the mundane, the exiting and how dogs fit in

Often when I’m reporting back home, I can’t think of anything exciting that has happened in my life to tell you about. I do realize that I’m living in Thailand, so yes that’s exciting, but my days are probably similar to many of yours. Filled with commuting to and from school, eating, studying and then random things filling in the gaps. Sometimes the fillers are exciting or at least interesting, usually sparking thoughts that make me want to journal or talk about what I’ve seen or experienced, and my many questions that follow. I start writing in my head, wanting my share some of my thoughts and questions on my blog because it sort of connects me to friends and family back home. However, many stories and thoughts would be better to share in person, so ask me about some of these things whenever I set foot in N. America again. Sometimes the mundane things lead to that which is more meaningful. God speaking to me, challenging me, leading me to thank Him for the simple things in life – the things I often take for granted. Mundane or exciting, most things in my life revolve around learning Thai. That’s what I’m meant to be doing right now and I’m very thankful for this time that’s set-aside for me to learn Thai and to learn more about the culture.

One of the exciting and sad fillers this week occurred close to my home. The dogs in my muubaan (neighbourhood) had a dramatic fight a few nights ago, leading to one poor dog dying a slow death. It was awful. I have so many questions – so many that I think will continue to be unanswered but perhaps in time I’ll understand better. The next day another dog was attacked by the same dog – I was at school when this fight occurred but I asked my pheuan-baan (neighbour) about the now
limping dog.

Dogs create a lot of excitement for my fillers actually. They’re everywhere – literally everywhere. Strays and owned dogs – often it’s hard to tell. Thankfully the ones in my muubaan are fairly safe (except that one is now concerning me), but there are several areas that are known for their scary dogs. And sometimes even the okayish dogs can turn ugly once the sun starts setting and the roads where those dogs hang out should be avoided. One really needs to be careful about not getting bit by dogs. During my first week here in Thailand, one of the other students at the language school has a son who was bit twice in one week. Stiches and rabies shots followed (better to be on the safe side) but it was a huge ordeal. Eventually the dog was taken away from that street and… But I wouldn’t say that’s the norm. Some people here have warned me that if a dog should approach you, as if he’s going to attack, you should pick up a pretend stick and threaten to throw it. Often the dog will then back off. However, this doesn’t work if you’re on a bike and dogs start chasing. My immediate response has been to pray like crazy and to make sure I don’t swerve into traffic. Thankfully I’ve received no bites as of yet. A dog bite and Dengue fever seem to be the form of initiation for missionaries here in Thailand – so I’ve been told at least. Many people will be bitten by a dog and be sick with Dengue fever in their first term. I haven’t had either yet, but did get my Rabies shots in August. So if I am bit, I still have to get more Rabies shots, but now I have more time to get to the hospital before…
well, we won’t go there.

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