I’m sitting on the bed in my hotel room without electricity. This seems to be a daily occurrence (and nightly, for that matter—the electricity was out for about 4 hours last night) at our current location, and while it makes for a hot room, I’m extremely thankful that the temps are in the upper-80s and low-90s here rather than the triple digits of Yangon.
After our work with the children yesterday, today has been a good day for touristy things. After a hotel breakfast, we headed to the market. Our mode of transportation is a modified three-wheeler (there’s a seated bed on the back) driven by Paul, the house father here. (It fits most of us, but Ryan gets the privilege of riding on the back of a motorbike driven by Steven, the pastor of the Free Methodist church here). Paul is a gentle soul who speaks little English, but at the market, we found a DVD (rather than CD) of his and others Christian worship music. Apparently Paul and other Akha (his tribal group) recorded this music. Seth purchased the only copy, but I hope to hear it sometime.
At the market, we found beautiful things MUCH more inexpensive than in Bangkok. We all found things we were excited to buy, and Ryan found some Burmese coffee that Pakep had introduced him to. As we souvenir shopped, Pakep, Steven, and Steven’s wife purchased food for our lunch. They bought ears of corn and a lot of fruit. Aside from the plum-like fruit, which we didn’t quite take to, our team devoured the rest of the fruit. Lychee (think grape meets cherry, but even that isn’t quite right) has become a particular favorite; Paul probably ate 3 dozen lychee.
We took our food to a local (I say local, but we buzzed a ways through foothills on our three-wheeled taxi) hot spring where the water is boiling. Sitting in the hot spring pool was a bucket of rice cooking, and we ordered some eggs that they put in a basket and lowered into the pool to boil. We ate hard-boiled eggs, corn, fruit, and a noodle dish topped with a fried egg.The Shan State, where we are now, is known for its noodles, and this noodle dish is my favorite dish so far.
Now we’re back at the hotel resting before our next adventure.
I’m currently reading from Exodus, and Moses is leading the people through the wilderness. The Israelites grumble about the lack of food and water, and God provides.
While there are times when Thailand and Myanmar may have felt like a wilderness, like a strange land, I’m extremely grateful that there’s been very little grumbling from my team. (They haven’t publicly questioned why I brought them here, yet!) Still, I’m even more thankful that God has not waited for us to grumble before providing. We have eaten heartily here (even if it’s mostly rice for some **cough** Hannah **cough**), and I think we’ve all enjoyed being exposed to new cultures’ food. (And we’re all excited to get back to Thailand to each banana-filled fried pancakes. Way better than manna, I bet.)