c14 left on his first ever mission trip today. he’s headed off to an akha hill tribe village near the thailand/burma border. and part of me thinks that it’s pretty cool. and is hoping that this experience has a great impact on him. while another part is shouting, “what are you thinking you crazy lady sending your 14 year old off to a village in thailand that you know nothing about?” a village in thailand just seems so foreign. (i know, that’s a little nuts, we live in thailand.) and right now that side is all a twitter, certain that it’s right. because the drop off for the trip did nothing to assuage my irrational fears.
our instructions were to meet at the church at 12:30 so all the stuff can get loaded up and they can get on their way. there are 12 kids going (4 boys and 8 girls)(and really it’s 4 14 & 15 year old boys and 8 16-18 year old full grown women) and 5 chaperones. for a total of 17. when we get there we learn that the fellow who’s supposed to be driving his truck capable of carrying all the luggage has come down with dengue fever – it’s going around in these parts. but a 15 passenger van (also known as a minibus) is on it’s way and a plan b is being formed as to how to get anything that isn’t a person there. minibuses here tend to be very nice and comfy.
and since we are in thailand it’s okay if there are a few more bodies than there are seats, they can just squeeze on in, it’s all good. and then the 15 passenger van pulls into the parking lot. and it looks nothing like the minibus pictured above. it looks more like this.
yep, a songthaew. that will probably seat 12 not so comfortably. it did have a roof rack so some luggage could go up there. about this time, a dad who had been busy talking to his son and another dad catches a wiff of the conversation and very generously donates his truck for carrying stuff and kids. it’s an extended cab. another 5 people can be jammed inside of it without cramping the style of the driver. so a little jostling around of stuff, rearranging of kids, goodbyes from moms and dads and they were off. to village in the north of thailand. where they will only have real thai food all week and they will be sleeping on a tile floor and they will most likely only have access to squatty potties.
while it might feel a tad crazy, i’m a little jealous. i would have loved to have had this kind of experience at 14.