Thailand | Adieu

The last couple of days have been nice for resting, and we have been growing closer to the villagers. Grateful for some time to focus on human connections, we have spent hours and hours upon our porch with most of the group. Our Muga brings simosa, dee, and sugar while we laugh and play with the children…

I have especially gotten to know Soutira, a younger member of my household, who has asked much about Colorado, explained the family tree, and let me play with her son. Her husband is the metal worker, and thus is not-so-mysteriously gone these days (we each ordered 2-3 machetes). Her sister makes the most beautiful weaving, incorporating seeds for an interesting effect; I bought several bags before they were even done! We cleaned house as far as purchasing woven goods from here, as the weaving is particularly irresistible. When celebrating Erin’s birthday, we gathered with the entire village again, this time encompassing dancing, hoola hooping, and water buffalo horn blowing (all of which was amazing). Our Pati did one of the sword dances, and he was clearly one of the village experts at this. Nobody could keep up, despite his much older age. We tried to participate in events, which clearly led to endless laughter from all. We taught the villagers the hokey pokey, a clear jem of American culture.

The next day, we were given the opportunity to participate in a village wedding, which was a several day affair, beginning with a traditional buffalo sacrifice, since the bride was pregnant before the wedding. It was not a very smooth execution.

The bull was angry and needed to be clobbered several dozen times before going down. Several pigs were also slaughtered, which was an equally shocking sight. We came back to the bride’s house to eat the buffalo and pig, both of which were delicious. Note: Watch out for the fat globules when eating pork dishes, as they can be rather off-putting. We all sought something to do and thus took a ramble, eventually stumbling upon the village co-op and rice pounder. The gals bought some candies and wafers while the gents bought beers and cigars. We hung around the sala and I took turns spending time at several village houses. The foreigners in town for the wedding are making the villagers nervous. They are certainly more forward – a few invaded our porch family Uno session, even wandering into the kitchen. Sierra and I discussed all of the “saving face” that was occurring in the village.

Before leaving the village, a couple of us attended the wedding. The bride looked quite sad during the ceremony, which was less than formal by western standards, and interesting to watch. It seems everyone has been celebrating endlessly here, but the day was sad, both for the bride, and for us. This departure was the hardest yet. Happily, we got to stop in Huay Hee to say our final goodbyes. After getting completely coated in dirt, we reached Mae Hong Son, which is bustling. The night market was as fun as ever, and we stayed up past 11, which is practically all night by Karen standards.

This morning, we found the cutest little café in Mae Hong Son, where we spent breakfast time and bought some postcards. Afterwards, it was off to Fern Resort, which is a haven for eco-tourists. We have spent hours writing, lounging on porches, and swimming in the pool. The resort is set up very organically, resulting in an outdoorsy, community vibe. They serve organic foods and boast several outdoor bar areas. Highly recommended…

We are soon leaving Thailand, and it is so very bittersweet.

Things I Learned in Thailand:

  • People are quite similar, regardless of appearances.
  • Mountains can be conquered.
  • Spiders really are everywhere.

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