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Our trip to Thailand this year seemed to be fraught with pit falls and set backs from the very start. We always make such careful plans before leaving home, thinking WE know what's best. It is interesting to look back on all the delays and frustrations we experienced and see God's hand in everything.

When we arrived at Bangkok airport after over 40 hours of traveling, we discovered the hotel I had booked for us did not have the shuttle service they advertised. After about 30 minutes of trying to get some answers, a lady at an airport taxi counter called our hotel and they told me "no shuttle, come on your own". By this time we were so tired and upset we took the lady at the counter's offer of taking an airport taxi, instead of going to the curb to the taxi queue. It cost us way more than what we should have had to pay, another lesson learned the hard way.

After checking into our room at the hotel, I tried calling my border contact, Honest Roger, but couldn't reach him. He works for an aid organization on the border and travels constantly between the 7 refugee camps. He would arrange for us to get camp passes to both camps.

We had decided not to fly to our friend Rudy's home in Lampang early the next morning. We have learned from past experiences that we needed 2 nights rest before starting the second leg of our journey. Our tentative plan was to travel to the border town of Mae Sot with our American friends, Rudy and Mark, exchange our money into Thai baht and head for the border on 20th.

We ate a light lunch at hotel and went to bed early. I got sick a couple hours later with an intestinal "bug" and didn't get a lot of sleep. I ate very little the next day and for the next 10 days mostly ate plain rice or a slice of bread.