After completing a two week training in a village, we returned to Mae Sot on Thursday night. After a selling flowers on Friday and a few meetings, we woke up early Saturday for a community day!
We try to have community meals somewhat regularly, but it always depends on the situation. We decided to have one Saturday to officially introduce Kelvin & Laura to the community and to tell everyone about our bible story class starting this Thursday. We also hadn’t done one since Christmas, so it seemed a good opportunity to pull everyone together.
We made the rounds to tell everyone on Friday night, and headed to the market around 8am on Saturday. It was Stephen & I, Kelvin & Laura with Thida & San Aye, who coordinated the meal. Daw Ma Oo, who sells flowers in the market, came along for a ride into the market and grabbed some tea with us first before starting her day of selling.
We spent nearly three hours in the market gathering rice, potatoes, onions, garlic, chicken, spices, bowls, cups, and watermelon. Since we still had to fit six adults and a child in the car on the way home, we loaded up the trunk with “clean” food and put the rest on top of the car–this included 30 kilos of raw chicken, a huge bag of potatoes, and a mysterious red sauce with one bottle broken open.
As we drove through the market for the last few stops, a bloody-watery mix from the chickens began running down the front of the car, streaking the windshield. It was pretty disgusting.
It was about this time that San Aye handed out a piece of watermelon to each of us to eat in the car. Something about the blood running down the windshield, sweat running down our backs, and watermelon juice running down our arms…it was a rough few minutes. Stephen nearly lost it.
After a shower and scrub of the car, we started cooking! It was a fun afternoon while everyone gathered around to chop vegetables and chat while the kids played.
As they started to stir the curry, they asked me for a big spoon. I brought out the two biggest & strongest I had, to which they laughed. I was kind of confused, until they came back with this one…I think we were looking for the word “paddle.” I realized why my two offerings–both out of my kitchen drawer–were clearly ridiculous!
Laura & Kelvin work with a nearby children’s home, and a few of the staff came to help us translate. They’ll also be helping us translate the bible story class each week, which we are so thankful for! They did a great job and it gave us a chance to chat about a few things around the community and just bring everyone together.
The whole day and serving up the food went really smoothly…until the last thirty minutes. By nature of our community moving into surrounding communities, we had waaaaaay more people come to join us! We filled up 200 bowls of food and pretty quickly ran out. This left us to running to buy a few extra curries for the remaining families and the students helping us from the children’s home, which we felt bad for.
So besides the last thirty minutes of chaos and a small food shortage, it was a pretty great day.
We managed to find dinner for ourselves, sweep, mop, and crash into bed by 10:45pm.
Sundays are our usually busy days, so we were up and ready to go to the tea shop by 7:30am. We headed out with a larger-than-usual crew, managed to get a little babe to the clinic and get breakfast.
We usually come back from the tea shop just in time to head off to Burmese church. Because of our busy day on Saturday, we thought we might take a week off.
But things never go as you planned. We had three adults waiting to go with us, and a few kids that aren’t usually permitted to go…so we jumped in the car and went for it.
And it was such a good day! After the songs at the beginning, I usually go off to the side with the kids to play during the sermon. It went really well this Sunday–just giving the kids space to play and having a chance to really love on a few of them as they learn new skills. The kids are always learning, and it is such a privilege to be able to speak life into them and tell them how smart they really are and what they are capable of.
All thirteen of us were in line for our rice & curry after the church service just as the littlest–a 1 1/2 year old I’d been holding for most of the day–decided he was sick and vomited all over both of us.
I tell you, it’s those last thirty minutes. We were doing so well!
It was a good weekend: so many good moments with so many people we love, while we welcome Kelvin & Laura into this lovely mess! We just need to work on those last thirty minutes 🙂