From Thighland to Thailand

March 3, 2014

Thailand 5.9

Filed under: Uncategorized — markchinmd @ 11:44 am

March 2, 2014-Sunday


Thailand/Myanmar 5.9


We waved goodbye to Myanmar today and continued on our second leg of our journey.  We looked forward to getting to familiar grounds in Chiang Rai and to see old friends.  For Lena and I it was good to see Jennifer and we await patiently to see Allison, our youngest daughter.  Yippee!  My GIRL!


We got through check-in and customs with our 50 pieces of luggage and bins many overweight but we’re lucky they are lenient because they don’t want to spend the time waiting for us to repack or shift items around.  This makes Bill happy and also relieved (He and the Lowes spent hours last night rearranging things to meet the weight limits.)  We said goodbye to Dr. Kyin Kyin Oo and Dr. Chaw Chaw, some of the Burmese doctors, who said “farewell but not goodbye” and wishes us to come back next year to Myanmar.  Maybe; but no promises.


Myanmar left us lasting impressions.  The villages around Myit Wa appear to be economically poor by our standards but the people are friendly and full of spirit, fight, and have a great work ethic.  They suffer because of accidents and on the job injuries, accumulative trauma, such as repetitive stress injuries.  Everyday UV exposure and injuries lead to blindness, sometimes even at such a young age.  Smiles that developed as they tested their glasses and experiencing clear vision was priceless.  The children who received dental care do not display the typical fear toward dentists or needles from injections, rather exhibit a sense of comfort, perhaps relief, toward the health care provider.  I heard very little complaints or cries from what we were doing.  Maybe they accepted their temporary discomfort in exchange for their anticipated benefit.  The medical patients gladly accepted our advice and medications.  Even the vitamin shots were thought to be of great value to them.  They are grateful and appreciative as well as hospitable.  They accepted my “cut to cure” attitude even though I didn’t know exactly what I was cutting out, or getting into, but we all agreed that it shouldn’t be there, and, well, I’m here and you’re here, so let’s go for it.  The highlight for me was to make a young boy’s hand more functional and that at the end of the procedure he was able to do a “high five” instead of a “high four.”  My trust in the Lord grows stronger day by day especially in these situations. 


One of the eye clinic’s interpreters was a professor at a Buddhist University and Lena asked her “What do the villagers think of Christians coming to your country?” She replied, “You are welcomed because Christians are known to be missionaries that show love, compassion, and kindness.”


We left Myanmar with mixed feelings wanting to leave our personal health issues behind (no pun intended).  There is still so much to be done so I guess we have to go back.  Any one second that?


We got a warm welcome at the Chiang Rai airport with Ghan, Ali, Blah, Gi, Lin, and Wen (the one who wanted the baby doll that Luka had been carrying all over Southeast Asia in an Ashton Drake box.)  I’m surprised that customs didn’t spend more time examining this doll.   What is a grown man carrying a really ugly wrinkled smooched face looking baby Jacob doll (don’t tell Wen, ask Ming, he agrees.)  I really hope it wasn’t modeled after a real baby, otherwise I’m sorry for those comments to the parents.  I’m sure YOU think he’s beautiful. I’m surprised they didn’t think he was smuggling drugs in the doll.  But Wen was really excited as she already was carrying it with her like a proud parent.


Customs had to sample a few of our 25 bins, which made Bill nervous, but with Luka interpreting, we did just fine.  However, it was too bad for Ming and Luka, who traveled on a different airline and didn’t get their luggage yet.  Seeing the AYDC group was like old times.


We got to see the bus/truck that FCBC purchased for them for the first time.  It read: BY: FCBC, Fresno, CA, USA.  It was very nice and comfortable and, most of all, reliable.  It was very satisfying for us to think that it is safer to transport the children, rather than that old yellow bus. 


We approached our home away from home, the Golden Triangle Inn.  We are the last guests that are going to be here.  They may be selling it so we may loose our beloved little 2-star hotel.  Are we really, or am I being too sentimental?  After we found this out a group of foreign investors suddenly appeared.  Perhaps, the Akha can run it and make money to support the villages.   Maybe it can provide employment to some of them.  Can it somehow help support the ministry?  Hmmm…


While Linh battled back from her deathbed I think that she is almost 100%.  I saw some dried brown liquid on her pants but she claims that the flight attendant spilled coffee on her.  Yeah, right.  Well the “bug” finally caught up to Lisa and she will be out for tomorrow’s clinic at the Health Ministry.  Oh no; down to one optometrist.  Not good.  But we do define ourselves as a TEAM.  There is no “I” in team.  We have been able to step it up when we need to and to fill in where there is a void.  The Wu’s remain behind in Myanmar and Trevour Zin to visit family but gain Ali and the AYDC clan. We thank Trevour for his efforts, connections, and his family’s passion to help the people of Myanmar.  Without Trevour’s help this portion of the trip may not have been possible.


We are all good.  Mark

1 Comment »

  1. Did all the medication bins get through? We ahve been praying for that to happen with no problems. You didn’t mention it, so I am assuming god was once again fulfilling prayers. Praise be to His power to heal and to save and thwart the efforts of the one who is against healing and saving!

    Comment by Darleen Stukey — March 4, 2014 @ 5:28 am

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