Tuesday, December 30, 2014

It's Already Spring, and New Years

Spring has Sprung in time for New Years

It appears that, after a few days of weather in the 50's, winter has come and gone and temperatures are rising, as are plants in farmer's fields.

This photo is from a quick trip I made out into the countryside, and happened to notice that the farmers had already started their crops for the new year.
farmers field thailand

I'm not sure what they might be growing here, but they were all in nice rows, which worked well for the photo.

A day or so later, I drove out to my favorite nearby rice field and noticed there too, new rice was just sprouting.

A new field of rice! One of my favorite foregrounds when taking pictures of the sunset.

It seems sort of fitting for new plants to be growing out of the earth as the new year arrives, and I don't mind being in a climate that makes this possible.

With the new year almost here, I want to include one resolution for the new year in this post:

  • Post new updates at least twice a month for the next year (2015) on this blog!

Which means the posts might be a little shorter, and more specific. I also hope to include lots of pictures, which has been something I've really enjoyed doing in 2014.

It's interesting to reflect and realize that I started 2014 with a 6MP point and shoot camera that really couldn't do a lot. A few days into 2014 I upgraded to a Canon Powershot SX 280 HS, which offered 12 MP, great zoom, full manual control, and really great photos for the size!

But by the summer, I already felt like it was holding me back, so I upgraded again to the Sony a6000 (24MP, which is funny how that doubled each time I upgraded) and now it's me holding the camera back from its full potential.

Anyway, I'm excited for 2015, for continuing to learn new things, travel to new places, volunteer in Southeast Asia, and live the life God has created me for.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Winter in Thailand

It is Getting Cold Around Here...

Sit and watch the sunset from this convenient bench.
Winter in Thailand means that it stops raining, and drops into the 60's at night (sometimes). 

This isn't ideal if you're hoping for a white Christmas, but for most other activities, especially outdoor related, this is ideal.

I've been taking a lot of drives around the countryside on my moped, as the weather is perfect and all you need is a light jacket for morning or evening rides. This has afforded me a number of great photo opportunities of the less touristy variety.

I recently drove up a long windy road that twisted through a little village, and led to an amazing mountaintop view of the sunset. And while I enjoyed the view and sunset, it was the rural village and people who grabbed my attention.

Some of the nicer houses at the top of the mountain
They live in very simple accommodations, with many of the houses made of corrugated metal or plastic pieces, and other miscellaneous materials. The roads were a mix of cement and red clay, with most walls having a reddish color from the dirt. Bits of building material, old vehicles, and other items were scattered around. Chickens were everywhere, as were kids and mothers.

I didn't stop to take any pictures, because I didn't want to disturb or make a scene. But it gave me the chance to reflect on the many things I take for granted, and to be thankful for them. especially in this holiday season.

It is so easy, even living in Thailand where poverty levels you rarely see in America, are literally around the corner form your house, to get busy, get caught up, and forget about thankfulness, and about the people around you.

I'll be trying to slow down a little over the holidays, between trips into the mountains, to be thankful for what God's given me, and look out for people around me. And I hope to encourage you to try something similar.

Vietnam for a Day (or a few)

Near Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
I had the chance to visit Vietnam for a few days in November, and it was a great experience. The trip went so fast, it almost felt like only a day.

I always find it exciting and interesting to see a new culture, and the Vietnamese culture is very different from most cultures I've seen before. They have a fairly strong french influence that was evident in everything from the food, to architecture, both of which I am a fan of.

Many of the buildings in Vietnam were taller, thinner and more elaborately decorated than buildings in Thailand. It wasn't uncommon to see a 4-5 story house that was 10 feet wide (at most) and 30-40 feet long. I have no idea why they make buildings so tall and thin, because in most situations space didn't seem to be a problem.

Rice Fields and Mountains - Thailand
has plenty of them to explore.
The food was a nice experience, as bread and coffee were plentiful, along with a number of more Asian oriented dishes.

Overall, the parts of Vietnam I visited were a lot of fun, but not necessarily somewhere I would go back to. There are lots of new places to explore.

Thanks for stopping in and reading. If you have any thoughts or questions, leave them below int he comments. The pictures are a variety from around Chiang Mai, and Vietnam.

Merry Christmas!