Mr. Brandon goes to Thailand
We've been catching some emails and blogs from the YWAM team that has gone to Thailand, including our very own Brandon Sanchez. Here's some of the posts - some are from Brandon and some are from the other team members (keep checking back, we'll keep putting them up as we receive them)
Want to see more pictures???
For the first batch of pictures click here.
To see the last batch of pictures, click here.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
So, I got back from Thailand, back to the country that I call home on Monday. I was even in LA for a couple hours. Within those hours of touching base in my home, I had already gone to McDonalds and had a bag of Reeseís. But as I stepped outside from customs to go to our next flight in the other airport, I noticed that it was freezing. I've been hearing about how hot it was and then I stepped out and it was cold!
Then I realized how in the last week of Thailand I had finally gotten used to that heat, so it actually comes in handy now. But I have noticed a few other things that have carried over from Thailand too. Over there, you can not put your foot on your knee, or your feet out, because the bottom of your feet is like flipping them off. I also realized in my last week in Thailand on the Island of Kho Samet, which I became angry when people had their feet pointing at me. And this is something I used to do all the time here, so now I feel weird when everyone does it, and when I see myself doing it I want to stop. It's actually interesting, well for me at least I don't know how much for you peoples. I also want to take off my shoes in all buildings, then when I'm inside with my shoes on, I'm like, "Ahh, I forgot! Wait... should I have taken my shoes off? Oh wait, I'm in America..." This goes on a lot, but is going awayish. Well tonight we are actually having a Love Feast at some restaurant, where I will get some real steak for the first time in two months, OH YEAH!!! So, I'm excited.
Leaving will be kind of hard, because I feel as if this
is my home now, without all my stuff, but still like it's home. And all the
people I've met here, they're great and we've grown really close on these past
two months. But, I also really miss home, and am actually leaving on a retreat
within hours of me getting back home, so I'll see lots of friends, and then
everyone else soon too. Oh yeah, we played a show last night too, but I had just
woken up, and was kind of boring, except for one part, but we have that on tape,
and I'll be getting it soon too, so if you're wondering what we were like kind
of, this will be the best way, and let me know.
Friday, August 3, 2007
(from Jamie, Brandon's mom)
I just wanted to let you know Brandon and the YWAM team will be leaving Bangkok, Thailand on Sunday Aug, 5 at 11:30 am our time. They will arrive in Montana on Monday at 6:15 pm. He will arrive back in LAX on Friday at 3:45. He will then leave again Saturday morning, just for a few days this time, to go on the youth retreat with Open Door. Last I heard he will be teaching there. I have not heard from him since Tuesday. They were leaving Maskerdam and headed for Bangkok for debriefing.
Monday July 30, 2007
Well, I'm doing good, very tired, but good. Are shows are done now, but when we did shows we mostly played in colleges, universities, some high schools, and a couple restaurants. They went well. The church here actually goes around and hands the Thai the Bible's and stuff after and during the shows. When we tried to talk to them, well, it just didn't really work out. We have one translator and he can't go with us all, so it was mostly the Thai's that talked, and we got everyone in an area for them to evangelize. But, everyone did share their testimonies and stuff, which was pretty cool. About 43 people came to the Lord that we saw. We know we impacted more, because we saw them asking questions and saying that they wanted to go to church. In Thailand, when they do stuff like that, or if they become a Christian, their parents basically disown them, so they want to make sure this is the right thing to do, which, of course it is, and since they check into it deeply, we have basically won.
The food here is, well, rice, and umm... rice, and ummm... well, more rice. We have it for breakfast lunch and dinner every day, with other dishes that they give us. Like, basically spicy stuff, sometimes fish, squid, one time an octopus. We get lots of really good fruit too, the fruit looks like it's going to kill you, but they all taste amazing.
On this trip I have learned that you really have to go out, and reach out to other countries, or anywhere, even in America, but you have to do it. At least to people you know, and you can use what you love to reach people, you don't have to something you hate. You see a little bit on the Mexico mission trips, but nothing compared to leaving everything you know, so I say go over seas, and do a mission trip, you'll learn and see a lot. And if you go to 2nd world you'll start to appreciate what you have back home a lot more, those things that you all take for granted, like your nice showers, and food that tastes nice and greasy, nice clean areas around your house. You don't get that in a week of a mission trip, you need more, so I would just suggest if you can, do it.
Sunday, July 22
The computers don't let the letters send a lot of the time, so I had given up on long letters, plus the computers shut off because of the time limit and it all costs money.
Well, today I'm doing whatever I want, which is hanging out at the mall and then I don't know what. I am in Mahaserakam. It's a 7 hour drive from Bangkok. I'm doing well, but I miss Dr. Pepper, Mountain Dew, Reeseís Pieces, Peanut Butter Cups, and people that speak English. Every time we meet someone who speaks English we get really excited. It's weird with like no one speaking English.
But the shows are going well. About 10 people came to the Lord at a show. The Thai like to make sure of it, the gospel, themselves before making a commitment. But when you put the question in their heads they will go crazy until they figure it out for themselves, so it's like we won. I MC'd a show one time, that was fun stuff.
I think that I'm going to be here another week. I think, and then we're going to Bangkok again for I don't know how long. After that, we are going somewhere else that is a surprise.
Brent and Bryan had scorpions and said they tasted like popcornish stuff. I don't where I was when they bought them, but I did see them eat it. I have seen some bugs around though. I ate squid once. It tasted like rubbery stuff.
Well, since itís the end of July now, I guess I missed the water fight in Bangkok. When I was there like the 8th, I didn't get to see it either.
There are like 8 year old monks walking around though, that's interesting, they shave their eyebrows in case you wondered.
Everything has an odor here of some sort, but now I don't know that odor, because I'm used to it.
I think I have a show tomorrow; no I do, I just don't know where, probably another college or university. I don't know what else to say. I don't know what's going on really.
Thursday, July 19th
Tell them all that I said hello from Thailand and that I don't know what day it is. I miss America. Period. Like Dr. Pepper, and not rice, and chicken, yeah... I'm never eating chicken or white rice again... but anyways. I showered with a scorpion last night, and daily I shower with centipedes and various beetles and grasshoppers that fly. Surprisingly, we donít have that much free time after playing and working. Tell them
I said thanks for the prayer. Love you lots too.
PS: Geckos say "gecko, gecko" no joke
Thursday, July 19th
I never know how to start these things. I usually say hello but that seems stupid.
Last couple days have been crazy. We've played more and more shows and I've broken more and more strings. Last night I broke 4 strings in one show. In the first half, I broke my A, but during the testimony I changed it and it was all good. Then, during the last two songs I broke my G,B,and high E in the same song. Every time I broke one two thoughts came to my head
1. This is malarkey
2. Maybe an evil spirit doesn't want me to play so much that he insists on breaking my strings. If this is the case this may be the dumbest demon because I'll just keep changing strings or using Bryan's guitar. Plus like 30 kids came to Christ last night. That'll teach 'em.
It's kinda crazy though. During the show, the Thai won't move. Not even a foot tap. We played a show at a college and we had about 100 kids to the left of us sitting at tables and 100 kids to the right of us sitting at tables and a empty courtyard in between. They refused to move. Yet after the show, they rushed the stage and the males in the group about suffocated to death under the wrath of 100 Thai College girls.
Apparently every one loves Harry Potter here and the biggest compliment they can give you is to tell you that you look like one of the characters from the movie. I'm Ron. This actually came as a relief because I'm about a foot and a half taller than everybody and I was sure they were going to call me Hagrid. Which still wouldn't be that bad because then I would look like the lead singer for Coheed and Cambria. He's a Hagrid.
Brandon is Harry, and we took about 200 pictures with these people. It's just crazy.
Thank again to everybody who has been praying or just reading the blog period. It makes my day.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
It's great! When we switched over to Mahaserakam, at first it was horrible, but I'm totally used to it now. Well, not totally. They have squatty potties. And other stuff. But the shows, we've had 3. The second they fed us, and it was like a big restaurant. I ate squid. The scavenger hunt was so we'd get used to Bangkok. Hot in Mexico? We sweat when we sit. No joke. Inside too. Yeah. No good. Mexico sounded interesting though. Drew's going to Russia? I wanted to see him when I got back. Well, I hope he has fun. That's nice I inspired someone.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Things are great here! We've had 3 shows already. Our first show didn't go over so well...we were performing in a 'festival' thing and were the first in a string of bands, so had to use another persons sound system. It was bad. But it was okay...just the first show of many, and our other two have been great!
Thailand is amazing. We've seen tons of crazy awesome things...like elephants walking down streets, fried cockroaches and real straw covered houses, not the fake ones people try to duplicate. We even ate at what we would call back home a Mongolian grill...here they call them barbeque (don't know what sonny would say...lol *wink*). But it was a REAL one!!! it was sweet...thatís all i have to say. We're staying at a church a mile or so out of town, and it's great. We kind of took over--lol--but we clear the space on Saturdays and Sundays when they need it. It's a small church, but it's perfect. The pastors family cooks us amazingly awesome meals three times a day (unless we are in town...we eat there). The family is so great to us...they are such a blessing.
The fruit here is so different! They have these crazy sea anemone looking things called litze (again sp?) and this pink alien skin fruit called 'dragonfruit' that tastes kind of like kiwi.
It's out of this world.
but anyway, Iíve got to go. Over and out!
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Moving On and Snapping Strings
Anywho. We have been keeping busy. We have gotten through the first few shows and we are getting the hang of the Thai. But our second show is what the next couple paragraphs are going to be about. Because once again, the stupid American makes himself look like a fool. But this time it wasn't my fault.
We are playing in this amazing outdoor Thai BBQ. Think Hu Hot with the grill at every table. We have our own light show and an amazing sound guy and we actually sound good (haha). We playing and playing and playing and about half way through the set, I brake a string. No big deal right? Next song I brake two. The acoustic guitarist is down to three strings and all of the acoustic driven songs are at the end.
So, for the next song I was basically the hype man and I turned my volume down and twisted my ankle jumping off of the drum set. Brent came up with this great idea that I would use the other guitarists guitars for the songs that I absolutely need to play but that involved me convincing them onstage that my part was more important and that they should give me their guitar.
Thankfully they were good sports about it. In fact I think the song that I used Bryans electric I saw him crawling around onstage growling. He really gets into it. Like...really. The point where it's creepy. Eh, who cares. It turned out okay.
The Thai love talking about Jesus with us but we haven't prayed with anybody to accept Christ but moral is still up.
I'm not a fan of the food so much here as all of us have lost a couple pounds. Mom and Dad, I promise I'm making better decisions than the whole hair thing.
Keep praying for all of us and I miss every single one of you!
I love you all.
So, Thailand eh?
Insane. Absolutely insane.
First, a little bit of what we've been doing. Basically the past two days have been days of rest (if I dare say the word rest) and getting used to the Thai. The Thai are very interesting people. Very shy, very friendly, and easily embarrassed. Which I suppose I shouldn't be surprised if I was walking to my class at Northwestern and some random Asian came up to me and started frantically asking me questions in Thai, I'd kinda giggle to my friends and walk away.
We have been hanging out in these live markets the past few days and they are sweet! You can my anything and everything here.
Now, for my crazy adventure.
So our first night here, me, Brandon, and Amber were going to get our hair dyed something crazy. I mean how cool would it be to walk into a hair salon and get your dyed by a lady who has no clue what in the world your saying? Not very cool, but we wanted it done anyway. Amber and Brandon got it done that night and both of their hair turned out sweet. Brandon got the anime orange strips in his hair and Amber got her's dark purple.
I was way to tired to make a conscious decision of my appearance so I went with Amber to get mine done the second night. We go in there and try to explain to the lady that I wanted low lights with some crazy blue streaks or something like that. She nods and we begin.
Except one problem. She keeps going behind the counter and laughing with her friend. We have no idea what she is saying but she comes out and works on my hair and then goes behind the corner and laughs.
Then she takes off the tin foil and my hair has white blonde streaks. White blonde. She calmly folds it back up and then goes to get the dark brown stuff and starts painting over the white. And going behind the corner and laughing. This is a very uncomfortable situation I'm in. I can't understand her, and she can't understand me and I have virtually given this women creative freedom over my head.
We wash my hair and actually the dye job doesn't look bad. In fact you can barley tell anything happened to it. Amber says it brings out the color in my hair that was already there....whatever. That's girl talk.
After she washes it, she does the unthinkable. She starts straightening my hair. Amber is watching and is just trembling with laughter on the verge of explosion. I'm dumbfounded. I looked like a cross between an Asian man-whore and a lion. It was funny. I get out of there and dump an entire bottle of water on my head to bring make the Josh mop.
Hey everyone. I don't have much time in this internet cafe, so I will make this fast. The trip over here did not go well. Both Canadians had some passport trouble and couldn't get out of LAX. We don't know how soon they will get here but this is very bad news as one of our leaders is Canadian.
The drum set made it over hear generally in pieces. And I mean PIECES. The bass specially, is cracked in so many spots. My guitar has some slight warpage and the electric guitars have definitely been tampered with. Both the flutist and the violist ate some shady street food here and have a hardcore case of the flu. Right now they can't leave the dorm.
Spencer (drummer boy) got a sprained wrist carrying so much stuff. We think he'll be okay by next week.
Except here is the worst thing. Our other leader had some tobacco in one of his checked bags and apparently you CANNOT bring that into Asia. When we landed in Tokyo the security guards went ape nuts. He is still in Tokyo and the rest of us went on to Bangkok.
I'm just kidding. The trip here couldn't have gone any smoother. We got up at like 2 in the morning 3 days and drove to Missoula. We flew to Salt Lake City, and then on to LAX.
After that we had the joy of a 15 hour flight to Tokyo. It was a pretty nice plan. We flew with Korean Air and our stewardess barley spoke English and looked like they came out of an anime movie. I kid you not. It was great. Spencer and I sat by this Korean kid named Peter (irony) who happened to be a Christian which was pretty neat. What was even neater is that this kid was spirtatually deep. I've never met a 13 year old with his insight.
We also met another Christian on our flight. Emmanuel, another Korean was about 50 years old and the son of a minister. What made this guy so special is that he is the inventor of the TV program that allows TV stations to display Korean, Japanese and English writing all at the same time. He also sold the Breath-a-lizer to Korea. Yes, he is a muli-million air.
We got in Bangkok around 2 in the morning. We had a good nights sleep and we got up in the morning to grilled banana peanut butter sandwiches and Strawberry Smoothies for breakfast. We had some Thai culture lessons and then we started the Scavenger Hunt.
This has been crazy. Fewer people speak English than I thought, and we have to ask them questions such as "Can you tell us where nearest 7 Eleven is?" They'll just kinda laugh and look embarrassed and walk away. The people who do speak will say "Go....eh..here...and...eh...hehe...and go...turn.." with various hand motions and there friends in the back giggling. Ah well. I'd laugh at me too. We are the very definition of tourists at this moment but I hope to blend in with the best of them soon....haha..
Well, the adventure has started and in the words of my Korean pilot...
"Erro! Please put your seat in the upper-a-right poseetion!"
I plan to do just that.