Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Mango...

Got in a bit later than usual yesterday as the amphur office lines were a bit long.  By the time we got into the mango, it was close to 4 pm and as in the Bay Area, the commuter traffic had already started. Just took it easy for the evening.  Bought some street food and had dinner at home.  B went over to visit her Aunt, who is like a second grandmother to Marina.  Between the two sisters (B's mom and Aunt are close sisters) have a team of always willing baby sitters.  B's mom, in fact, won't let us take Ella to Bangkok this time because she said she would miss her too much...555  Great for us as Ella and Marina would be a double handful on this little getaway.  Marina's Aunt will be moving back the country after her husband retires from the Port sometime next year and they want to buy some land near us.  That means two full time resident sitters.  

Ever wonder why everyone seems to be calling people their 'sister' or 'mother' in the LOS?  Its because of the 'village' phenomenon in some parts of the country where kids are raised by relatives as if they are their own children.  The kids know who their real moms and dads are, but its not uncommon for young children of different moms to be raised by a grandmother or aunt while the parents work in the big mango.  That practice, along with many family members sleeping in one big room together is something I had to get used to seeing and experiencing.  When B and I first met and went back to visit her parents home, they had a small house with one large room where everyone slept on the floor under mosquito nets and a fan.  From there we moved to the farm with our own bungalow.

This was our first 'home' on the farm before it became a resort
It was hand built by B's father for the two of us
We have changed a lot from those times, but going through that period helped me understand the closeness and importance of family in Thai culture.  From our first little shack of a house to now, its the realization that the people we call family, and not the house,  is what is most important.

Our farm in the old days before the resort - our shack way in the background
So today, we don't have to deal with the heat and mosquitoes as we are back in the mango.  Instead we deal with petty things like getting a car wash, running errands, and deciding where we want to have dinner.  This has been one crazy but wonderful journey in life....  wouldn't trade it for anything.

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