Monday, January 29, 2007


Conrad wanted to celebrate his birthday with some school friends so he planned a bowling party. Here are some high-lights of what happened last Saturday at the Lao Bowling Center.

The Birthday boy showing off his style.

Everyone who bowled won a round

and they each had some awesome moves

with strikes and spares galore!

After bowling we headed home to open presents,

eat chicken

and play Playstation.

What do you get a 13 year old

whose body is going through lots of changes?

His own deodorant!

And a Banana Fudge Cake with 13 candles!

Update on My Foot
By Phyllis
  • I’m slowing improving and slowly getting more and more mobility and strength back into my foot. If you are not a detail person, that’s all you need to know.
  • I've started physio therapy again with the same doctor as before. This time when I came in after weeks of being away, she said she was "one million percent sure" that I would walk normally again. This is the same woman who said after the first surgery in October "Who did this to you? I want to kill him!" -- so I am inclined to believe her.
  • A week ago I tried using a cane to get around but after a few hours reverted back to the one crutch mode of mobility. I find the cane good for balance but not as good as a crutch for weight bearing. I’ll try again next week.
  • The orthopaedic surgeon in Bangkok told me at my last appointment that I could start putting 50% of my weight on my foot. I was unsure what he meant (how can you walk with only ½ your weight on your foot?) but he explained that I should put most of the weight on the heel and slowly start putting weight on the plantar region.
  • My physio doctor was trying to explain the "50% of my weight on my foot" thinking. She says it's like this: a person who weighs 60 kg has 30 kg on each foot when she is standing. So 50% of 30kg is 15 kg per foot. That's how much weight I am allowed to put on my plantar region for now. So she suggested I practice with some scales and put 5 kg down, 10, and gradually 15. I'm still confused because when a person walks, there is more than half their weight on their foot part of the time. She was explaining that the speed one walks makes a difference but I'm still not clear. Bottom line: I'm mainly putting weight on my heel.
  • On the advice of the physio therapist I have bought some good Scholl sandals for wearing inside. She says I need the support inside and out. Even though it is against Lao culture to wear shoes inside, I am doing so. I leave my street shoes at the door and put on my inside shoes when I get inside. The first day was quite painful but after that I’ve noticed an improvement especially in the arch support.
  • I haven’t used my left foot in over 5 months so it’s gotten very sensitive and soft. Wearing real shoes is going to be an adjustment plus it’s going to take a long time to get a tough sole for barefoot walking again.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Conrad had a Birthday!
He's 13 years old.

He celebrated his birthday when we were at MCC meetings

on the Gulf of Thailand.

Here he is with two MCC "cousins",

David (from the Philippines)

and Stephanie (from China).

He's wearing the Birthday T-shirt that says

"Smile" on the front and "It's my birthday" on the back.

It's a Mann Family tradition to wear this shirt on your birthday.

The restaurant food was quite elaborate most meals

but they went all out for Conrad's Birthday dinner.

There was shrimp cocktail to start with

followed by soup, main course and a beautiful dessert.

The candles on the plate in front of him spell out


-- a greeting that has 13 letters -- just perfect for turning 13.Sometimes desserts that look this good don't taste so good

but this one was excellent!

The new teenager opening some presents in the hotel room.

Hotel Reading

Instead of copies of the Holy Bible, in some Thai hotels, you'll find a copy of the "Teaching of Buddha". I read some small samples of entries and they were mostly stories about how to be a good person: be nice to your neighbors, share what you have, leave peacefully with others.