Today all five of us here, the four teachers for this current year at Legacy and our teacher emeritus, went off to Mae Sa Waterfall, a set of small falls not too far from Chiang Mai. Plenty of my fellow teachers took pictures, and I hope to link to those soon when they have written their own blog entries about it. I would like to talk about our trip and time there, as is my fashion, though. It was nice to take out the swimming trunks and enjoy a trip to the water, as I have not been swimming or in the rivers at all very often here, only today and one previous time when visiting the Mae Surin Waterfall outside of Khun Yuam at the Feast of Tabernacles last year .
As the five of us were riding in the campus sungtow, we saw that the Mae Sa Valley had gotten very well developed. Apparently it had not been so well developed before (only one of us had seen the falls before), and there were a couple of snake farms (which reminded one of the teachers of a jokey song ). There was an odd extreme sports place that also had manicures and peticures, which seemed to defeat the purpose of extreme sports, and a shooting range as well. We saw a fair amount of jeeps in the area, people driving the wrong way (which is endemic on Thai roads) and it appears to be a fairly well developed area for tourists in particular.
Once we got to the water fall we drive as far as we could and parked next to a market. From there we hiked (and it was quite a hike–the longest distance being between the eighth and ninth cataracts) to the tenth and final set of falls, where the foot trail ends. The park (Mae Sa Waterfall is a national park, and it is about five times as expensive for foreigners as it is for foreigners with a work permit like I do). Once we got to the pool under the falls at the tenth cataract, three of the teachers went off to try to climb around the rocks. Two went to climb up to the top of the falls, and one fell, but fortunately she did not injure herself too badly there.
The other teacher and I chatted for a bit in the pool and then sat on the rocks and chatted about our experiences at ABC, our family and congregational background, our mutual love of English comedy, including P.G. Wodehouse novels  and Monty Python, and what it is like to be misunderstood and thought to be far more harsh than one actually is. It was an enjoyable conversation, and a pleasant one to have on a muggy and otherwise fairly lazy Sunday. As I’m not really much of a rock climber, it was enjoyable to watch the other teacher do a bit of pencil drawing and chat about ourselves. Such moments are always fun.
After the other students returned from their rock climbing and laid down for a while on the rocks to recover their energy, we hiked back to the car, taking a few pictures and joking about silly walks along the way. And then, randomly enough, we were asked if we had seen a blond woman (apparently lost) taking photos along the way, and we had not. I thought that was odd, as we had seen a variety of people walking back, including a farang husband and wife and their two small children, a family of Muslims with their headscarves (mostly women, with a couple of guys, a father and a son, apparently), and another couple of people, but no blond woman walking alone. There was a guy (presumably her husband) standing at the beginning of the walk and looking worried, which was troubling, since the walk could get quite dangerous for those who were non compus mentis. For those of us who were, it was a very pleasant trip indeed.