Visit with the Tha Mwey family

Trip Start Jun 10, 2007
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Trip End Jun 29, 2007


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Flag of Norway  ,
Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I got up about 4 am and couldn't sleep in the train car. It is so bright outside and the scenery hauntingly beautiful. I can't keep my eyes off of it.  There is snow in the mountains and it there is a light snow falling outside as we cross the pass in the mountains on the way to Trondheim. 
 
Bruce is sound asleep in the seats across the aisle. I'm wondering how I'm going to be feeling the rest of the day.  We pulled into Trondheim at exactly 7:00 am.  We checked on trains going back and decided to take the one at 8:35 am the next day, Thursday. 
 
We went out K Paw Gay and her husband Htee Hser in Trondheim.  We called her on the phone and told her we were on the way. The day before she had written a very welcoming email about our arrival. 
 
The best way out was a taxi.  I'm wondering how much THIS is going to cost.  Everything in Norway is wildly expensive.  The meter on the cab started at $6.  Bad sign.  The night before at the modest restaurant, the entrée dishes were all about $45 each.  Ouch.  You can really go through a lot of money.  The restaurant was jam packed. I don't know how they do it. Fortunately, everyone takes credit cards, including the cab drivers so you don't feel the pain right away. The cab ride was 6 miles for a mere $30. The cab driver was a Swede whose name was Roland.  Bruce, my Swedish partner minister and Roland hit it off.  Bruce asked what the difference between the Norwegians was. The answer was quick: the Swedes are a lot better looking. 
 
Our cab driver dropped us off at the wrong address.  The person who lived at the address appeared to be a Romanian immigrant.  I asked him in Russian if we could use his cell phone. He told us he was out of minutes.  But, he did walk us in the direction where the correct address was.  It was a about a 200 yard walk. Not bad. 
 
K Paw Gay Thamwey was waiting for us. Right away we sensed that we would have no problem communicating. Her English is excellent.  She had breakfast waiting for us as we entered, but it was hard to eat because we wanted to talk to her, her husband Htee Hser and meet their children.  K Paw Gay was baptized in 2002 in the Thai refugee camp for the Karen.
 
We got acquainted for the next hour and learned about the Meremaoe Refugee Camp in Thailand where they came from.  Her family was chosen to be one of those Karen refugees to emigrate to freedom.  Her children are 16 year-old daughter Ni Ni, sons Elvis and Has Mee Hoo.  They also have brought over a nephew whose name is Albert. 
 
The Norwegian government is requiring that they go to school for two years to study the language before they join the work force. They are paid support from the government. If they miss school, they do not get the government subsidy.  After three years they will receive permanent status to live in Norway and they can become citizens in seven years.  If peace comes to Burma before three years, they must return. 
 
They told us that eventually they do want to return to their home in Burma where they have all their family and familiar surroundings.  They like Norway, but it is so foreign. They don't seem to mind the harsher climate and they are doing well at learning the language.  K Paw Gay has been speaking Norwegian when going to town.  Her English is excellent and she's been an English teacher at the refugee camp where she came from.
 
Another family is coming to Norway from Trondheim soon.  It is the parents of Elsa Doh in Kemi, Finland.  The mother's name is Monday and he husband is Klo Gay Doh's brother.  I'm trying to keep all these relationships straight. One more relationship: Klo
Gay Doh's son married to K Paw Gay's husband's sister (I think). 
 
After talking awhile fatigue really hit me like I thought it might. Both Bruce and I rested a bit and then held a Bible Study in the afternoon. 
 
I gave a Bible Study on the subject of the Kingdom of God and Bruce spoke about the use of words. An enjoyable discussion continued on about their families and thoughts. 
 
We have really appreciated getting to know them.  K Paw Gay then prepared a tasty Karen dinner with rice, soup, potatoes with slices of beef and a special Karen-type vegetable salad.  
 
Tomorrow we head back to Oslo to meet a co-worker and prospective member outside of Oslo and will have to find a place to stay in Oslo.  Friday we go on to our next country of Sweden and the city of Gothenburg.
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Comments

rosehill
rosehill on

Karen Brethren
Tim served in Thailand on the project there many years ago and actually was able to travel north to meet the Karen. It would be exciting if some of the people there are people that he knew.
Thanks for all the information.
Karen.

krikketgirl
krikketgirl on

Hello
Hi, Vic!

Just wanted you to know that Chris and I are reading along. Glad things are going well! --Katherine

rc45
rc45 on

Burmese brethren
Hello Vic,
Really enjoying reading all your entries as you and Bruce travel through Norway and then on to Sweden.
I really enjoyed learning more about K Paw and Htee and their family. Sandy and I are in North Carolina and I hope to meet some more of the Burmese brethren in Raleigh this coming Sabbath. I believe they are related to K Paw through marriage, because they are related to Margaret Doh. I mentioned them to you before. I chatted on Skype with Kira Spencer this morning and she told me you and Bruce will be with them on the Sabbath. They are really excited you are coming.
Reggie Warren

sonalif
sonalif on

From Cali
Hey Vic!

What a great, open-hearted traveler you are, exposing our hearts & taking us in on your beautiful journey. I especially connected with the Karen Family & their life in Norway. I can only imagine the struggles with having to conform to a new culture & yet longing for a piece of home, too.

Keep writing & sharing your life. We are all thankful for it. As always, you are in our hearts & prayers, too.

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