Today we spent most of the day in traveling into the hills to reach the village of Klaw Taw. The drive lasted about six hours, and the scenery was incredible. We passed-by cattle grazing in the field that resembled Brahma bulls. The dense jungle, that we were accustomed to, changed to an expanse of green, rolling hills. The slopes were planted in a variety of crops that sprouted in a different shade of green for each sectioned square.
The shades of green were dotted with an occassionally bamboo hut for the field workers, which made the scene picture perfect. Tall sugar-cane plants (of about 10-feet high) were topped with flowing feather-duster plumes that swayed gently in the breeze. Bogenvelia flowers were intertwined to make multi-color trees of purple, orange, pink, and white. Bright, red Poinsetta flowers bloomed wild in tall bushes along the road. In the distance, we often viewed stark-white temples with giant shiny, gold Buddah statues perched atop a hill. We passed fields of soy-beans, corn, potatoes, and orchards of bannans and oranges. Some fields were freshly tilled in preparation of planting, and the soil was a rich red-brown. A variety of structures were seen together. A beautiful, large teak home with a manicured lawn would be situated next to a thatched-room bamboo hut surrounded by clutter. Pedestrians were interesting to observe in their large-brimmed hats to shade the hot sun. Ladies would carry large tubs of food and flowers balanced atop their heads.
We passed-by several of the oddest-looking tractors we had ever seen. Most were loaded with supplies, and some added a group of people with their load of supplies. The road wound around the hills in curves and dips, and seemed to climb into the expanse of the clear blue sky dotted with puffs of clouds. To say the least, the drive was very enjoyable!
We stopped at a small restaurant in the town of Umphang for a meal of stir-fry rice and vegetables with chicken. It was here that we learned we had just crossed the famous hill of 1,396 turns (one way)! We visited a tourist shop, and enjoyed a sweet treat of a funnel-crepe with fruit or chocolate filling. Then we were on our way to Klaw Taw village.
We arrived at Klaw Taw around 5:00pm, and our first view of the village was a welcome sign next to the church.
We were greeted by Pastor Edmond and his wife, and then shown to our guest-house. We unloaded our gear, and proceeded to setup our mosquito nets. Then we joined Pastor Edmond in the 'canteen' building for a meal, some hot coffee and cocoa, and a visit. He gave us our schedule for the next couple of days, and we made our VBS plans for the next morning. As we were doing so, we were informed that we were only one mile away from the war zone, and we may occassionally hear mortars. None of us were alarmed, as we knew God brought us here for His purpose.
Then it was off to our guest house for a good nights rest. We did hear a couple of mortar rounds late in the night in the distance, and then fell back into a peaceful sleep.