5: The Infamous Day Five

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Apparently there’s some sort of thing that happens on day five of two-week mission trips. The excitement has worn off, people get on each other’s nerves, the reality that there’s still a long way to go on the journey smacks mission trippers across the face like a huge, wet mackerel. Or so we were told. Fortunately, that hasn’t happened today (at least so far—it’s now 7:15 in the evening). Perhaps we were spared because the first four days of the trip had an unusual number of obstacles. (Our luggage was lost, but then found; the air conditioning wasn’t working in several of our rooms, but what did we expect? It’s not like we were staying at a five-star hotel; and Sarah was exposed to the chicken pox and wasn’t immune to them, but we found out her shingles vaccine covered her!) So, problems—but problems that were solved.  Anyway, here’s how our lovely day five unfolded:

 

Every year the team brings the older girls from the safe house away for three days of luxuriating—and it began today. It allows them to have some freedom from taking care of the young kids, worrying about whether their families will try to force them back to working in the brothels, and gives them a chance to simply unwind. 

    Crossing the border lifted everyone’s spirits. There’s a certain lightness that came upon many of us as we re-entered Thailand. On the way to the resort, we stopped by a scenic national park where we walked for a bit and checked out the cave where the Thai boys had been trapped earlier this year. 

     When we reached the resort and checked in, the first order of business was heading to the pool before it got too dark. The water is a perfect refreshing temperature and being cool instead of feeling hot and sweaty is a sweet relief. 

     As I began writing this blog post, the girls were frolicking in the pool, playing a silly game with a beach ball and a bunch of the team. It’s such a pleasure listing to the exuberant chatter of everyone counting the number of times they can hit the ball back-and-forth without it hitting the water (the record so far is an amazing 90 times!) lunging to hit it in the air and laughing when it goes awry. [Interesting side note: One by one the girls headed back to get freshened up for dinner, but the team couldn’t stop playing because it was so darn fun. It got dark and only then, like when we were kids being called in to dinner, we reluctantly headed back inside.]

     Tonight we will all meet for dinner and tomorrow we will gather together to share with each other, laugh, cry and bond in general. But for now, the infamous day five has gone out like a lamb.