An Achievement Worth Sharing
I had one of those Facebook memory photos pop up today, which showed my stepdaughter Peng a few months after her major operation two years ago. That memory took me back to 2013 when I first met Peng during a brief visit to Isan and the path we have travelled as a family since then.
Building in Thailand eBook
When my wife and I bought some land in Isaan, which is a region in the north east of Thailand, and then started to build our house I wanted to record the daily events of construction life. For twenty six weeks I wrote a weekly blog update about all the aspects of the build and included as much detail as possible for others who might be thinking of going down the same path. I was surprised by the number of readers I attracted as a result of writing on this subject, many of whom followed the entire build from beginning to end.
Based on this continued interest I thought I would revisit my original words and bring them all together under the one heading in the form of an eBook. Included in this process has been some extensive updating and expansion of many of the original posts and the addition of the many comments, which are designed to expand your knowledge and save you time or money or both!
Read more HERE and find out how to obtain the eBook.
I am loving your book – just on my second read at the moment, to make sure that I didn’t miss anything first time around (which actually it turns out I did!).
Just a note of thanks at this point ……. I am a fairly methodical sort of bloke, but there are many issues which your book highlights which I just wouldn’t have thought about – or if I had, I may well have assumed they were “standard” building practice [U-bends, drain positioning, barge-board alignment] – if it hadn’t been for your excellent descriptions!! I will probably still “miss” something – that’s the nature of building/design – but thanks to you, it shouldn’t be anything too mission-critical.
The income from my eBook pays for the upkeep of this blog, which is otherwise commercially free unlike so many others.
For regular readers I don’t have to tell you how incredibly proud I am of this young lady and her positive attitude to life that has taken her from a likely wheelchair outcome to being an independent and mobile university student in Chiang Mai.
This result is not just down to Peng but the unwavering support she has had from her mum. The increasingly solid and loving connection between these two, especially over the last couple of years when Peng needed her the most, has been one the highlights of my life. The photos that show these two together give a hint of the strength of that relationship.
I thought I would share a few photos of my time with Peng from the beginning to now, which shows her growing into the beautiful young adult she is today. Her constantly sunny attitude bursts through in so many of these photos and it was a real challenge to select which ones I would share.
One of the photos that started this post. You will see why later.
And the second one…………read on.
I met Peng in 2013 when I visited Isan and the family for the first time. We were staying in a resort close to the family home in Si Bun Ruang and here Peng has a close encounter with a sheep, which for her was a first-time meeting as well.
Peng was 13-year-old here. Mum and daughter.
Peng as a bridesmaid at our wedding in March 2014. My sister-in-law Sam on the left and a good friend Saskia Bicker-Emms on the right.
Just before we moved to Isan permanently, we flew Peng on her first air-plane trip to Chiang Mai to show her some of the places we enjoyed after 12 months living there.
It included a few days in Chiang Rai, where we lived for three months before moving to Chiang Mai.
Peng’s mobility restrictions at this time meant she couldn’t walk from the family home to our land, which was only 50 metres away. We bought her a three-wheel scooter in Chiang Mai and had it shipped to Isan. Was Peng pleased to be mobile? I think so.
The Operation and Recovery
Bedside after Peng’s operation in 2017. We were 10 days here before we could take her home.
Happy to be home.
Peng was three months in those casts. I think this photo shows the connection between mum and daughter like no other.
Casts off and Peng’s learning to walk again.
I measured up the steps at Peng’s school (her classroom was on the third level) and built these replicas so she could practice climbing stairs. She started with just a few as she walked endlessly around the dining table but ended up managing several hundred. I have a photo of Peng, first day back at school, heading up the stairs to her classroom. Yay Peng.
Off the walker and onto sticks. Practising her walking at the farm. Gaun was Peng’s shadow for months.
Nothing keeps that smile from shining through – sticks and all.
And another example.
If ever there was a photo that captured the joy in walking independently it is this one. The first time Peng walked from the family home to ours without help.
Endless hours on the treadmill. Her school thought that she’s have to repeat a term because of her long absense but Peng was determined to get back ASAP and not be head back from her goal of getting into university this year (2019).
More Recent Times
Laughter is always bubbling up between these two.
All dressed up for a Songkran village street party, Thai New Year.
She’s growing up.
Valentine’s Day, which happens to also be our wedding anniversary
Jennifer Bowra, one of the many friends we have had visit us in Isan, connections made as a result of my blog. I don’t have to make introductions when people drop in. They know as much about my family and who they are as I do 🙂
A child no more.
She’s a good mate, and not everyone can say that about a stepchild. Lovely.
Registering Peng at university in Chiang Mai earlier this year. The culmination of all that effort by Gaun and Peng.
Peng with new classmates.
Peng’s first-time teaching for real. Making an impression already.
This photo says it all really.
And maybe this one as well.
And one from yesterday to finish. An inspiration story Peng.
All grown up and starting her own journey. Go girl.
Thanks for reading.