Christine’s mother had died on December 25, 2012. Therefore, Christine flew alone for a week to Germany for the funeral. She had very nice meetings with her relatives there. Reiner stayed alone in Lum Sum and held classes there.
In January, the school informed us that we should teach only one hour per week from now on, but that we would keep our employment contract unchanged and thus also get extended by one year. So we could get new visas in March for a whole year until the end of March 2014.
Due to the reduced workload, the learning of the language progressed better. We were able to buy a very clear and understandable grammar of the language and found a very good course on the Internet based on the book of “Spoken Thai” by Mary R. Haas and Heng R. Subhanka. This course made it easier for Christine to learn the language. Reiner preached in Thai and was already able to deliver parts of the sermon freely. In class, he now used both Thai and English to explain English grammar.
At the end of March we flew to Germany to visit relatives and friends. With us flew Kanda, a friend from Thailand, who had already invited us several times to vacation days in her home region in the south. We experienced great hospitality and many warm encounters in Germany and the Netherlands. For Christine, however, it was too much. During the next months she was often very weak and there was a lot she cannot eat.
Noi left high school to work as a motorcycle mechanic. In his place, we now supported Chai, Ploi’s brother, who started high school this year, and Miau, the daughter of one of our poor friends. However, since she lived close to the high school, we did not have to pay her money for the bus.
In our garden the teak trees were cut down and taken away. By a new fence the south part of the garden was separated, so that our dogs stayed outside, who like to dig up the ground so much. A vegetable garden was planted there with some fruit trees…. In the north part, pumpkins, papayas and some banana plants were planted. We were happy about the fresh lettuce, beans, cucumbers and herbs we could harvest there.
Kids we had in class who came to our house broke into our house several times, stole food and made dirt and messes. The last time, in June, we caught four of them in our house when we came back from shopping from town. We reported them to the school administration, and they called the police. The children were seriously admonished and banned from our house for 2 months. Since then, no children came to our house during the week.
Christine’s brother and his wife gave us a hand to create a homepage and paid for it.
Reiner’s mother died at the end of October. He flew to Germany for a week and had warm meetings with his relatives there.
Closer cooperation with Christians in our tambon and amphoe emerged.