Visit with the Tha Mwey family
Trip Start Jun 10, 2007
22Trip End Jun 29, 2007
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Bruce is sound asleep in the seats across the aisle. I'm wondering how I'm going to be feeling the rest of the day. We pulled into Trondheim at exactly 7:00 am. We checked on trains going back and decided to take the one at 8:35 am the next day, Thursday.
We went out K Paw Gay and her husband Htee Hser in Trondheim. We called her on the phone and told her we were on the way. The day before she had written a very welcoming email about our arrival.
The best way out was a taxi. I'm wondering how much THIS is going to cost. Everything in Norway is wildly expensive. The meter on the cab started at $6. Bad sign. The night before at the modest restaurant, the entrée dishes were all about $45 each. Ouch. You can really go through a lot of money. The restaurant was jam packed. I don't know how they do it. Fortunately, everyone takes credit cards, including the cab drivers so you don't feel the pain right away. The cab ride was 6 miles for a mere $30. The cab driver was a Swede whose name was Roland. Bruce, my Swedish partner minister and Roland hit it off. Bruce asked what the difference between the Norwegians was. The answer was quick: the Swedes are a lot better looking.
Our cab driver dropped us off at the wrong address. The person who lived at the address appeared to be a Romanian immigrant. I asked him in Russian if we could use his cell phone. He told us he was out of minutes. But, he did walk us in the direction where the correct address was. It was a about a 200 yard walk. Not bad.
K Paw Gay Thamwey was waiting for us. Right away we sensed that we would have no problem communicating. Her English is excellent. She had breakfast waiting for us as we entered, but it was hard to eat because we wanted to talk to her, her husband Htee Hser and meet their children. K Paw Gay was baptized in 2002 in the Thai refugee camp for the Karen.
We got acquainted for the next hour and learned about the Meremaoe Refugee Camp in Thailand where they came from. Her family was chosen to be one of those Karen refugees to emigrate to freedom. Her children are 16 year-old daughter Ni Ni, sons Elvis and Has Mee Hoo. They also have brought over a nephew whose name is Albert.
The Norwegian government is requiring that they go to school for two years to study the language before they join the work force. They are paid support from the government. If they miss school, they do not get the government subsidy. After three years they will receive permanent status to live in Norway and they can become citizens in seven years. If peace comes to Burma before three years, they must return.
They told us that eventually they do want to return to their home in Burma where they have all their family and familiar surroundings. They like Norway, but it is so foreign. They don't seem to mind the harsher climate and they are doing well at learning the language. K Paw Gay has been speaking Norwegian when going to town. Her English is excellent and she's been an English teacher at the refugee camp where she came from.
Another family is coming to Norway from Trondheim soon. It is the parents of Elsa Doh in Kemi, Finland. The mother's name is Monday and he husband is Klo Gay Doh's brother. I'm trying to keep all these relationships straight. One more relationship: Klo
Gay Doh's son married to K Paw Gay's husband's sister (I think).
After talking awhile fatigue really hit me like I thought it might. Both Bruce and I rested a bit and then held a Bible Study in the afternoon.
I gave a Bible Study on the subject of the Kingdom of God and Bruce spoke about the use of words. An enjoyable discussion continued on about their families and thoughts.
We have really appreciated getting to know them. K Paw Gay then prepared a tasty Karen dinner with rice, soup, potatoes with slices of beef and a special Karen-type vegetable salad.
Tomorrow we head back to Oslo to meet a co-worker and prospective member outside of Oslo and will have to find a place to stay in Oslo. Friday we go on to our next country of Sweden and the city of Gothenburg.