Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Part 4

 "The sun comes up. It's a new day dawning. It's time to sing Your song again. Whatever may pass and whatever lie before me, let me be singing when the evening comes." - Matt Redman

I arose early to join Zinan in taking pictures of the sunrise only to discover that Zinan was...

So, I took some pictures on my own.

When Tain and Zinan woke up, we prepared a special breakfast on the stone table outside for our last morning at our hilltop manor. Everything we had left became part of the feast. 

Our breakfast table from above

Our morning feast

Fresh mango and a fruit Zinan said is called Buddha's Head in Chinese

My design - strawberry yogurt topped with coconut yogurt garnished with a piece of fresh mango 

Tain's "Everything, but the kitchen sink" ramen noodle soup

We cleaned up and took a van ride back to Bangkok, checked back into the Samran Place Hotel, and then went for a Thai massage. It was Zinan's first, and we all got the full body massage with Thai balm, which smelled good and relaxed our muscles. That night we went with Tain to visit some friends for dinner. One of his friends was a new father of fraternal twin boys who were miracle babies, since doctors had said the dad had no viable sperm in his body. Well, a little prayer, and God overruled the doctor's opinion, and the adorable little guys were proof. Zinan and I ended up watching a lot of Finding Nemo with the babies that evening while Tain chatted with his friends at the table after dinner.

Christmas Day has been covered in another blog entry (Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Part 1). I posted some smiling pictures of me there, but earlier in the day, people saw a rather sad looking photo of my face on Instagram. (I think you can see my stuff on Instagram at dunbar.dan) The day started poorly, but ended well thanks to God's people having a special service Christmas night at the New Vision Baptist Church. I went to bed smiling.

The next day was a trip to Ayutthaya with one of Tain's friends from the church driving us there to see some historical sights. We started at Bang Pa-In royal palace. Zinan and I went in with cameras in hand and 60 minutes to see and photograph all we could. What a blast we had! And what pictures!

From the palace, Zinan and I soon found ourselves atop an elephant as it plodded down the street.

No, this is not us, but you get the idea.

This is us (my favorite picture of us together)

And this is our "driver"

This was our view

And this is the baby elephant that they wanted us to take a picture with for more money.
 We stopped to see an enormous reclining Buddha, and I took a picture of his dirty feet.

The next stop was lunch at a seafood market, which made the seafood eaters in the group very happy. I don't like seafood, with the exception of clams and mussels, for some reason, and the others graciously ordered some mussels steamed with Thai basil to share with me. They were exceptional. The others also ate fresh, grilled shrimp.

Filled with good food, we went to look at some ruins of temples destroyed by Burmese invaders hundreds of years ago.

Here you can see Tain's friend - a good driver and a snazzy dresser

Inside one of the temples - I tried to catch some of the bats flying about on film

Indiana Palanun and the Temple of Doom
After a stop for some cool drinks, we zoomed back to Bangkok. Tain went with his friend to eat dinner with his parents, so Zinan and I were on our own. We went back to the inexpensive mall food court for dinner, then walked home dazzled by the gazillion lights and overwhelmed by the throngs of people shopping and taking pictures with the Christmas displays.

I felt like I did the time I took a trip to Las Vegas for a principals' conference, sort of sad and empty. All the style with no substance, all the glitz and glamor, but no eternal glory in any of it. I was glad to have brother Zinan for company once again, and happy to return to our quiet, simple room in the hotel. It was our last night in Thailand.

The next morning, we packed, met Tain and took the train to the airport where Dawn awaited us, having flown south from Chiang Mai to join us for the next leg of our journey. Here is my final photograph from the land somewhere over the rainbow:

Thailand needs missionaries.

Before our flight departed, I jokingly asked Zinan if he would be able to sleep on the plane, since he had been dozing off in every other form of transportation since he had arrived in Thailand, except for the elephant. He replied, "I don't know." I took this picture to prove to him that he could.

We were on our way to Kunming, China - cooler temperatures, old and new friends, and who knew what else? We'd been away from Korea for over three weeks already, and we were missing all the snow and, of course, our loved ones there. Still, there was more to accomplish in the days before our return to Seoul, and I was hoping God would bless our time with our Chinese brothers and sisters. 

What shall I title the entries for China? All in the Family? One Big Happy? I'll have to wait and see, since it's past my bedtime here, and I have to get to church early to prepare to lead singing at the Sunday morning service tomorrow. I hope my blog inspires you to pray for the people and the places I visit and, perhaps, to travel and even minister there too.


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