we arrived at the village train station and had lunch prepared by this man.
Bella enjoyed the rice.
Greg enjoyed the arm wrestling.
The sights were a lot to take in, mainly in how very different it is from where we live. People are just looking for ways to survive and take care of their families.
Where we were staying was a 30 minute trek from the train station, all along the train tracks. The train is constantly honking its horn so you will know when to get off the tracks. It moves slowly.
Then, we came upon the village. I really was in awe. The ingenuity of people is astounding to me, as well as their use of what they have right around them. Most of the homes were constructed from bamboo woven together or flattened out. Pretty amazing.
Literally minutes after we arrived, there was a sudden rainstorm that included hail. The hail was deafening as we huddled under the tin roof hoping that it wouldn't damage their crops. We were also so thankful that we had not been caught in that while trekking over the train tracks.
Once the rainstorm passed, the kids all played together and enjoyed being with new people. The family we were staying with has six kids, so there was lots of fun to be had. Lily and Bella were gracious to our hosts and let people pick them up and carry them around. They were already working on preparing our dinner in their kitchen, which seems a world away from the kitchen I use.
Both that night and the next morning, the girls loved getting a tour of the village animals. Again, you would have thought that is what we came for.
This is the home we stayed in and the outhouse. You had to walk past the water buffalo to get to it, up the steps pictured below.
Our host, with their three youngest children.
And, the lady of the house. She graciously gave me some of the Tumeric that they grow as a gift when we left.
We took a walk up to a meadow that had stunning vistas. It took us past the village Buddhist monastery and pagoda - even in a village this small, they had those.
That night, they served us dinner around our candlelit table. In their culture, they would never eat with their guests.
That night, the children slept while we adults all sat around their kitchen fire with the one lone light bulb hanging over it exchanging bits of our lives. What a privilege it was. Once it was time to retire, we all went to sleep on the floor in the same room. Remarkably, the night went better than I would have thought, with Lily only waking once and Bella not at all. When morning dawned, our hosts were already busy with our breakfast preparations.
Which included rice cakes that the girls loved.
The morning passed quickly with more talking and trying to savor it all, because we knew we had a train to catch, though we weren't sure of the time.
And though we were fairly filthy and tired from the mud, the lack of baths, the sitting around a fire and sleeping on a hard floor, I was still sad to leave. We made our train with about 1 minute to spare. Bella is holding corn on the cob that someone handed to her on the train.