Thursday, July 31, 2008

July 27: As Usual, I Don't Know What's Going On

Sunday, July 27

As usual, I don't know what's going on. On Saturday, Thra Simon laid out the next day = we would go back North to the KNLA headquarters for worship again, then I could catch a ride into Mae Sot (south) to cross back into Burma legally and renew my visa. Imagine my surprise when we turned south after leaving the camp and drove to Mae Sot. When we reached the town limits, Thra Simon asked me where I wanted to go. I said that I thought we were going to worship somewhere. But no. He'd gotten a call that the woman we had visited the weekend before (the one in the hospital bed with the IV) had died and they were going to the funeral. Apparently, I was going to the bridge to renew my visa. If I had known, I wouldn't have worn my Karen clothing. So I walked across the bridge, a white woman wearing Karen into the offices of the Myanmar border police. Well, they chuckled and made a comment, but I felt a bit foolish.

After a good western lunch I went shopping in the market. I bought more sarong material which needed to be sewed up so I went to "my" seamstress. As I sat waiting for her to finish, one of the nearby merchants in market came up and started talking about me. She rubbed my arms and asked "Are you Karen." Well, no. I'm American. That seemed to elicit a barrage of conversation among the merchants. One of them was dragged up to talk to me. "How old are you, Mother" he asked. A perfectly polite question there. It took them a moment to understand "58" though I'm sure they were simply stunned. "You look beautiful" he said. I asked the woman how old she was. 40. Perhaps she thought I was her age (I'm such a dreamer). Their lives age them, though at the moment I think my life is aging me.


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