy could I tell the difference! I had a lot to think about, especially after just having read Renee's recent thoughtful post about Walking Each Other Home.
Like many north Americans, I have had an obsession with Tiny Houses during the last 5 or so years. I thought they'd be a fabulous way to downsize. I can picture hubby and I in one after the kids are grown, maybe in Idaho. After moving to southeast Asia, I realized many people live in them not by choice. I have seen all sorts of creative "tiny homes" in Bangkok and outside of Bangkok. Living in a packing crate isn't new, apparently, but decorating them so they star in magazines back in the states is. In the tiny homes I see here, there may or may not be furniture in them, and there may or may not be running water or electricity available. In THESE tiny houses - there are actually two here - there is no electricity nor running water. But they haven't rigged it with solar, nor do they have any fancy rain catchment system. They definitely didn't order home decor from Amazon. They live here in rural Cambodia in total poverty, walking their three cattle around to feed, tending to rice paddies around them. I love how the house in the back has some accent paint color. Maybe I will copy it some day in my own tiny house! Wish I could have gotten closer, but a lady was out with her daughter and some cattle, so I felt awkward doing that.
You don't need to go too far outside of Bangkok to see the lushness of central Thailand. This was the setting for our family end-of-summer trip to an awesome water park. The outdoor adventurer in me struggles with living in a large city (14 million people!) in a developing country with mildewy concrete buildings everywhere. Any chance I have to get out, my eyes feast on the green. It's nice when the man-made places, like the waterpark, maintain the natural environment around them rather than just build eyesore after eyesore leaving a mess in its wake. Next to this waterpark is also a winery and grape juice farm - next time we'll plan to tour it!