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Lives Changed, Etc.

January 10, 2012

From the Field

Just over one year ago, I was walking through the little village in Chiang Rai where Michael and I had lived for the past six months, on my way to say good-bye to little Oii. As we were packing our bags for the move back to the U.S., I heard Oii had been home sick from school for a few days, so I went to her house. I knocked and knocked, but no one answered. A conversation in broken Thai with a neighbor told me her friends had dragged her to school that day after all.

As I turned from her house to go, I walked past the small building in the yard where Michael and I had stayed during our first visit to Thailand a year before that day. For one endless night, we had slept restlessly under the mosquito netting as we listened to what we thought was a giant lizard crawling along the roof. It was actually a rooster, we discovered bright and early. As I stood in Oii’s yard and remembered that night, it seemed like forever ago.

Now, sitting at my desk in Michigan, that day in the yard seems even more a distant memory. I’m living in Grand Rapids now, working a full-time office job while Michael works for SOLD from home. Sometimes when I get home from work, I will pound him with questions about what is going on, what stories he has heard, what the kids are up to. I pretty much accost anyone at work with flyers and information about SOLD if the conversation meanders in the slightest towards trafficking or Thailand or non-profits or rice or words that rhyme with SOLD.  (I’m not picky.) Sometimes Michael and I go to a local Thai place and exchange a few words in Thai with the chef, and this earns us complimentary coconut ice cream without fail.

It is hard to believe a year has passed since we were in Thailand, a time when we were (sort of) speaking the language and (fully) enjoying the food and (beyond expression) cementing our belief in the power of prevention more and more each day. Thank you to all of you who have walked a similar journey with The SOLD Project.

Here’s to more years passing and even more lives changed. Because if there is one thing I learned about trying to help change the lives of at-risk children in Thailand, it’s that they have the power to change my heart even more.


Heather and Michael Colletto lived at the Resource Center in Thailand in the second half of 2010. They first visited Thailand on a vision trip in January 2010. Michael is SOLD’s Communications Director and Heather continues to work part-time with donor relations and managing the SOLD blog. They live and work in Grand Rapids, Michigan and hope a return visit to Thailand is in their near future!

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 16, 2012 7:12 pm

    Love that photo! Such a great day….

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