the Vernon Journal

Serving the Kingdom in Southeast Asia

My Akha Mom

Some time ago I wrote about my Akha wife and how proud I am of her. Although she is my wife, she is not really Akha. Today I am writing about my Akha mother and how much fun we have been having with her these last few days. Although she is Akha, she is not really my mother. We have shared in our newsletters and in previous blogs about the Akha woman we lovingly refer to as Lydia because of her generosity. In reality, we call her 'Atsu Kuh', and she is our Akha mom.

From our first moments in the village this widowed Akha woman has taken care of us. Feeding us, teaching us, administering painful Akha remedies on us when we are ill, and generally trying to get us to live with her. Through our time with her we have learned that her husband died nearly 23 years ago and she raised her two daughters alone. Her daughters have since grown up and now live in Korea where they sell Ginsing products for a Korean company.

Well, her daughters have come back for this week and we have been able to spend some time with them. We are the same age, 28 and 26 (not taking Akha years into account), and have had a lot of fun with them while they have been running around and fussing over their mom, buying her telephones and things for her home. And Lydia is loving every minute of it.

With their Chinese education from Doi Mae Salong, her daughters can make more money in Korea than they ever could here in Thailand and are therefore able to take good financial care of their mother, but she misses them so much. Seeing her with her daughters helps us to understand why she has taken us under her wing. It also helps us to understand how our parents feel about us living off in a distant country. But we also see the pride and love in Lydia's eyes when she looks at her daughters.

Seperation is hard on all of our families but it also reminds us that wherever we go in this Family, we will always find love, and those who need it.

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