Village Trip

Village Trip

Posted on 03. Jan, 2010 by in Thailand

A certain amount of our time off from teaching has been devoted to resting and recharging (hence the lack of blogging lately 😉 ). It has been lovely and we are feeling reenergized. Part of this has included some traveling. We had the opportunity to visit missionaries, Paul & Lori Vernon, up north. They graciously hosted us in their home in Chiang Rai, and then took us to their Akha village house and showed us what their life looks like there.

The Akha are a hill tribe people group living in Thailand, Burma, China and Laos.

It was thrilling to feel some cold air and actually want to wear socks :). But, of course, there was so much more to the experience than that. Living in the big city, it’s easy to forget that we live in a country where some people still live a simple village lifestyle, making so much of what they need from scratch, depending on face-to-face communication, and living without many modern conveniences.

Lori showing April around

Lori showing April around

It was also interesting to observe how Akha culture is different from Thai culture. For example, Thais greatly value being quiet and restrained (so much sometimes that it’s nearly impossible to understand what my students are saying! :) ). The Akha, however, yell all the time. Basically, since they live in the hills, it is so much easier to yell across to another hill than to walk all the way down and up again to talk to them. So, if someone is on their way to your house, they’ll yell as they approach, “Are you home? I’m coming to visit you!”

There was so much that we saw and learned about Akha culture as well as Paul and Lori’s ministry. They have been in Thailand for about 5 years, and have become some of the dozen or so foreigners who have learned the Akha language. It’s amazing to watch them interact with the people in their village. They have come to be trusted as a part of the community, offering Biblical advice and mentoring, as well as help with medical problems. In their house they keep a store of basic medicines that they distribute to those who need it. They’ve also learned how to pull teeth! In a culture that has been hardened by a hard life for generations, they offer visible love to the people. You should definitely check out their blog to see more of what they do!

It was fun to watch Abi, their two year-old, in the village as well. Her friends are all there, and she knows as much Akha as she does English. She runs around, falls down, gets dirty, the same as all the village children. And when tour groups stop to see the village, she’ll yell with the rest of them (in Akha), “Here come the foreigners!” She’s pretty sure she’s Akha. :)

There’s so much more we could tell you, but we’d rather just show you! Take a look at some of the great pictures Jason took there:

(To see captions, click the full-screen button in the bottom right corner- from full screen mode you can click “Show details” in the top right to see captions. You can also adjust how quickly the pictures change)

Please remember Paul, Lori and the Akha people in your prayers.

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4 Responses to “Village Trip”

  1. David

    06. Jan, 2010

    Hey guys, I came here via Paul’s blog. I love your pics of Mae Salong – you’ve captured life very well. I had the chance last year to stay a couple of nights in the village which I enjoyed.

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  2. Jason

    07. Jan, 2010

    Thanks, David! It was such a peaceful place- a great place to rest… (well, besides the roosters at early o’clock :) )

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  3. Dad and Mom Ruggles

    13. Jan, 2010

    These are excellent pictures son. I especially like the ones of April and the one of the little girl and the dog.

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  4. […] we’ve mentioned more than once, last month we went up to an Akha village for a few days to experience their culture.  Part of that was, of course, their food.  My […]

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