Nava and Moxie

meeting friends for the first time in Thailand

A few years ago, I received an email. Hey! I promise I’m not some crazy stalker!, it said, my daughter with Down syndrome was born right around the same time as Moxie, and I’m on a layover in San Francisco now, on my way back to Laos… want to meet?

Those might have not been the exact words, but it was the gist, and that’s how I specifically became friends with Kelley. We weren’t able to meet at that time, but we have stayed in touch – she’s become a close friend of mine in the Down syndrome community, so close that I did not hesitate at all in considering to visit Laos on our trip.

Mikey, however, hesitated.

Like a lot of fathers in the Down syndrome community, he’s had trouble understanding this whole Facebook-social-media-connection-thing. He thinks you have to actually meet a person in the flesh to beĀ friends with them, haha!

So Kelley and Nava came to Thailand instead.

Kelley and me
Kelley and me

This, I want to say: the Down syndrome parent community is truly one of the best things that has ever happened to me.

I’ve made online friends in that community that have both supported and challenged me; that have taught and listened to me. It’s a community that is rich in diversity and breadth of experience. It’s a community I am proud and blessed to be a part of.

Kelley and I clicked right off the bat, and guess what? So did Nava and Moxie!

20151211-IMG_475920151211-IMG_4769 20151211-IMG_4770Swoon.

Kelley had rented an apartment through Air BnB right in the heart of things in Bangkok. Kelley also speaks fluent Thai! And knows where what is in Bangkok! So we got to walk around and sample morsels of incredible deliciousness with her guidance.

Nava and Moxie by Meriah Nichols-23 20151211-_DSC0495 20151211-_DSC0497 20151211-_DSC0501 20151211-_DSC0504 Nava and Moxie by Meriah Nichols-22Kelley took us shopping for shoes the next day.

Moxie and Nava bought the same pair – only problem was they both wanted the mirror!

Nava and Moxie by Meriah Nichols-14 Nava and Moxie by Meriah Nichols-13 Nava and Moxie by Meriah Nichols-12 Nava and Moxie by Meriah Nichols-11 Nava and Moxie by Meriah Nichols-10 Nava and Moxie by Meriah Nichols-9 Nava and Moxie by Meriah Nichols-8 Nava and Moxie by Meriah Nichols-7 Nava and Moxie by Meriah Nichols-6 Nava and Moxie by Meriah Nichols-5!!!!

Nava and Moxie by Meriah Nichols-18 Nava and Moxie by Meriah Nichols-17 Nava and Moxie by Meriah Nichols-15We rode a Tuk-Tuk back together, before heading to the airport to fly back to Saigon.

Nava and Moxie by Meriah Nichols-4 Nava and Moxie by Meriah Nichols-3 Nava and Moxie by Meriah Nichols-2If we go back next year, we’re going to Laos.

For sure.

Nava and Moxie by Meriah Nichols-1
Moxie, wiped out. At the airport.
Meriah
Meriah Nichols is teacher and artist who lives in a yurt off the grid. She is deaf, has 3 kids (one with Down syndrome) and a lot of chickens. She writes about travel, disability, and getting dishes done. She likes her tea Earl Grey and hot.
Meriah

@meriahnichols

#deaf mom, teacher & #disability activist, living in a yurt #offthegrid. 3 kids (1 with #downsyndrome), a camera and a lot of chickens. Never a dull moment
A comprehensive collection of resources for new parents of children with Down syndrome - https://t.co/WfzGfpmWm6 - 2 hours ago
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