An Akha Christmas

It's "winter" in Thailand. This, of course, means it is 65 degrees instead of 95 degrees. Although we are very happy with the relief from the heat, our Akha neighbors are freezing. Last night they started bonfires all over the village. Despite how ridiculous that may sound, it was a lot of fun. The temperate weather also brings out the tourists. Mae Salong is usually a quiet little town, but its hopping right now. Yesterday we had an Irishman join us for lunch and a truckload of Thais came by after dinner. Today a few vans of Malaysians came through. Being the only pa la in Mae Salong we generally get to meet most everyone. It's kind of nice to meet people from all over the world without leaving our porch.
Christmas in Mae Salong will be on the 17th and 18th. The villages celebrate Christmas on different days so they can visit other villages. From what we can understand, they start the party on the 17th and sing carols late into the night - similar to our Christmas Eve service. The whole event will be a pretty big deal and people are doing all sorts of projects to get ready. The surprising news for us? One of the projects is going to be rebuilding our house. Apparently, our meeting area is to small, the layout is bad, our kitchen is too small, (our house is the "large meal" venue for the village) and our bamboo is bad (bamboo worms have been slowly turning our walls to dust). The great thing is, this time we get to be part of the process - and with the excess bamboo we are going to build a bathroom! I never thought I would be so happy about getting an outhouse for Christmas.
We'll keep you posted on these new projects and events as time goes on. Until then - Merry Christmas!

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