Monday, May 17, 2010

A Doi Chaang Village Welcome

Just before sunset we arrived at Doi Chaang Village. Meaning “Elephant Village,” Doi Chaang got its name from its elephant-shaped hill. We were to stay at the village head’s house, a typical custom for any guests of to the village. Immediately the wife of the village head and other members of the family began preparing a meal for all. A few more plastic chairs were added to the small table under the overhang. Shortly after we were seated, the meal of rice, pork, greens, bamboo shoots, chilis, and ground soybeans with chilis. Before we began the meal, the mother-in-law, dressed in traditional Akha headgear, presented me with a still-warm hard-boiled egg and tied white embroidery floss around my wrist. This traditional gesture signified welcoming of a guest and wishing them prosperity.

Thin mattresses were laid out for the guests, covered with character bedsheets and a “Hello Kitty” quilt. Through the thin wooden walls, I could easily hear the satellite TV, being watched by the village head’s boys. In the adjoining area, men discussed matters, including how to deal with the skyrocketing prices of property in the village. Finally the sounds died down and I was able to sleep.

Long before it was light outside, roosters once again competed for crowing the loudest. Morning light peeked through the slits in between the wood boards and around the window. Certainly not winter-proofed! From the outside kitchen, I could hear the pounding of a wooden pestle. Over a fire was a large wok. Even the boys were helping out. Once again we were served cups of obligatory local tea.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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