Far from the City, Thailand
Far from the frenzy of Bangkok, rolling fields unfold around me. I gulp the rest of my coffee and hope that the caffeine will kick in soon. It is early morning – barely daytime – and I am driving a tractor for the first time in my life.
Stephen rides in the trailer with the tools – machetes and hand saws. He is brave I think to myself as we bounce along the steep dirt road that leads up to the radio tower where we will spend the day clearing vines, brush, and trees. I did explain that I’ve never actually driven a tractor. I also offered to let him drive. But my French is about as good as his English so there is a chance that something was lost in translation.
Astrid and the boys are herding sheep.
We are spending the week on a farm near Pakchong – northeastern Thailand.
Dawn, an American, has lived here for the past 40 years and speaks fluent Thai. Tosh, a local who spent several years in the United States, speaks perfect English. Together, along with their 10 children, they created a church and Bible school on the property. About 90% of Thai people are Buddhist so the church likely served a small group of local Christians. These days, Tosh runs a radio station out of the church – mostly playing “oldies” music. The building that once served as the Bible school now hosts travellers from around the world – people taking a break from their travels to settle down for a bit.
Waking early - before the sun rises - we spend our mornings working - herding the sheep, building, repairing, cleaning. Afternoons - in the scorching heat of the sun - are spent floating in the pond.
And as daylight fades we gather around the campfire and trade stories under the stars.
Here is a 2 minute video of our time at Homtel Farmstay: