Monday, January 30, 2006

life mantra

so what has God been saying to charlotte... ?
i've really only ever felt a definable word from God 3 times in my life.

The first was in a moment of great crisis when i thought the weight of the world rested on my shoulders and i was desperate to get some guidance. and after many tears and solemn searching i could swear i heard God whisper, "Be friendly" - that was it, be friendly. Now that, my friends i can do. Be Friendly. If there's one thing i can do it's probably that. big sigh of relief. 'be friendly' that almost sounds like fun.

The next time, when i was again feeling overwhelmed by all the evils and meaness that goes on everyday i again cried out to God in desparation (having forgotten what i'd heard months earlier, luckily i'd written it down.) and what did i hear ... "Be childlike". Be childlike...? I brainstormed everything in my mind that i assosiated with 'childlike'. i reflected on my list and it actually looked bloody fun! not only could i do each of those things on the list, they actually described the person i want to be.

And now here i am in Thailand, again imagining that the weight of the world rests on my shoulders. My heart breaks with the stories i hear. My anger rages at how evil men can be and i wonder what on earth i am suppose to do... and the whisper... "Be kind". and again i realise that being kind is actually something i can do. i don't have to save the world i just have to be kind to people.

so there we have it.
my life mantra.

be friendly
be childlike
be kind

Sunday, January 29, 2006

picture this..

me and casey singing blink 182 all the small things (karaoke style) to 180 screaming and dancing Thai 11year olds.

half way though the second verse i had the thought, "if only mum could see me now..."

love you mum, mmwwwa

Friday, January 27, 2006

beautiful day

spent the afternoon arranging a new indoor orchid garden with the Thai lady who manages the guest house we are staying at.

case and i walked in to the guest house, back from our morning english lesson and found the entrance 'hall' full of plastic bags and old newspaper. at first i wondered why the place was such a mess until i realised that the 50 of so pieces of rubbish each cacooned a beautiful orchid plant.

the manager saw my delight and within a few minutes i was bare foot kneeling on the floor beside her, fingers covered in soil. she gave me my own corner of the garden to design and there i made my creation!

i even got a free coke for my efforts.
i have discovered that life is a river. it will inevitably flow toward the ocean, but for some people the river is very wide and choices can take one a good deal to the left or right. and for some people the river is very narrow, perhaps only a skinny stream. but regradless of the power an privilege a person thinks they have, they can not actually choose their destination.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


just found out jodi has had their baby. tears still in my eyes. what an incredible moment in time. i'm sure something must happen in the heavens every time a new human life enters this world.

the perfect clean slate.
the endless possibilities.

Hayley Camille Ingham is breaking my heart (though my smile is from ear to ear) and she's only 22 hours old. I love her sooo much.... and i wish like mad i could give her daddy a hug like the one he gave me on his wedding day.

to my beautiful family, i love you all so much.

aunty charlie x

Sunday, January 15, 2006

english lessons start tomorrow!

Friday, January 13, 2006


OK. We've been here a few days and we're slowly getting our heads around how this place works.

Because of the war in Burma (now Myanmar) thousands of Burmese have fled their homes in fear of the evil Burmese military government, and we've heard some pretty horrific stories that give us clues to the nature of this military. There is a small river between Burma and Thailand that's easy to cross. There are offical checkpoints, but people cross everyday all over the place - mainly for trade.

But the Burmese are not legally allowed in Thailand (or any where else until they manage to get their hands on the ellusive refugee papers). Which is kind of wierd because around 80% of this town are illegal Burmese immigrants. So everyday the police round up truck fulls of Burmese people and arrest them for simply being Burmese and put them in a cage. When the cage is full (only takes a day or two) a truck takes them to the other side of the border where they go to prison for a few more days. The migrant workers generally get released and often end up back in MaeSot within in a few days. If you're involved in anything political (such as promoting democracy of trying to tell the world about the evils of the Burmese military) the danger of being in a Burmese prison escalates dramatically.

So my question to the Thai police (and to the world) is "Well where the heck are the Burmese people suppose to go?" and the answer - the refugee camps. But of course these are full. And they're not free - you have to buy a spot in them. But you have to be living in one to get refugee status which might allow you relocation in another country (say Australia). So if you' re lucky and you know the right people (and you have the cash) you might hear of some poor soul who has given up waiting in
the refugee camps after ten years and you can buy his spot.

well, there's the history lesson. why did i use that word. it's happening right now.

re-reading all that is does sound like a bit of a text book.

what i really want to say is that today just after hubby and i had been planning another part of our 'world tour' i was talking to an 18 yo girl who is a politcal activist fighting for democracy in her counrty. she's scared to leave the house because of where the Thai police might take her. The rest of her family is 'somewhere' in Burma.

we walked past the cage today on the way back to our guest house. i hope none of them are politcal activitists.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

now surrounded by rice paddies and mountains of Mae Sot instead of the pollution and high rise buildings of Bangkok.

the dogs here are having a ball. (not like the ones in Bangkok that just laid around sleeping all day). but yes, they will get eaten, but not by the guys we're staying with - they're all vegetarian.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

great day today. hung out with Ash and Anji Barker at their home in the slum. quite an incredible little community (well actually massive -80 000 people). was actually surprised at how nice and clean the inside of their home was. the outside was more what i had imagined a slum to be... dogs, cats, children running all over the place, open sewers. but it didn't stink (today) and the countless smiling faces gave a cheerful vibe.
listened to a 1hour 20 minute sermon in Thai.
Anji showed me some jewellery that's destined for purchase in australian churches and possibly schools. i inquired to who made it - different groups of people; druggies, refugees, mentally disabled, widows, bar girls... i start to imagine the life implications of this little jewellery business for this motley crew if people in australia will buy it. but is it pretty enough? is it cheap enough? do people in australia actually give a tiniest s*** about some homeless girl they've never met...?
i actually have great faith in the australian consumer. especially the church going australian consumer.
i think of the australian purchasing power like a giant river. capable of smashing, crushing and drowning but also capable of bringing life and sustenance.
just depends if we can steer it in the right direction. can it be steered? i don't know. maybe one drop at a time.
i wonder what paragraph is suppose to come under that heading?

Friday, January 06, 2006

watched the sun rise over lake joondalup this morning. watched it set over Bangkok airport. was somehow very reassuring.

Thursday, January 05, 2006


it's a beautiful day
last day
feed the animals
drinking a beer
steams of golden light fly in threw the windows
casey's gone to the shop for those last few supplies
alone in my beautful home for the last time
i put my face against the wall and breath
and run my fingers across the dirty window (sorry hanning and jed, haven't got to that one) then run my hands over everywall in the house
i cry with joy
the sun is setting

Sunday, January 01, 2006