I gasped for air! Whew! I thought I was going to smother down in the bottom of Grandma’s giant purse. I squirmed and wiggled until I was on top again.
“Be careful, Linkee,” she said. “I don’t want you to fall out. If you got lost now, we would never find you.” She stuffed me down a little further in the bag. I didn’t want to get lost. We had already said goodbye to all our friends and now we were ready to get on the airplane. I had never been on an airplane before, and I thought it was just a little bit scary.
Well, it was mostly boring. I spent lots of time asleep under the seat. There was nothing to do and nobody to play with. At last we arrived — in Thailand.
I could tell right away it was different. Everyone was talking, but I couldn’t understand what they were saying. There were signs everywhere, but they were in a strange, curly alphabet — not the abc’s like I had been learning.
Grandma had told me I would like it here, and I do! That’s because there are always lots of kids around to play with me. I don’t know what they are saying when they talk to me, but we can still have fun, even if we can’t talk to each other.
Yesterday the kids had a special singing class. Grandma and Grandpa took me over to hear them sing.
“They speak the Thai language in school and here in the children’s home, but they come from villages where everyone speaks Lahu,” Grandma told me. “We don’t want them to forget how to speak their native language, so they have special Lahu singing class.”
I wondered why they didn’t have a Lahu talking class, but I figured it out. The people here love to sing, and they sing all the time. The kids probably like the singing class better.
“Dang is playing the guitar,” Grandpa said.
I was shocked. “I thought we didn’t say that word,” I said. “You said it was close to a very bad word and we shouldn’t say it.”
“No, no,” Grandpa said. “I wasn’t saying a bad word. Dang is his name. It’s not the kind of name they have in America, but lots of people are named Dang here.”
I thought that was pretty funny, but I had noticed that my new friends all had funny names like Pa La Di, and Nittipong, and Petumpong.
Dang looked like he was having fun. I wanted to play the guitar.
“Please, please, let me play the guitar,” I whispered in Dang’s ear.
He said something in the strange Lahu language. I think he said “okay.” Or maybe he said I was tickling his ear. I decided he wouldn’t mind. I tried to play the guitar, but it was harder than it looked.
I climbed around the room, looking for someone to play with me.
“Don’t bother the children while they are singing,” Grandma called to me. Ma Li and Pim weren’t bothered. They liked playing with me.
Arlong wasn’t bothered, either, because he was taking a nap, sitting straight up. I think he was tired.
I have lots of fun with the children. Grandma and Grandpa do, too. The kids like all the toys we brought and they like to have Grandma teach them English.
Today we went to church here at the children’s home, and then we went to another village and Grandpa preached again.
It was a long way to travel and I got tired of sitting still so much.
“But, Linkee, that’s why we are here,” Grandpa said. “We have come to teach the people here about Jesus and that is what we are doing. Some things will be hard, but it will be worth it for these people to know Jesus better.”
I was still tired of sitting still — but then I heard some exciting news. Next week we are going to a big party in one of the villages. They have real monkeys there! Brother Anond said the children should stay away from them because they bite. Do you think they would bite a stuffed monkey like me? Surely not! Maybe I will have an exciting adventure to tell you about next time.
Grandpa and I have had a busy time moving into our new little home. You would think it is funny, because they are just two rooms that aren’t connected to each other. We have to go outside to go from the bedroom to our kitchen/living room. We like it, though, and we are comfortable.
We love the children here, but we still miss you very much! We’ve seen Sylvia and Jesse and the Kentucky grandkids on Skype. I hope we can see the rest of you on Skype soon.
Grandpa has been preaching a lot. He is at another church right now — the third one today. Tomorrow he will go and preach in a big prison. He is happy, because he loves to tell people about Jesus.
I teach the children English, and study the Bible with the grown up ladies. They love to learn about Jesus, too.
We pray for you every day, and we look forward to seeing you again soon!