It’s an amazingly vivid childhood memory – listening to Global Workers when they came home to Canada, sharing about their lives overseas, and thinking to myself “wow… what an incredible life!”. Fast forward a number of years and here I (Amber) sit at my dining room table on a warm Tuesday morning in Bangkok. So far today, I walked a Price kid and a Wylie kid to school, popped into the grocery store to grab a few things for dinner (because our fridge is full of condiments but no actual food!), and now I’m sitting here trying to budget and send emails while the little Price kid and Wylie kid watch cartoons. They randomly come to me wanting snacks, needing help with the toilet or just wanting a cuddle. I’ll prep dinner in a little while and then around 11:15am Megan and I plus the littles will hop in a taxi and go to language school.
Each day Matthew and Zach study Thai in the mornings while Megan and I juggle our parental duties with errands, meal prep, emails, Thai homework, and other life tasks. Us girls then bring the kids with us to school to meet up with the Dads. Megan and I then study Thai until 4pm. Meanwhile the Dads bring the littles home, feed them lunch, try to do homework, admin, and Imagine Thailand work before the big kids need to be picked up from school. Then it’s the after school routine and cooking dinner for the family. Megan and I return home after 5pm in time for dinner. This followed by showers, stories and bed – for the kids, not the adults. Then it’s the cleaning, prepping for the next day, and in the stillness of our evening, we sit down to study more Thai.
It’s a Glamorous Life!
The above scenario could be transplanted into any country on earth. It’s pretty typical. I think that’s where I was so wrong all those years ago. I thought Global Workers had super powers! The reality is I didn’t really think about what life looked like beyond the one or two stories they shared. I didn’t think about the kids they had that needed to get to school, that got sick, that needed help learning to read. I didn’t think about their house that needed cleaning or the groceries that needed to be bought (granted, we do get to haggle for a better price in the market).
So while there is nothing overly glamorous about what life looks on the daily, there are some very special relationships being developed. And that’s what its all about- our neighbours, the security guard, our classmates at school, the parents of our kids’ school friends. Those people are the reason I’m here, living out my “normal” life in a context very different from the one I grew up in.
Life won’t always look this way. Language study will come to an end and we’ll turn our entire focus towards the work of Imagine Thailand. This is a season, but that too is true of life anywhere. Just as you’ve learned the rhythms of one season, along comes another. It is a glamorous life we lead, but it’s no more glamorous than most.