Weekly Wednesday Gallery: Snapshots from Abroad III

Okay, I know. It’s Friday, even late Thursday night in some parts of the world, but I’m busting at the seam to post some photos, so you can reap some of the benefits here from my explosion. This is part of my Weekly Wednesday Gallery series where I cut down on the words and add more of the images. Enjoy.

It’s a pretty simple theory: anything that whittles the world down into a smaller, more intimate and manageable size does the soul good. We regain our balance from anything that forces us to slow down and focus our awareness on the little things in life. These are my little things: my photos from my 2-year Peace Corps experience. Each week I’ll choose a small sample of photos and share them with you. Themes? Nah, I’ll just choose the gems and you take what you can from them.

**Click on any photo for a larger view. Best viewed full screen**

The sun sets over Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, Thailand just behind Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn

The sun sets over Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, Thailand just behind Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn

At the beginning of November, my friends Will and Jessica came to visit the Land of Smiles. We had the chance to see some of the tourist places in Bangkok that I haven’t seen before. This photo is one of my favorite Buddhist temples in Bangkok, referred to as the Temple of Dawn. Ironically, it’s much more beautiful seen at sunset when the lights turn on and its reflection beams against the timeless Chao Phraya River.

Welcoming my cousin's baby Dton Yaw into the world. I'm a proud aunt.

Welcoming my cousin’s baby Dton Yaw into the world. I’m a proud aunt.

Little does this baby know that it marks the beautiful beginning of life for so many people. It blows me away that I’ve been able to enter the fragile world of a family, watch as our family pulled my cousin out of a drug addiction, helped him back to health, wished in well in his new marriage and been present to help raise his new son, Dton Yaw. Yes, I am proud, indeed. Read all about my cousin and his story of coming into adulthood in my post An Accident Turned Thai Marriage – A Twist on Traditions.

A Monkey Thief in Lopburi. Thailand

A Monkey Thief in Lopburi. Thailand

A friend back home once asked me, “Have you ever seen any monkeys or elephants?” Have I?! I’ve seen an entire animal kingdom of monkeys that looks like a scene from Jumanji with wild animals running rampant. I also have no desire to ever return again after being attacked and bit, despite a friend cajoling me to go.

A man rides down Walking Street in Old City Chiang Mai, Thailand playing an instrument for spare change

A man rides down Walking Street in Old City Chiang Mai, Thailand playing an instrument for spare change

This photo is one of my mother’s all-time favorites and it’s easy to see why. I only wish the quality was better. This is a beautiful representation of the rich culture throughout Thailand as the man plays an instrument and people passing by freely give spare change.

The sun rises above the mountains in Khao Kaw, Petchaboon Thailand

The sun rises above the mountains in Khao Kaw, Petchaboon Thailand

This family vacation was a doozy but ended with the most beautiful sunrise I have seen in Thailand. If you want a beautiful sunset, go to Southern Thailand. If you want a beautiful sunrise, go to Khao Kaw, Petchaboon. My friend Brandon would probably agree with me on this one. To see many more pictures from this or read some stories from my vacation there, head to my post Petchaboon Family Thaication.

Thanksgiving Dinner and Recognition of Service at the U.S. Ambassador's House

Thanksgiving Dinner and Recognition of Service at the U.S. Ambassador’s House

Over Thanksgiving week, our Peace Corps group had the honor of U.S. Ambassador of Thailand, Kristie Kenney, inviting us into her home to enjoy a home-cooked dinner and recognize our service over the last two years. We’re inching closer to the finish line and I can’t express my pride enough for the incredible men and women I’ve served beside. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be here today, and I know they can say the same of me. I’ve made friends for life, and I have a family in Thailand for life . To read a heartwarming story about the emotions flying around the room that night, read my good friend Sarah Lingo’s post on exactly what it feels like to reach this point in your service: Two Tears – I Mean Years – In the Making

That’s it for this week, everyone. To see some more Weekly Wednesday Gallery photos check out:

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