My apologies for being a stranger yesterday and today so far. Between services yesterday, some downpours that kept the internet down the entire afternoon, and a very lengthy game of Bunko, I was unable to update at all yesterday. I would like to comment some on my travels today.
This morning after breakfast I had the opportunity to walk around Khun Yuam with the owner of the hotel where we are staying, the Mithkhunyuam, which means “Friendly Khun Yuam,” a very acceptable name for a hotel. The walk took a little longer than expected, but the fields and mountains around Khun Yuam are beautiful. As the songleader (I) and the sermon speaker (Mr. Grinnell) were on the walk, we were able to start services late when the walk took longer than expected thanks to a slightly late start as well as numerous stops to ask questions and take pictures of the attractive wildflowers of this part of Thailand. It was fascinating as well to see the difference between the older teak Shan-style construction of the older wooden buildings of Khun Yuam and the concrete block of the newer buildings.
Right now Khun Yuam is a sleepy little town with amazing views, fresh air, and old fashioned buildings. That isn’t going to last. The Japanese are buildling a very large memorial for their WWII war dead, and there is a lot of construction going on in the town. If Japanese tourists flock to this town in large numbers, changes will be made to make it more amenable to them, and that is going to make this town a lot more touristy. This may be good for their pocketbooks, but it will lead those of us who have enjoyed the peace and quiet of this town to lament the passing of “the good old days,” when Khun Yuam was nothing more than a sleepy market town halfway between Mae Hong Son (where I am off to tomorrow morning) and Mae Sariang. If you want to get in while it is peaceful and quiet here, I recommend you do so soon.
After services and after lunch I went with a large group to the Mae Surin Waterfall, which is very beautiful. It was worth a scraped knee and what appears to be a broken left pinkie toe, as my wonky sense of balance combined with a brave/foolish/adventuresome spirit to climb up the waterfall all the way to the top with the more daring of our party. I wasn’t going to be left behind, despite the sharp rocks, slippery surfaces, and sometimes treacherous rapids. I am glad my compatriots took so many photos of the very beautiful sights; hopefully some of them get put on Facebook and tagged. It was fun to see a group of Westerners, Lahu and Karen students, refugees, and Burmese working together to get to the top of the falls and then get back down safely again. Now, I hope that my foot heals up pretty well tonight so that it does not cause me any problems for tomorrow’s trip to go elephant riding in Mae Hong Son. We shall see.
One of the hazards of blogging and being fairly known within a certain community for blogging actively is that people ask you to say nice things about them or not to talk about certain deliate personal matters. Most of the time I try to be very sensitive to such requests, but for now some very tasty chicken, veggies, and rice are being placed on the tables where I am typing, so I must bid adieu for now. It is time to eat, and so my writing must cease for the moment.