After completing the move back to the Swamp Castle, I have been enjoying the house and keeping it warm by cutting wood for the outdoor stove. Cold temperatures have kept the stove (and me) busy. The birds have returned to the feeder. I enjoy them more than ever. I particularly like that a pair of blue jays has appeared to eat the stale bird food I dumped on the ground. 


Thanksgiving: Brother Joe and Dad Paul were gone, so five of us had a meal here at the house--Lance, Mom, Kae, Champoo and I. 


Champoo is doing well in school. Her English improves by the day. She is so driven. She is also artistic. She draws, sews, paints, whatever. Some days she goes out to the shop after school and builds things using the drill press. She does not use the table saw, which is a relief, but in general, Thai kids have no problem with dangerous situations because they aren't protected from them by over-doting parents. Kae has no problem with Champoo using power tools by herself over in the shop.


Does that sound careless? Well, that was the exact leeway my parents gave me. I had free run of almost everything on the nursery save for over-the-road vehicles. 


When I decided in fifth grade I needed to weld something, Dad showed me then basics, the disappeared while I figured out the rest on my own! My freedom was nothing compared to that given my peers, who were driving thirty to forty miles from home on their motorcycles and snowmobiles in junior high with no cell phones. 


So, times have changed. 


Champoo also thinks American kids are wimps. They cry at the slightest injury, while she shrugs off flesh wounds and keeps on playing. A kid pushed Champoo on the playground. Without blinking, Champoo decked the kid. Such a response isn't standard playground protocol here, as she found out, but in Thailand, apparently, it is expected if you are to survive. 


I was worried Champoo would be teased by the kids for her accent, her name, whatever. 


Kae waved off my concerns. "I not worry about Champoo. I worry about other kids!" she said. 


Early on, Champoo sheepishly raised her hand when she didn't understand the teacher and was thrilled when she wasn't scolded for needing help, as she would have been in Thailand. Instead the teacher was very nice and helped her understand. That won over Champoo completely. 


Champoo has no notion of cold weather and played outside the other day until her fingers were blue. We talked about it at the Thanksgiving table and asked her to show us her fingers, which were by now bright red. 


"Do not talk about me," she said flatly, and hid her hands under the table.


We stopped talking about her. 




After completing the move back to the Swamp Castle, I have been enjoying the house and keeping it warm by cutting wood for the outdoor stove. Cold temperatures have kept the stove (and me) busy. The birds have returned to the feeder. I enjoy them more than ever. I particularly like that a pair of blue jays has appeared to eat the stale bird food I dumped on the ground. 

Thanksgiving: Brother Joe and Dad Paul were gone, so five of us had a meal here at the house--Lance, Mom, Kae, Champoo and I. 

Champoo is doing well in school. Her English improves by the day. She is so driven. She is also artistic. She draws, sews, paints, whatever. Some days she goes out to the shop after school and builds things using the drill press. She does not use the table saw, which is a relief, but in general, Thai kids have no problem with dangerous situations because they aren't protected from them by over-doting parents. Kae has no problem with Champoo using power tools by herself over in the shop.

Does that sound careless? Well, that was the exact leeway my parents gave me. I had free run of almost everything on the nursery save for over-the-road vehicles. 

When I decided in fifth grade I needed to weld something, Dad showed me then basics, the disappeared while I figured out the rest on my own! My freedom was nothing compared to that given my peers, who were driving thirty to forty miles from home on their motorcycles and snowmobiles in junior high with no cell phones. 

So, times have changed. 

Champoo also thinks American kids are wimps. They cry at the slightest injury, while she shrugs off flesh wounds and keeps on playing. A kid pushed Champoo on the playground. Without blinking, Champoo decked the kid. Such a response isn't standard playground protocol here, as she found out, but in Thailand, apparently, it is expected if you are to survive. 

I was worried Champoo would be teased by the kids for her accent, her name, whatever. 

Kae waved off my concerns. "I not worry about Champoo. I worry about other kids!" she said. 

Early on, Champoo sheepishly raised her hand when she didn't understand the teacher and was thrilled when she wasn't scolded for needing help, as she would have been in Thailand. Instead the teacher was very nice and helped her understand. That won over Champoo completely. 

Champoo has no notion of cold weather and played outside the other day until her fingers were blue. We talked about it at the Thanksgiving table and asked her to show us her fingers, which were by now bright red. 

"Do not talk about me," she said flatly, and hid her hands under the table.

We stopped talking about her.