Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Back from Burma

Long post -- encompasses two days...


“Hey, kids. Let’s go to Burma!”

Although few field trips beginning thusly have ended in anything but heartache, I’m optimistic about tomorrow’s excursion. If it’s anything like the last two days, we’ll be exhausted, exhilarated and extraordinarily slaphappy by the time we return.

Yesterday was the ‘work day’ at the orphan’s home. Who knew that hitting the ground with a stick for hours upon end in the blazing Thai sun with five dozen orphans could be so much fun? We hoed and shoveled and raked and mowed and weedwhacked until we couldn’t do any of the above listed activities no more. After a long day of manual labor, we headed to the night market to finish our shopping.

This morning we rewarded the kids for all of their hard work by taking them to a swimming pool. As if I needed more exertion in the hot sun. After a couple of hours being nearly drowned by soggy hilltribe children, we headed back into town to pick up a few things. Then Julie, Bob, Mindi, Pong and I headed out in the back of a pickup truck with Angela (probably not her Thai name) to a Lahu village somewhere between here and Laos, about an hour or so outside of anything resembling civilization to perform whatever medical services could be rendered within three hours and our big Tupperware container full of assorted pills.

It was amazing – one of those moments when I find myself absolutely astonished at my surroundings: A tribal village in the mountains of northern Thailand surrounded by chickens and huts and campfires and bare incandescent bulbs hanging over praying Jesuses. Mindi and Angela did triage and admission, Julie ran the pharmacy, Bob doctored and I took photos and prayed over each patient.

We barely made it back into Chiang Mai by our 11pm deadline to see the Sikh tailor who is making my shirts and jacket and Peter’s various clothestuffs. We ended up at a riverside restaurant called the Good View which boasted – no surprise – a good view of the Ping River, some decent food and a surprisingly good cover band.

Needless to say, I’m completely beat, a little sunburned and more that a wee bit dyspeptic. My 6pm wakeup call for Burma is going to come way too soon, and I probably won’t get a chance to post anything to the web for at least two days. I have about 100 pics I’d like to get online, and about 1,000 other photos I’ll try to show you later. I really should get some sleep. I’ll catch you all later. Peace.


Well, I’ve added Burma to my passport stamp collection. It really wasn’t much to write home about (although that’s not stopping, me, is it?), since we only spent an hour or so ‘in-country.’ The rest of the day we spent driving. And peeing. And occasionally eating things.

We stopped about half way between Chiang Mai and the Thai/Myanmar border to look at and pray over a large plot of land we’d like to purchase. It has a big house that needs only a little work, some farm fields, a lychee orchard and two fish ponds. This place would be perfect for a widow’s home, another orphanage, a camp and an agricultural microenterprise site that could provide food and funds for the existing orphanage and for any new facility we’d build on that land. Very cool, very good price, but we don’t have any money. Hence the prayers.

A couple hours north of that is Burma, or Myanmar as the junta likes to call it. We only spent an hour or so inside Burma, but we had time to see a touristy-to-the-point-of-being-exploitative show with the famous ‘long neck Karen’ tribeswomen and do a little shopping. Most importantly, however, we got to say we went to Burma. There are a million possibilities for ministry there. We’ve met with pastors who want to do some stuff, but it’s all got to be hushhush. So, we just stepped over the border and prayed for Burma, its children and the opportunities we might have to serve.

Then we came back – four bun-busting hours through mountain s-curves. My pastor, who suffers from motion sickness would not have lasted four minutes. Sorry, Jeff.

Tomorrow, we kill a pig. Literally. Like we may actually get to slit its throat for the orphan’s barbeque. I’ll let you know how that goes. Sounds gory. Tutu denied my request to just kick it ’til it dies. Oh, well.

Oh, and I just posted a bunch of new pics to the flickr page. You can click any of the pics on the blog to see them. Some are from Cambodia, so don’t get too confused.


1 comment:

amy paxton said...

50 ways to kill a pig...that could be your next writing project. Sounds like a bloody good time.