the Vernon Journal

Serving the Kingdom in Southeast Asia

Down a Slippery Slope...

We've just returned from several great weeks in the village! It seems like every trip to the village yields some great stories and this trip was no exception to the rule. As you may know, it is currently rainy season in Thailand. It rains almost everyday for at least an hour or two, but sometimes it seems to drizzle or rain all day & night. (Which by the way, makes it very difficult to hang your laundry out to dry... but that's beside the point!) Well, one of those especially rainy days we were invited to visit a another village in our area. Now, our language is progressing, but often we don't quite understand all the details of what is being told to us. So, we were somewhat surprised to learn that the village we were visiting would take an hour & a half on foot over muddy paths down the side of a mountain. Paul & I consider ourselves to be somewhat athletic & coordinated people. Unfortunately, it seems that any coordination we ever possessed was left behind in America! As we progressed down the mountain we were slipping & sliding all over the place! The combination of a muddy path & slippery, wet sandals was just too much for us to navigate. To add insult to injury, our guides were two older Akha women (who couldn't have weighed more than 100 pounds each) and neither one of them mis-stepped once!

At one point, both Paul & I went clumsily careening down a certain section of path to find ourselves muddy and wet at the bottom. Our Akha traveling companions thought that we were the funniest thing they had ever seen and we all had good laugh! I'm sure we were quite a sight!

Well, long story short, we ended up abandoning our sandals and taking most of the trip in our bare feet. (Quite fun!) We had a great visit at the village and the trip back up the mountain was much less eventful. Apparently, “going up” takes much less skill than “going down.”

After a long, wet, adventurous day we could only be grateful for the experience. This is why we are living in the village after all, to learn & understand all the nuances of Akha culture.... like their uncanny ability to maintain their footing on a slippery slope!

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