My Akha Wife

Lori Vernon sewing an Akha BagPlease do not take this title as anything to be concerned about - I'm just bragging on Lori a little bit. As we wrapped up our time at the youth camp yesterday (a time which we often felt more in the way than helpful) we were off to the hills to bring some kids and bible students back to their villages. When you go to an Akha village you cannot just drop someone off and leave. You have to catch up on life and drink something (water, tea, coffee... depending on the area) with the villagers.

We had never been to this particular village before and were enjoying the obligatory stares from the children when some of the Grandmothers came up to greet us. Immediately one woman looked at Lori's Akha Bag and shouted out "This foreign girl sewed an Akha bag" - it was quite obviously not a purchased petung. All the grandmothers came around to examine it. It was a great opportunity to brag on Lori a bit so I told her to get the bag she was working on now. She pulled out her most recent Akha needlework and the women were so proud of her. One of them said "This foreign mom has an Akha heart" (she was called 'mom' because of her age - we are not reporting any new family additions).

The women in that village sell Akha bags, bracelets and other handicrafts to tourists who come through the area, so we spent a short time teaching them some key English phrases (numbers, "come look", prices) while we drank the water they offered. Then we were off again - but not without the Villagers asking us to "daw de ga la de" (come back and visit again).

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