the Vernon Journal

Serving the Kingdom in Southeast Asia

A Hill people...

The Akha are a people of the hills. We came to understand this fact intimately during our first stint in an Akha village. One of the first bits of language that we learned was how to say “good bye”. There isn't really an exact equivalent. Basically, the person leaving says one of two things: “O iˇ ma de” (I'm going up.) or “O le ma de” ( I'm going down). And the person who is staying responds with either : “O la loe o iˇ de” (Go slowly up) or “O la loe o le de” ( Go slowly down.) We found out that there really isn't a word for “go” at all. It's either “go up” or “go down”. And boy is that true! We walked up and down so many hills that even though our Akha Mom (Lydia) was feeding us near to bursting three times a day, we didn't run the risk of gaining any weight!

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