Tag Archives: around the world

holy ground

These are a collection of images, from my trip around the world,  that I shared as part of a sermon “holy ground”  for Village Presbyterian Church


Day 31: the longest day continues

It was 25 hours ago that I began the journey home from Paris…could have flown back by way of Bangkok by now, I think. But then I technically would have not made it all the way around the world, which would ruin all the fun, right?

I’m at San Francisco airport, waiting for the last leg on the journey. The flight is oversold and there are delays, but I have a seat and they appear to be boarding…and a strict warning about one small carry-on. Oops.

Day 31: return, part II

9 hours in, I’m in Frankfurt airport, waiting for the next leg of my journey: Frankfurt to San Francisco.

The good news is, I seem to have an economy plus seat for the 1 hour flight from San Francisco to LAX.

The bad news is, I don’t yet have a seat on the (apparently full) flight from Frankfurt to San Francisco. One would think that 200,000 miles for a ticket around the world might at least get you a seat. One would be wrong!

I’m guessing that, regardless of seat I’ll be able to sleep on the plane, if for no other reason than sheer exhaustion. But, it would sure be nice to sleep on either an aisle or a window, with no one next to me in the middle seat…

It’s hard to believe the month-long adventure is coming to such an imminent close. Though I’d love to keep going, I’m hoping the travel part passes quickly!

Day 14: why did the farang cross the road?


no one stops for pedestrians in Chiang Mai, so it is a bit like human frogger

no one stops for pedestrians in Chiang Mai, so it is a bit like human frogger

Q: Why did the farang (foreigner, Thai equivalent of gringo) cross the road? 
A: The farang never made it across, there was way too much traffic…

I spent my last day in Thailand cruising around Chiang Mai–and a good amount of time just waiting for the tiniest break in traffic, to cross the road. 

Chiang Mai has a moat around it, and my guest house is just on the other side of the moat, which is lined with roads on either side. 

I spent the day catching up on a bit of writing, had one last Thai meal (cost me about $2 for lunch and a mango shake) and then a Thai foot massage (cost about $3, with tip).

Tonight I fly to Cairo, where I will spend the next two days being hosted by the Evangelical Seminary in Cairo.

Day 5: Chatuchak weekend market

for sale

for sale

Saturday morning we headed out, via taxi (upside of taxis in Bangkok: even an hour-long taxi ride can be as little as $1-2. Downside of taxis in Bangkok: sometimes, due to the excessive amounts of traffic, it is an hour-long taxi ride to go a few miles.) to the Chatuchak weekend market. Imagine a cross between a giant flea market and a sauna.

Everything is for sale at the Chatuchak market. Everything. Food (both to eat there and to take home to cook), pottery, Hello Kitty-esque umbrellas, clothing of all sorts, puppies, furniture, massage oil, antiques, plants…

It’s also FULL of people, locals and tourists alike. So, with the already hot and humid temperatures in Bangkok, plus the mass of humanity, and the occasional plastic tarp-roofed aisle ways, though it makes for some good bargains, it also makes for some sauna-like conditions.

I did manage to learn a few new Thai phrases in one of the shops where I stopped to bargain over a souvenir gift. One of the ways that I enjoy interacting with people when I am visiting their culture is to ask them to teach me some words in phrases. Without fail, in more developing countries, this has gotten a warm and friendly response.  It hasn’t worked so well for me in Paris.

Here are a few of the phrases (apologies for my weak attempts at phonetic spelling):

  • Kun sabay di may:  How are you?
  • Sabay di ka/kap: Fine thank you. (women say ka, men kap)
  • Tao lie:   How much is this?
  • Kun chil at lai: What is your name?
  • Chan chi: My name is

Day 1: departure

I arrived at LAX in what has turned out to be plenty of time. No line for check-in, no line for security. Wonder if it is the economy, or just Tuesday at noon?

This first leg of the journey will take me to Tokyo for a change of planes and on to Bangkok, Thailand. I will be in Bangkok to attend a conference–the same one I attended four years ago and which was fantastic. A bit hard to describe, but some of the most interesting people, involved in creative ministry around the world.

I’ll also be there to cover issues of human trafficking for The Presbyterian Outlook.

I’m hoping as well to be able to visit a couple from The Los Ranchos Presbytery who are living in Chaing Mai and working in AIDS education and prevention.

Time to start boarding…