Stories for Sinaya: We First Learned About You in Thailand

Friday, December 01, 2017


My Dearest Sinaya,

Today, I read you a book entitled Mon Amour, my love. And the second page read:

"Je t'aime depuis que je te connais, et même avant.
I love you since I knew you, and even before."

It reminded me of that time, 3 years ago. The moment when we first found out about you.

Your papa and I had been in the north of Thailand, in a city called Chiang Mai. We were having the time of our lives, with no plans and no end destination.

It was the elephants that called out to us. 

A month before, while we were in a conference in Malaysia, your papa met with a very brave and famous woman who was the protector of elephants. Her name was Lek Chailert. She ran the Elephant Nature Park sanctuary in Chiang Mai and she thought it would be interesting for us to come and visit.

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We took a Thai Airways flight from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok and then a night train to Chiang Mai. I had been to the country many times before and your papa had not. We both liked it so much we decided to stay for a while. 

We often spent the day exploring. Your papa would take the biggest motorbike he could handle and go cruising around the city and through the mountains. He drove fast and he loved it! He would even drive 8 hours just to cross to Myanmar and back. He sometimes made me feel nervous but I knew we were in good hands.

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We were so adventurous, your papa and I. We climbed mountains, hiked to see waterfalls and even came by to spend a few days with the gentle elephants and see them up close.

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It's amazing to think now that we were experiencing all that with you. 

A month into our stay, I realized I was eating far too much pad thai noodles and sticky rice with mango. We lived in a small apartment close to the night market and I would wake up your papa up at 3AM just to get some spicy noodle soup. 

Having been skinny for most of my adult life, I found it strange to feel a bump on my stomach even when lying down. After another bike ride to the neighboring town of Chiang Rai to visit the white temple, I felt some abdominal pains when we arrived at our hotel. 

We were getting concerned and so we finally decided to see a doctor. The Thai doctor smiled a lot. He laughed a lot too. He confirmed our suspicion in broken English. He told us about you and that you were very healthy and energetic. Even then, you already were.

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You were an adventuress in the making even as you were cocooned in my belly.

We were lucky enough to be living in Chiang Mai. All I ate was healthy and delicious food. There was even a vegetarian restaurant, Imm Aim, that we frequented since it was only a short walk from our apartment. We were surrounded by polite and smiling people.

One special moment was when we set out a lantern into the night sky during the Yi Peng Festival. Your papa lit the candle and we held the lantern until it was ready to be lifted. And as we let go, I said a little prayer.

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"I pray for a healthy and happy child". And so you are.

For Christmas, we decided to spend the holidays in the small hippie town of Pai. The weather was starting to get cold then. And we still managed to have a motorbike adventure through more than a thousand hairpin curves. But I could sense your papa was much more careful this time, now that we knew you were onboard.

We would have several other adventures with you after that. I would even surf with you, while 4 months pregnant, when we traveled to Bali. And then we would journey back to the Philippines where we would meet you and hold you for the very first time.

But we would always remember those days in Thailand when we first learned about you.

Even then, you were already so yearned for and so loved.

Love, 
Maman

Lois Yasay Ribeiro is a writer from the Philippines. She spent the last 7 years traveling and blogging. She is currently based in Europe with her family and is available for press trips and writing assignments.

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3 sole trails

  1. Lois, this is so beautiful! Amazing that you two got to experience those with her. I'm excited for Sinaya to read these letters that you have for her. :)

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  2. Thank you Gem, I'm so glad you liked this piece. I think I will write more stories for Sinaya from now on :)

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  3. Interesting article to read ! very usefull! like to see when iam going there.

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