Wednesday, March 19, 2008

faith, family, and food

Sa Pa has been great so far. We are traveling with a brother sister combo from Canada. It has been great, because (like us) they like to eat, drive motorbikes, and treat themselves to French desserts. We rented a motorbike for the day ($5) and drove outside of town for an hour. We stopped at a waterfall and ate some food at a roadside stall.

Sa Pa sits at an elevation of 1650 meters. It was founded in 1922 by the French. But I think that they left because of the freezing temperatures that we are currently experiencing. Every day, we wear nearly every piece of clothing that we own and I am beginning to think that we will not be ready for China in a week or Europe during the middle of winter.
The town of Sa Pa is situated on the side of a beautiful valley. It is very misty and foggy every day and it is difficult to convey the splendor in pictures. Our room is at the top floor, we splurged on the $15 room, and it is 172 calf burning steps to the top from the lobby of the hotel.

There are “hill tribes” nearby that are the indigenous people of the region. We are surrounded by the Black H’Mong and Red Dzao people. Like gang members, they dress accordingly. They make all kinds of tapestries and hawk them everywhere. Their hands and feet are dyed from working with natural dyes. They also sell food which is ridiculously cheap for us. There is a strong French presence still in Vietnam. This means that we get to eat croissants, chocolate, and baguettes all day long!

One night, we went for dinner in the town of Sa Pa. More hill tribe, ethnic minority, buy our handicraft locals were out and about. They offered us their handmade purses, blankets, and pillows, but as it got later, we were getting offers for marijuana, hashish, and opium.
Now, I have to tell you a bit about our current traveling companions, Shannon (a guy) and Naomi. Shannon is a doctor from Northern Canada and his sister Naomi lives in Toronto. Shannon likes to rock climb, drive motorcycles, and fight in mixed martial arts. He has been backpacking all over the world on and off for twenty years. His stories and generosity are amazing. Naomi was a refugee from Cambodia when she was a child and fled to Canada. She is very good at navigating from the back of a motorbike.

2 comments:

Caezar said...

dude, thats amazing, you are living my life's dream. I think what you are doing is backpacking, that is what i desire to do someday at the lords timing. I stumbled on your sight and i was drawn in to read, its amazing of what you experiencing, mean while i am here in London where its all crowded with humans and man made structures everywhere. I love creation and the wilderness and you really are blessed right now to be able to experience it right now, enjoy it and while you do enjoy it for me as well.

How long are you doing this for and what is the plan? I thought i read that you might be coming to Europe, if are make sure you stop in London if its possible and i would love to go for coffee with you and you can tell me a story or two of your adventure. I know you don't know me but it'll love to meet a stranger and hear their story, i love to hear stories especially from strangers. anyways be blessed in your travels.

Might I challenge you to look at creation and the new places with a different view. I love God and i deisre to travel the world to see the work of His hand, in creation. the bible says in Psalm 19 that "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge."
I dont know if you believe in God or not, but as you travel and see many things look at it in a new way, that a divine being made all that you see and see His creativity . The bible also says that creation utters his name, so as you look atthings try and see the truths that creation reveals to you about God and who he is. All you see is for us and we were made to rule over it. found in psalm 8 "4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. 6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands;you put everything under his feet: "

Be blessed in the Lord Jesus Christ as you continue your adventure, I pray that he will reveal Himself to you that you may come to know Him and the immense love that he has for you and your partner.

Sorry to continue on and all that about Jesus but i have experienced the love and touch of Jesus in my life and it is affecting my life for the better so i leave you with this beautiful psalm of truth about God enjoy and be blessed:

Psalm 8
A psalm of David.

1 O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
above the heavens.

2 From the lips of children and infants
you have ordained praise [b]
because of your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.

3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,

4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?

5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings [c]
and crowned him with glory and honor.

6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands;
you put everything under his feet:

7 all flocks and herds,
and the beasts of the field,

8 the birds of the air,
and the fish of the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.

9 O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

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