Thursday, January 19, 2023.
We began the day with breakfast at the Guest House. The Guest House was a peaceful nights rest with an individual air conditioner in each room (Very Nice). The bathroom was a bit of a culture shock. There was a “normal” sized toilet, however no toilet paper. I assumed this was because of the fact that, on the wall ajacent to the toilet, was the shower head. This was new to me in that I am quite used to a shower stall. In this case, you just shower in the bathroom. There was an individual water heater, and after a short search, I was able to find the breaker for the heater. As for the toilet paper, instead there was what is called a “Bum Gun”. Use your imagination but think Bidet.
After navigating the restroom and shower, it was off for our first visit. First was to St. Paul’s Bible School, Mae Plu. For those accustomed to the ways of the West, think of a High School centered around Theology. It was a wonderful visit for both us and the youth as after a greeting and time for us to encourage the students, we had a bi-directional Question and Answer session. Many of the questions from the youth were focused on our individual calls as well as what life in America is like for their Karen brothers and sisters.
We had lunch at the school and then we were on our way. After a short drive, we arrived back at the Guest House before having dinner with our hosts and off to bed.
Dinner was with our hosts and some Clergy. Another thing to get used to for us was the amount of food. We were asked if the food tasted ok due to the fact that we did not eat “much”. The food was absolutely amazing. Extremely fresh and flavorful. We didn’t eat “much” in their eyes as we as westerners are used to one plate of food and maybe a bit of seconds. Some, we noticed, would eat plate after plate, something we were not accustomed to. The food smelled and tasted amazing and included a plethora of vegetables, fish, pork and chicken on rice and/or noodles. I asked, at one point, about beef and was told “We don’t eat the hired hands”. Guess when cows were work, they don’t get eaten.
Stay tuned for more……
In His Name, Father Jason Bowden