Well, as I write this it’s April 1, 2020, and thanks to a freaking global pandemic, the world looks a wee bit different today than it did a few months ago.
Covid-19 has impacted everyone, everywhere, and Josh and I are no different. We were already in Thailand when the virus started to get serious, and we had to sit down together and discuss our plan – would we stay in Thailand, or try to get home to Canada immediately?
In fact, the decision was made for us.
Travel options closed quickly and our flights home were cancelled. We were meant to transit through Hong Kong, but that is no longer possible.
We registered with the Canadian embassy, but decided we are in no panic to return home and actually feel safer here than making our way through airports and boats and busses right now.
And you know what? We’re actually looking at being stuck at our house in Thailand for the pandemic (and the rainy season) as a challenge and an adventure.
We will hunker down on the land and see just how good we are at homesteading after all…for REAL, when nature really rears her head with the rains and with all the local businesses being closed.
We are off grid here, on a well, and have some access to food supplies we can order by boat, but life is quite simple, and we do most everything that needs to be done with our own two (well, four) hands.
So far, our isolation in Thailand has been really cool in some ways, but also challenging on many fronts. First, the weather.
It’s HAB—hot as balls—here. Most days reach 37 degrees Celsius for much of the afternoon, and our house is just far enough from the ocean that most breezes pass us by. Of course, with being offgrid, there is no air conditioning. The rainy season is coming, but for now.. wow. I try to do most of my activities early in the morning or after 4pm in the evening. Bending down to dig a hole for a plant or rake leaves can have me feeling ready to pass out.
So far, to pass the time, my focus has been gardening (want to know more about gardening in Thailand? Creating plants from cuttings? Tropical gardening hacks? Shall I write more about this? Please say yes if so!), simple no fail easy bread baking (want to know how someone with very little cooking skills is learning to bake stuff from scratch, in a BBQ no less!?), and caring and cooking for four free roaming dogs who have taken up residence at our place.
One of the dogs is of particular interest to me; we call him Sweepy (the little dude in the picture above). He’s about a year old and was the target of the pack for months after being abandoned in the area. He lived cowering by an abandoned bungalow, in his own excrement, waiting for the local dogs to gang up on him and attack him, which happened many times a day—I know because we heard him scream.
He wouldn’t fight back but rather would urinate himself and scream wildly. It was so heartbreaking.
Knowing that getting too attached to a dog here is very problematic, I finally decided to hell with it, I can’t watch this day in and day out, and spent some weeks gaining his trust so I could carry him up to the house.
I’m now feeding him and working on integrating him with the other dogs.
It’s been going amazingly well and the pack has grudgingly started to accept him—the intelligence, and direct communication of these wild dogs teaches me so much about how to manage dogs at home.
Well kids, it’s hot and I need a siesta, so that’s all for today. Would you like me to keep writing about homesteading in Thailand during the pandemic? What would you like to hear about?