Friday, August 22, 2008

Erik is 16

We went out for lunch as a family to celebrate. In Manitoba, people can start to drive cars at 16 so the next day he tried to take his learners drivers liscence test but we didn't have the proper identification along so he couldn't. He'll do that later.

His grandmother measured him in the morning. I can't remember how tall he is but I know he is taller than I am!

Later in the week he got together with cousins.

Currently he is on a canoe trip with Conrad and some youth from church in Ontario.

He's having fun!

Our Miracle Car

We walked into the Toyota dealership knowing what we wanted:
A 2006 Toyota Corolla.
Arthur also had an idea about our budget. We talked to a salesman who asked us about ourselves and what we were looking for. He asked if we'd ever been in a Corolla and we said we had in taxis in Bangkok. This lead to Arthur talking about MCC and our work. The salesman said "I go to a Mennonite church" and then I knew we were in the right place. It turns out he goes to the SAME CHURCH we go to, but we didn't know each other because we've been gone for 6 years and he only started attending 4 years ago. At the end of the meeting he said "I will do my best for you."
Two days later, he had found our car. It's a 2006 Toyota Corolla which has just come off a lease. It had incredibly low mileage for a '06 (above) at 23,690 km and the price was right. Because of the high price of fuel right now, Corollas are popular and sell quickly so we were happy to be on the top of the list for this great car.
I was a bit concerned that I won't be able to find it in parking lots because it is silver and looks like everyone else's car so we put a "LAO" sticker on the back to help me.
Since we bought it, we've been putting on about 1,000 km/week so we are really thankful to have a car that goes the extra mile, as it were.
We really feel that God helped us find the right car.
We spent 10 days in July in Lancaster County wrapping up some of our work with MCC, visiting friends, and going to a family re-entry retreat. Above, Larry shows Arthur where he grew up and where his family comes from.
The kids had fun connecting and even managed to fit in a game of Monopoly. They first met 6 years ago and have been meeting up continually while we were in Asia.

Arthur took me for a ride on Larry's rickshaw that comes from Cambodia and makes people in Lancaster county look twice!

TCK Camp

Erik and Conrad went to a Third Culture Kids camp in New York state where they spent time with other kids who are going through a similar transition to them. Third Culture Kids (abbreviated TCKs) "refers to someone who [as a child] has spent a significant period of time in one or more culture(s) other than his or her own, thus integrating elements of those cultures and their own birth culture, into a third culture". They did regular camp things but also spent time taking about North American culture and how they (TCKs) may view the world differently than their mono-culture friends.

Their activities included a baseball game ("too long and too little action") and a visit to Niagra Falls ("Canadians have a better view").

They came back from camp very enthused about it and highly recommend it for others.
For more information on their camp:
For more information about TCKs: