and we’re off…part 2
in the morning, everyone was up at the crack of dawn, and the whole family was up and about getting things ready for the day. women were already returning from the forest with baskets full of dried leaves, to either use as fuel or as roofing, kids were running everywhere, water was boiling, roosters were kooing, dogs were barking, it was quite a lively village. as jeff and i walked around the village there were a few ecstatic ‘hello’s’ but mostly stares.
after a large breakfast of scrambled eggs, a whole loaf of white bread toasted for us, hot tea…. we were on our way. our plan was to go up to a lahu village then over to another karen village and then to a cave, waterfall, and get lessons on more bamboo cooking uses. we ventured on through some burn fields (created for rice paddie farms) on to the lahu village.
within 20 minutes we were at the next village, a lahu village. so close together, but there were so many little differences between the two it was pretty amazing. appearance all together was different, this one seeming a little tidier, not as many trees and bushes or fences either. and a lot more cows – tons of cows. the houses themselves were made slightly differnt materials: palm leaves as roofs instead of the teak leaves, and the siding was actual wood slabs rather than woven wood. the language different too. we hung at a house for almost 45 minutes drinking tea and watching the men talk over banana leaf rolled cigarettes and observing. mong, the local lahu guide is hilarious – especially after some moonshine or even red bull. he mumbles to himself as the leader of the pack. we’d always ask him what kind of terrain was ahead, and he’d say, oh, easy easy, no hill, and then we would arrive at a steap and long hill, but to him, it wasn’t a hill. pretty amazing.
at the next karen village we were given yet another large meal, similar to the others along with tea and soda this time. we relaxed for quite some time, went with some of the locals to look at the local ‘coffin cave’ (a 5 minute walk from where we were) saw a large old wooden coffin, then waited till it was time to go meet the truck.
this night happened to be the canadian owners birthday so he threw himself a party. we weren’t really sure what to expect but before we knew it we were joining in on some dice games and drinking a bucket of whiskey. the group was kinda small, about 15 of us, so we partied on and then ventured out to some other bars come midnight. we met a crazy and cool west african chick that had some amazing stories of hitching through sudan and such, some crazy french (see photos), scots, irish, etc… by the time we made it to the next bar, we were well on our way so decided to call it a night before it was too late. later we found out the rest of the gang was out til 7in the morning… wow were we glad we didn’t make it out that long, we felt hungover enough as it was…. but now we can say we partied hard in thailand!