What Would Love Do?

I roll over on the bamboo poles serving as tonight’s mattress. Tired, aching muscles clench both sides of my shoulder blades, and my hips don’t quite fit in the small spaces between the tied poles. I can only wish for more sleep, but it’s a wasted wish. It’s 3:50 a.m., a few minutes before our alarms go off.

I take a rushed and restless breath, and on the exhale,  a single thought floods my brain and body. Thinking about it will consume many hours of many days, and eventually it will become one of my personal carry-on-warrior mantras: What would love do?

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Mae Sot (Tailàndia) – Kyaikhto (Birmània)

 

Benvinguts a Birmània. Ja estem campant per aquí, un nou indret que fa molt poc que sembla voler obrir-se al món.

Certament ha representat un canvi per nosaltres. No només en els temes típics i bàsics com poden ser la moneda, l’idioma, les precioses lletres i xifres del seu alfabet… sinó que també ens afecten força aspectes més quotidians com l’allotjament, disponibilitat d’aigua, de connectivitat a internet, els menjars, la calor, l’estat de les carreteres, la durada del visat…

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Celebrating Strangeness

We crest a hill, round a bend and instantly become famous.

The family of about 20, huddled around a fire in front of their house, wave to us and greet us with big hellos. We smile and wave back. They start pulling out their smartphones. We start pulling out our smartphones. We are, hands down, the strangest thing that passed in front of them  today on this back country road. We find them strange, too…strange in the way that makes every single one of us fascinating.

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Curiosities From…Thailand

Traveling opens our eyes, and we see things we normally may not notice or give much thought to.

While some things may feel familiar, other things feel unique or special to a place.  We call these unique things curiosities…things that are different enough to make us shrug our shoulders and go “hmmm…what is that about?”

Lluís has done a great job keeping a running list of these curiosities during our month of walking in Thailand, and you can read it here in Catalan.  I ran out of time translating the draft before we crossed into Myanmar, so I’ll offer up my top 10 list instead, working backwards as David  Letterman did.

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Curiositats de… Tailàndia

Aquestes son algunes de les curiositats que ens agradaria comentar:

. La gent en general és super amable i riellera. Responen a les nostres salutacions amb sinceritat i un altre somriure. La gran majoria fa tot el possible per ajudar-nos. És curiós que molts d’ ells es senten com a responsables del nostre benestar fent-se seva l’auto-obligació de que estem bé.

. El millor, la gent.

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Entrem a Birmània | Heading to Burma

(English version below)

Aquesta breu entrada i ara que comencem a endinsar-nos a Birmània és per ’informar’ que no tenim ni idea de quina serà la connectivitat, accés a internet, a electricitat per carregar el mòbil… de que disposarem, pel que consegüentment, no tenim ni idea de si podrem mantenir aquesta alta freqüència de publicacions a la web, i les xarxes socials.

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Mae Sot

 

Aquests últims dies, Mae Sot. Aquesta ciutat fronterera, porta de sortida de Tailàndia cap a Myanmar (Birmania) ha esdevingut la nostra petita base d’operacions per recuperar forces i preparar l’entrada a un nou estat.

Durant aquests dies hem estat força ocupats amb un parell de temes.

El primer i principal ha estat mirar d’ajudar, presentant-nos com a voluntaris, a alguns camps de refugiats o a algunes organitzacions humanitàries. Hem trucat forces portes, hem parlat amb gent, en nom de les persones que generosament ens han confiat alguna donació econòmica i en el nostre propi nom, hem fet dues donacions monetàries a una ONG i a una clínica (mini hospital) que ajuda a refugiats, però no hem aconseguit poder ajudar enlloc amb la nostra feina. Per això estem un xic decebuts.

El segon tema de la setmana ha estat conèixer una persona fabulosa, generosa, idealista, ciclista… així com el seu entorn personal que ens ha cuidat, ajudat i captivat.

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We Are All Connected

I take a bite of a sugar cookie and slowly sip my instant coffee. I feel safe and protected. We have been welcomed and given the green light to continue on our foot journey. I am grateful for the kindness we’ve been shown.

We accept friendship in whatever way it comes from whoever extends it. Today it comes in the form of friendly conversation, cookies and coffee from police and soldiers at one of the handful of border control checkpoints between Tak and Mae Sot.

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Kamphaeng Phet – Mae Sot

 

Ja hem arribat a Mae Sot ! L’últim punt del nostre recorregut per Tailàndia a només 5 km de Myanmar. Quan començavem a caminar allà a Bangkok ara fa tot just 4 setmanes miravem el mapa i ho veiem força lluny. Ara acabem d’arribar i ho fem molt sencers físicament i molt, molt contents i satisfets per la feina feta i les vivències/experiències viscudes.

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Finding a Safe Place to Sleep: Ban Lan Sang

The man with the big smile and kind eyes passes us his phone. He wants us to speak to his son.

“Hello again,” we say. We spoke to the young man a few minutes ago on speaker phone. His father called him when he saw we were having problems reading the menu of the restaurant we found ourselves in at the end of a 26-kilometer stretch. Thai letters are beautifully curvy, but we have no clue what they say. Both father and son wanted to make sure the cook understood that we requested our favorite, easy-on-the-stomach walking dish: fried rice with chicken and a fried egg.

“Hi. My father will take you to a homestay where you can sleep tonight, and tomorrow he will take you back to the intersection where you are now so you can continue walking. Ok?” The young man on the phone is in Bangkok, a few hundred kilometers from our finish line today, Ban Lan Sang, a speck of a town near Road 12 which will take us into the Thai hills and eventually into Myanmar. His English is very good, and our Thai is pathetically bad.

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