29 December 2007

We got the land!

We are now proud owners of a block of land between Chiang Mai and Mae Rim! It's very exciting and quite unbelievable to actually own land.

Next step is to build a house. We have lots of ideas and lots of people willing to help us with all sorts of skills. It's a bit scary, but mostly very exciting.

These pictures are from November when Sue Blackmore visited.

There is a row of teak trees along the front of the land beside the road.

There is a small channel that runs down one side then along the back of our block. It's man-made (and therefore safe from flooding) and will be excellent for our garden. (How fun!)

It's hard to get an idea of the shape of it from these pictures. The photo of the water is taken from another farm looking across to our land. That's the corner where we will build the house. Actually, it all looks completely different now because we've had it graded. Victor is up there again today with the people who are putting in the posts to mark our boundary lines.

And there is a beautiful gum tree!
The surrounding land is all farmland - very beautiful and peaceful.

There is an adjacent block that's still owned by the bank. (Victor thinks it will be perfect for a soccer field...)

18 December 2007

Our "new" car

In October we decided that our gas-guzzling car had to go. It was great but too expensive to run. And there's mostly just the 2 of us, after all.

So we found another smaller, cuter, (older) car to replace it. We can convert this car to LPG and it will be much cheaper to run. It's a great car with that wonderful old-car vinyl smell.

We intended to then sell the bigger car but found someone who wanted to rent it for a couple of months. Then today we've just handed it over to another visiting family to rent for 2 more months. How great!

Baan Song Sawan Orphanage

Last week Victor and I took the children from Baan Song Sawan ("Shining House", or something close to that) Orphanage to visit the dentist.
The orphanage was begun about a year ago by a couple from our church for 25 Hmong children (one of the hilltribes), all primary school aged.
So 25 children and the 2 of us headed off in the church's 12-seater van! Victor led them in songs all the way - more than an hour by the time we found the place. Thankfully they are delightful children and sing beautifully!
They were a bit more subdued coming home 4 hours later, several having had tooth extractions done...
We didn't take any pictures (as we no longer have a camera), but this is one I took at the orphanage one evening when we visited.

8 December 2007

A Lucy's visit

Aunty Lucy was the first of Rachel's family to come and visit us here in Chiang Mai. It was great to be able to share our life with her, visit Victor's family, and play tourists again.

Here we are in Victor's village: Roman (V's Dad), A Lucy, Ranee (V's Mum), Bee (our wonderful Aussie friend in CM who is now back in Aus), Rachel and James (V's nephew who was his groomsman at our wedding.)

We took A Lucy to see the land we're hoping to buy to build a house on. (To see it on googleearth go to: 18deg54'o4.33''N 98deg58'07.33''E)

Victor's brother Somnuk came to visit (with his new work vehicle.)

Then on the final night before A Lucy flew out she took us to dinner at the Golf Club. A Lucy had the opportunity to give Victor his first ever golf lesson.

And we had a wonderful Thai meal. Victor's friend B was also there. (You've met him before on this blog.)
This was the last photo taken on our camera before it was irrepairably damaged... (but don't worry, we have plenty more material for future blog-posts.)