Thursday, March 31, 2005

The Village

We got on a bus at 7:30 a.m and began a two and a half hour bus ride to the west. Once we got out of the filth of the city, the scenery was beautiful. The highway snaked up and down hillsides and through valley floors. At times the bus would strain to the top of a rise and we could see for miles. Other times the mountains seemed to form a canopy around us -- visibility was limited to a few yards.

An hour or so outside the city, the bus pulled over and a peasant couple climbed aboard. The woman sat down beside me. I quickly realized that she had not seen a lot of fair skinned people; she sat staring at my white face, legs, and hair for the duration of the ride. I tried to make conversation with the couple. Pointing at my wedding band, I asked if they were married. They laughed and shook their heads in a way that said, "No! No! No!" -- they seemed to understand the significance of a wedding band.

After a couple of hours the bus stopped at a run-down little town at the end of a pothole-filled road. Our next step was to find transportation to the village we were to visit. We found a guy with a three wheel motorcycle called a Tuk-tuk. I pulled out a little notebook with our destinations written in his lanquage and began negotiating the cost of the 8 mile ride. He was a character! First he tried to convince us that our village was too far away. He talked loudly and stabbed the air with a very grimy finger to make his point. We finally agreed on a fare, and started on our way.

After a while, the driver stopped in the middle of the road and tried to convince my partner and me that we were too fat for his Tuk-tuk! We stayed steady -- and eventually prevailed.

Eight miles later we watched our ride head back east. We turned and walked toward the gates of the first village on our trek. We had finally reached our destination -- finally we could begin tossing the seed of the gospel on virgin soil...

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