Monday, September 3, 2007

"Do you want us to gather the people?"

Discussion with KL and ZL (two local Leaders): “What do you want to do there – do you want us to gather the people?”

I replied, "I can tell a story…"

Although I don't really feel God drawing me here, I am trying to ask questions that would help me make decisions in the future should He call me here. Since I really don’t know what He wants, it’s good I’m here, it’s good I’m seeing this place and these people. KL said ESL would be popular here – though I’m not sure. English is less useful here than it is in India. In the villages I was in, in India, people had no desire, no need, to learn English.

I thought about trying to just say, “I’m just here to see the place/people, I don’t need to do anything” – and I did say that, but then I thought, ‘You know what, I may never be back here and wouldn’t it be great, if I could at least share one story with them, and do the questions- like a mini-storying training in just 20 minutes or less.’ So then I said, “I can share a story if you want…” I think they liked this idea, and thought of a few situations/villages where it should work. Of course, they will have to translate, which will make it all the more interesting…but all well- what else can I do at this point?

NGO Office visit: I visited the NGO (Non-Government Organization) these guys are with today. They have permission from the government to do just about whatever they want –including inviting foreigners in to help out.

I also had a discussion with ZL about languages and people in the area... Generally, he said the "Muu" people have their own religion and even own religious script, though they can’t read it. They are the least reached among the Hill tracks people, and the least literate. He said storying may work well among those people…

He showed me pictures of various tribes – some villages the women weren’t wearing clothing on the top half of their body. He said most are more modest now and wear clothing. The pictures were really good – like post cards almost.

Motorbike around Ban town. ZL took me around for about 5-10 minutes on his motorbike- around the town. It is small, with narrow streets between thatched houses/fences. Some houses have steel/metal doors/gates. There are some roadside shops. Bicycle rickshaws pedal through mud puddles along with pigs, dogs, people, few cows, children, old folks. The street is literally about 15 feet wide. It’s almost like you’re in a crowded city, except it’s a little town- not trucks or cars, just bicycles and motorbikes. Instead of high rises on each side of the street, there are bamboo walls…

Harvest Center Visit - raining, putting on plastic type sweat suits that are water proof. Putting on over top of Indian suit- that was interesting. Road slippery, wet, muddy. Like dirt-biking. Scenery is beautiful. Green, green, green. Trees, bushes, grass – green, green, green. Rivers, I crossed more bridges in ½ hour than I’ve ever crossed in my life.

The Harvest Center was a big building – not much to look at – but encouraging to hear about the training they do there. It would be a perfect environment to do a storying training. It is situated on the top of a hill with beautiful green fields surrounding it. They do a variety of training there.

Visit to Bam Village – bamboo thatched roofs, but also bamboo thatched floors – up on sticks maybe 3-5 feet from ground. Eating guava fresh from tree. Eating corn on the cob – absolutely the best corn on the cob I have ever had in my life – kernels are bigger than I’ve ever seen, very easy to eat, very tasy. Having chai twice, then 7-Up on the way back. Buying blanket and miniature basket that women put on their back to carry- wood, straw, grass, etc. Most the Bam people are believers. There was even a Worship building in one of the villages!

Oh, the police did call KL this morning and asked what our program was for the day. KL told him. The police said, “will you provide a van for the police to accompany you” – KL said, “We will be going by motorbike…so there is no need for us to rent a van. But if you want to come, you’re welcome to come – you’ll have to provide your own transportation.” So, they decided not to come.

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