the adventure I find myself in / das Abenteuer in dem ich mich finde

Month: March 2006 (Page 1 of 2)

Luang Pabang

We arrived in Luang Prabang after a six hour bus ride over uncounted mountains. We passed many hill tribe villages and soldiers with their AK 47’s. David told me that some Swiss got shot on his bicycle a view years ago by Rebels. Very comforting. My mind went into imagining mode. I see ourselves being held at gunpoint by some kidnappers taking me for ransom. After a year in the jungle surviving on insects and Mekong water I would miraculously escape to Thailand where I would then write a biography on my amazing experience and the revival breaking out among the Mong tribe. I put the thoughts aside as absurd and wonder why I’m so hot. Then I realize I’m riding in an air con bus without the air con. I mean it was there but not functioning. I don’t know if I’m getting too old for this. I opened the window an the less hot air blows into my face while I’m listening to Jack Johnson on my ishuffle. Six hours is a long time and there is time to think, kind of sleep, listening to music. Talking is hard because of the noise. Reading is really hard without getting sick. Too many curves on that road. I jocked with David that the Swiss would have built tunnels through the mountains. We just went over them. We could look back and still see the road where we went 10 minutes ago. Winding our way a sudden surge of happiness came to may heart. One of those feelings that make you jump up and down. I’m very self-controlled so I only let my heart jump and raise my pulse a bit. I was just suddenly so happy about God loving me and me being part of him. I felt fulfilled, privileged and happy.

I wish Lillian could have been there with me. I imagined us traveling from Thailand over Laos to Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Burma back to Chiang Mai. Of course without the kids, taking about three month, staying at the places we feel most interesting or relaxing. Luang Prabang would be one of these places. It is definitely one of the prettiest towns I have seen in SEAsia. It is build on a peninsula. On one side is the Mekong an on the other side another river. It is build on a hill, just like Bern in Switzerland. The Government preserved the small town character. The buildings are small an cute. Many coffee shops to go to(I love it) There is no traffic compared to Thailand. The main roads are connected by little pathways all one with red bricks. A great place to relax and just be. I could fall in love with the place.

Tomorrow we are going to fly back to Chiang Mai. I miss my family. Still have a view presence to shop.

Tubing in Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng is crowded with back packers. There are a view things you
can do. Like kayaking, river rafting climbing and trekking. The most
cherished for the travelers seems to be tubing. With a tractor tube
they are dropped of five kilometers up river. The tubers the jump into
the water and float down for four hours minimum. At the river bank are
bars with loud western music and "catcher" shouting: "come, beer Lao". They throw a bamboo pole on a string towards the tubers and they let themselves be pulled in for another beer Lao. A lot of the tubers are more or less drunk when they arrive back in Vang Vieng. It was rather bizarre to see hundreds of Westerners coming down the rivers on tubes with beers in their hands in the middle of the Lao mountains.

Vang Vieng

We arrived in Vang Vieng after four hours. The bus ride from Vientiane was alright. Even the air con worked.
The county looks quite poor, but clean. There are barely any beggars. Very similar to Thailand except less developed.
The bus drove into the yard of a guest hose in Vang Vieng and I thought this is pretty strange. We then had to walk through the guest house into the street behind where the back packer mecca unfolds. There are many guesthouses and restaurants. We walked down the road it was already dark and the places were filled with young travelers watching "Friends" on TV while eating. Two restaurants showed one episode after the other. Another restaurant showed the Simpson’s. It was kind of strange and amusing. We found a guesthouse and settled in before we went for some delicious Indian food and my first Lao beer.
The next day we went climbing. We rented some gear and got two guides with us. The morning we spent in a cave climbing the walls. It was a beautiful spot. After lunch we went to another wall and climbed several routes up to 6b+.
Today we catch the bus to Luang Prabang. Another six hour drive. Our trip is soon coming to an end.


Yesterday I and David (a friend from Switzerland) arrived in Vientiane Laos. We got picked up by mark who works here. Laos is in big contrast to Thailand and reminds me a lot of Cambodia. At least when I was there in 1992. Vientiane is the Capitol of Laos. We flew over the rice fields touching down at the airport that seemed to be quite big. There was only one other airplane at the airport and some military machines.
Mark brought us to the halfway house where they have eight young people getting off drugs and being discipled. At the moment Sukhit and his family is here with a team from the Vineard in Bangkok , teaching and ministering to the small group of believers. We spent the evening with Mark and his family. We had a great time. They doing a great job here in Laos.
This morning we went into town to get a real croissant and coffee. I love the french flair here. There are coffee shops all over the place. The bakeries are just so much better then in Thailand.
The other thing is having police sitting at every corner reminds me that we are in a communist country. Even though there are so many backpackers and there are all the western goods and shops the one wouldn’t expect.
Today we will take the three hour bus ride up to Vang Vieng. Looking forward to that  place.

Re-Entry Permit

This morning I went to Immigration to get my re-entry permit. Next week I will be off to Laos on a trip with a friend.
To do the re-entry permit (without i cannot get back into Thailand) I had to fill in a form, attach a photo, copy my passport and sign every page. a single re-entry permit costs 1,000 baht a multiple entry 3,900 baht. All in all it took me about an hour.
While I was waiting I saw a sign that the penalty for overstaying the country increased to 500 baht a day. Coming to think off how much money we spend on Immigration. In Juli we go to Switzerland. Re-entry permits for the whole family will be 5000 baht.

New Office

This morning I went with Thomas to see the new office. After so many months of wishing to have a bigger place, we finally found something in the city. Like most places it needs paint. It’s quite filthy for Swiss standards :-). We also asked the owner to take all the old furniture out. I like to have space.
It has two levels. Upstairs are two small rooms. Thomas will use the bigger room for recording and all his equipment. The smaller room (2x3meter) we will use as a "quite room". Where we can spend time with God and also sleep (in case we work late). I will have my office downstairs, where we will have a coffee corner. So finally people can actually visit us in our office. Till now our office for two people is a room 3×4 meter. This is such an improvement and I really look forward to it.
With the rent we also get a fast Internet connection. That’s a real bonus. The owner will also put a phone line in and some earth wire for our computers. There is a lot to do. Official moving date is the 17th. We are going to paint at least two rooms at the end of the week.

Our Mission

Here a quote on mission. Made me feel good about being in a country far far away. I hope I’m enriching the world. Sometimes I definitely do feel like manure.

"The church is like manure. Pile it up, and it stinks up the neighborhood. Spread it out, and it enriches the world."
Luis Palau

Suicide Killer

The other day my wife red the story of Samson to our children. While reading the realization that Samson was the first suicide killer in the bible dawned on her and shocked her at the same time. This story indicates a lot more today then when I grew up. Back then suicide bombers were basically not known except maybe the Kamikaze pilots in World War II. Today there is no day going by without someone sacrificing their lives for a cause by killing themselves and as many people they can take with them.

Samson (read the story on-line) was called by God to implement judgment on the Philistines. He killed them (at least 3,000) while worshipping their God. It says there were tyrants (bad leaders) among them. My guess is that there were a lot bystanders.
What we hear from the suicide bombers today is not much different. They claim God called them to do the very same thing Samson did. Innocent people get killed because of affiliation.

This whole thing really makes me think. I believe Jesus with His live style showed us a different way. To loose ones life not to kill but in service and love for the other. To take our cross and follow Him means so much to get ourselves in a position of total weakness. He also said there is no greater love then to loose ones life for a friend. Jesus is the total opposite of Samson.

Snow Day

My Brother in Switzerland sent me some photos. It snowed about 40 centimeters and I was told that they  haven’t had so much snow for years.
My heart is longing for the white stuff. At least for a view days. It makes the world around you come to a still-stand and all the sounds are muffled. I remember before I came to Thailand I used to have to get up at three in the morning to free the parking lots and walkways as part of my Job as a landscape- gardener. Working outside all day in winter was often quite a challenge.
Here in Thailand the heat is climbing. Today the prediction is 37 degrees. What a difference. I haven’t seen snow for the last five years. My children said they want to see snow. So we will see if we can make that happen while we’re in Switzerland in Juli. To all of you in Switzerland. Happy snow-day!

Saturday morning

The week is coming to an end. It is Saturday morning 8 o’clock and a comfortable 23 Degrees. When I woke up all my "chores" went through my mind.

  • Working in the garden (planting and cutting)
  • removing the sand bags from last years floods
  • changing the electrical plug from the water pump
  • Painting and adjusting the back door
  • changing a built in ceiling light
  • cleaning up the paid bills in the office
  • Book my flight to Laos
  • practicing the Lahu alphabet

And there are many other things to do. I think I start with making some coffee, have some breakfast and take it slowly. Like in the song from Simon and Garfunkel "slow down, you move to fast. You’ve got to keep the morning last."


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