Saturday, July 30, 2005

Life has been busy!

Heath is working hard, there is a lot to do to prepare for deployment as well as delegating all of his responsibilities out to others. He is playing soccer and catching surf whenever possible.

I have been working on video classes I have to complete for my CA credential. I also signed my 50% art contract for San Marcos Middle School this week.

We are just trying to enjoy all the free time we can before Heath leaves. Today we spent time at the beach with the Fullers and Sharps, went for a hike this morning and are going out for pizza with Lisa in a few.

I am going to attempt posting pictures today. Yes! I am moving up in techno world!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

We still don't have any of the pictures in our possession yet, nor do we know how to post them even if we did have them. But for those of you dying to see some pictures from our trip (mom Wilhoit) my fabulous friend Lisa has a wonderful assortment on her blog. I must say she summed up the trip very well with a variety of pictures of all of us, great commentary (she writes for Valley Center Newspaper) and she is just one of my most wonderful new friends who makes me laugh all the time, she is very witty. Those are three good reasons to check out her blog. ( I also have not yet figured out how to make it a direct link from my blog to hers, so, sorry you will have to type it in yourself. Enjoy.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

July 17, 2005 (THAILAND)

We were busy and had a lot going on before we came out here so really we had no expectations and I am glad that we did not. It has been great to go day by day and just let the trip unfold. We knew that in a two-week trip we were not going to be able to make a huge impact, especially 6 months after the tsunami. But we figured even if all we do is help put back into the tourism industry we will be helping those struggling to get back on their feet. And every little bit helps.

If anyone is thinking of taking a vacation…Thailand is the place to go…they need it, it is cheep, beautiful and now is a good time to go and see some of the damage from the tsunami as well as how they are getting back on their feet.

Our first connection and relationship building was in Phang Nga. In the letter I wrote before our trip I mentioned that our friends, Ryan and Holly had taken a trip back in March and helped a single woman, Jan, rebuild her fence taken out by the tsunami. We were able to do more than just meet her; she was the bridge that connected us to many children who were affected by the tsunami. As Jan told me the story of how she battled and survived the first second and third wave, she said that because her life was spared she feels as though she needs to give her life to help others. So she is volunteering at a school.

We spent three days visiting the school and playing with the children. Our first day there was a weekend so we were able to get to know about 12 children who did not go home for the weekend most of which lost one or both parents in the tsunami. We brought them ice cream, played games, drew pictures in the dirt, practiced our Thai, and they practiced a little bit of English. Heath and Ryan played football (soccer) with the boys, and wow they were studying how Heath juggled the ball, I even saw one kid on his own practicing just what Heath had taught them.

Our second day at the school we were hoping to bring another swing-set. They only had one for over 300 students. Things in Thailand do not happen as quickly as here, so we ended up giving money for a new one to a missionary who will be able to access the necessary resources and deliver it to the school.

The last day there I learned how to count from this precious little girl who sat in my lap and went over the numbers over and over with me. Her name is something like Syphoon Ta Typhoon; I believe that she is one of the children they consider to be too young to know that she has lost her parents. She won my heart. It was rewarding to be able to give these children much-needed hugs and attention.

Our group sponsored a fishing village whose boats were damaged or destroyed by the tsunami. We were able to meet some needs of five families needing boat repairs. In one of the families, two brothers were dying of TB, we prayed with them for healing and peace for the family. We were able to share with this village why we were there and why we wanted to help them. Our heart is to do as Jesus taught to love our neighbor and bring goodness to the world. We tried to do this while being sensitive to their culture, it was a blessing to have Chris, the missionary there, and the Thai church act as a bridge so that we could communicate with the village and not offend them. We learned that even good intentions are not enough. We pray that our actions and our hearts will not be lost in translation but that they will be encourged and in turn desire to bring goodness to those around them as well.

What a beautiful island! No cars and very down to earth. We spent a couple days there sight seeing on a long tail boat, snorkeling around the various islands. One full day of manual labor, it felt good to know we were actually making a difference. We did beach cleanup. They had put a lot of the rubbish into piles along the beach so we took it from there. We divided it further into piles of wood to burn, tin and metal that they can get money for, bricks they could reuse and the rest we brought to the huge piles of trash. They had already taken 7000 tons of trash off the island and everyday were collecting more to get rid of. After beach cleanup we did snorkel cleanup along the beach. Everyday more and more rubble is brought to the surface.

Our last stop on the way out...
Lots of bartering and last minute shopping.
Toured the Grand Palace and saw the Reclining Buddha.
Received fabulous (cheep) Thai massages before a long trip home.

What a great experience, we are so glad we were able to go and see such a beautiful place, meet such beautiful people, experience a relaxed, relational and of course, beautiful culture, as well as to see how well they were rebuilding their lives.
July 23, 2005

Tonight has been the worst so far as for sleep. I have been tossing and turning and can’t keep my eyes shut. The moon is bright and Heath is sleeping lightly, so I am sure my tossing and turning is not helping his rest. I have wanted to adjust back to CA time naturally but I might just have to take something to help me sleep.

My exciting news for today is my sister Rachel is going to move out here. I could not be more excited, it will be great to have her here to keep me company while Heath is in Kuwait. She said that the timing couldn’t be better. She finishes her cosmetology school in MI one week before Heath leaves and her and Chase come to visit me. So she will probably just stay and start the process of being able to do hair and take the CA state boards. I could not be more excited! She also said something along the lines of I helped raise her it is now her time to take care of me while Heath is gone. Isn’t she great!

Well I am off to try and sleep again...
July 21, 2005
We are home! We got in yesterday afternoon and have been sleepy and groggy ever since; still trying to adjust to the time difference. We tried to stay awake all day even though our bodies were telling us it is time to sleep. We then were exhausted and tried to sleep the whole night even though our bodies were telling us it was now time to be awake.

Today, Heath woke up very early and when I finally rolled out of our comfy bed, he was ready to catch some surf, so we headed to our favorite beach (end of Oceanside Blvd.) Straight from there we went to Souplantation for lunch. Yummy, all you can eat salad, soup and baked goods.

Oh, it feels so good to sleep in our own bed and have a variety of food to choose from. I like Thai food but I love having the options here: Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Hawaiian, Italian, fresh veggies, etc.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Heath and Rhianon have finally entered the world of blogging.

We thought this would be an appropriate time to keep people updated on what is going on here in the life of the Wilhoit's. Currently we are in Thailand and hope to record more of our adventures and post pictures once we are back home in California.

The next few months will be full of change as we embrace the journey ahead. Heath will be deploying to Kuwait on September 1st to work as a physical therapy tech in a fleet (tent) hospital. He will be there 6 months.

So far my plan is to stay in California and work at the same school I have this past year but only as a part time art teacher.

We desire to keep you a part of our story. There will be much to share with you all in the days ahead.

Heath and Rhianon