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  • Hello. Welcome to my blog!

    Please check out our new fine art photography and graphic design business! www.paulandjewel.com

    This blog is no longer active but it is a great chronicle through my initial first few years as a photographer. The blog started while I was at photography school in Massachusetts, covers my time working in Florida and Georgia, and chronicles our recent 6 month adventure working with orphans in Thailand. Thanks for visiting!

Monthly Archives: November 2011

Loi Krathong – Our Thailand Home

 

Loi Krathong was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.

The holiday is celebrated each November during the full moon. It is a time to let go of the year’s grudges and start anew. It seemed like each family in the village made or bought their own Krathong, the small lotus shaped boat (Paul and I had one too). Candles, incense, coins and offerings are placed on the Krathongs as a homage to the Goddess of the Water. It is generally believed that floating the Krathongs far out into the lake brings luck and purifies the water. Our photos do not do justice to the beauty of the tradition, but I hope they will transport you for a moment to our small village of Sangkla during the full moon.

 

Boys in Black and White – Our Thailand Home

These kids break my heart, make me smile, and fill me with laughter every day. I took these portraits in and around the newly completed Boy’s House at Baan Unrak. I have written descriptions based on what I have learned from these boys in the past month here. The new house is somewhat bare at the moment and they are collecting funds to fill each new room with beds for the boys. Paul and I are doing well and loving every second getting to know the amazing boys and girls here. I hope you enjoy this post and that it brings a smile to your face. Love and peace!

 

Monkila

You can’t help but laugh when 8-year-old Monkila laughs, or smile when his eyes light up. He is eager to please; he loves high fives and hugs. He has cerebral palsy, so he still attends the nursery school. His body is weak and he struggles with a range of intense emotions that change very quickly, but like all of the children here, he has admirable strength. Monkila bakes delicious cookies at The Bakery once a week with a volunteer.

Krishna

Krishna is a calm, quiet, unstoppable 4-year-old. He is a mixture of a monkey and an athlete on the playground. He rarely cries or fusses. When you look at Krishna, you may focus on his handsome eyes, round cheeks and sweet expression, never even noticing his cleft lip.

Ahong

Ahong is a lively and bright 9-year-old; his English skills are extraordinary. He is so intelligent and mature that he often seems like more of an adult than a child (until you see him wildly running and giggling). Ahong has a soft spot for affection and animals. He will proudly show off the dogs and newest kittens at the Home to anyone interested.

Samuella

Samuella is a ball of untamed 8-year-old energy. Independent and self-sufficient, he’s a real boy’s boy. He is too small for most bicycles but will go on a ride any chance he gets. He is passionate about marbles and scary jungle creatures.

Tenyasoo

This little guy is full of wild energy and easy smiles. With one bat of his eyelashes, he will convince you to spin him ’round and ’round and hug him tight for hours. He is 5-years-old but extremely small for his age. Aside from a protrusion on his chest, you would never guess that he had open-heart surgery when he was 2.

Paul and Tenyasoo

Wat Temple – Our Thailand Home

When we say that our new village is gorgeous, we really mean it. Sangkla is surrounded by the waters of a large lake with lush mountainous jungle in every direction. There are also three temples within walking distance of where we live and work. The temple pictured below is one on the opposite side of the lake from us, across the longest wooden bridge in Thailand. We’ve walked to the temples a few times on our days off from Baan Unrak and the kids bike there every weekend with Paul.

Every day is different here, but now that the children are done with their October break and back in school we’re settling into more of a routine with our various tasks. I miss hanging out with the kiddos all day everyday, though its nice not to be as exhausted. My birthday was on Friday and Paul completely spoiled me. My favorite part was renting a canoe (going back to our roots), exploring a sunken temple, and watching the sun set from the middle of the lake; amazing. We didn’t bring the cameras, but I might post some iphone pictures later on.

 

 

PUPPIES! – Our Thailand Home

There are dogs everywhere in our village of Sangkla’. Dogs crowd the streets in much of Thailand but Sangkla’ is notorious for high populations. There isn’t a village vet so the population is constantly increasing and struggling. Most of the dogs are friendly, some aren’t, many don’t have homes or are treated very poorly. Its really sad to see all of the abuse and neglect, especially coming from a culture where we generally see dogs as best buds.

One of the great projects at Baan Unrak is an Animal Sanctuary, and the Children’s Home itself cares for several (very patient and well loved) dogs. There were a few puppies born at the Home recently and we couldn’t resist stealing some cuddles and photos with Fairy yesterday. It made my day infinitely better. I hope these make you smile!