blog post by Brian Davis
The team has arrived in Northern Thailand! We were able to hike to the land border between Thailand and Laos. The Mekong River provides the border between much of Thailand and Laos, but there are a few places where the border becomes land between the two nations. The picture above is one such place, where the Mekong begins to flow into Laos and a mountain range provides the border (just in case the Lao government is captivated by reading this blog, I must say we dared not cross the arbitrary line marked by the jagged rocks in the picture… but are hopeful to have the opportunity to travel legally into Laos in a few days).
As you can see from the photo, the area is absolutely breathtaking. To be standing in N. Thailand looking over the Mekong River at Laos on the other side is quite humbling for reasons I can’t fully articulate. We have been working with and hosted by the Khmu (more on these great people in another post), one of the people groups who call this region home. I can’t help but think back to my own elementary school where I was able to make friends with some of the Hmong people there. My Hmong friends grew up with their parents and grandparents telling stories about the Mekong – eventually having to flee across the great river into refugee camps in Thailand during the secret war(s) (and then finally on to the U.S. under political asylum).
Despite the 8,000 miles that physically separates Fresno from N. Thailand, Fresnans are connected to this area, and it has been a wonderful experience already for us to visit the place the Khmu and Hmong people call home.