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Published: February 12th 2009
Tuesday, February 10th, 2009
We got up at 6:30 so we could be ready for our pickup to cross into Laos. Talita was feeling worse. The air-con in the minibus really didn't do her any good.
After breakfast and getting some expensive kip (the Laos currency) we headed across the Mekong river on a ferry into Laos. After such a chill time in Thailand, nothing could prepare us for the chaos of the immigration process and we were herded like sheep from point to point (onto ferry, onto the taxi/truck, into places and into restaurants to wait for paperwork, passports and boat tickets). We can't wait to get off this package and back to out freedom!
After hours of this we finally made it onto the “slow-boat”. We sat forever waiting while more and more people filled the boat. We guess that it could seat maybe 80 people, but in the end there must've been between 150 and 200 people. The seats were wooden benches with a thin pillow. Luckily we’d been warned so we had bought extra pillows.
At one of our stops a biggish freighter crashed into a boat very similar to ours. Luckily it was
unoccupied at the time! At around 16:30 our boat pulled over with engine trouble, but it was soon resolved and we set off again. After six butt-numbing hours we finally made it to Pak Beng, a small village on the Laos side of the Mekong river. Our bags were taken from the hold but we couldn't get to Talita's bag because it was way in front. We were warned that some of the “porters” at Pak Beng could make off with our bags so we had a stressful moment as they all jumped onto the boat in search of some work.
As we set foot on land we were bombarded with offers for places to stay. We followed a guy with a good price to their establishment were we got a room for the night. After signing in we went for some Indian food. No beer for us tonight. We're still struggling with the new conversion rate so I think we're getting ripped off left, right and centre!
I (Ferdi) had been reading Mel Tari’s “Like a Mighty Wind” and what really hit me was how those people in East Timor had nothing so they had only faith
to rely on. Since the start of this trip God has been speaking to me about our lack of faith. We have money, so we don’t need faith. When we get ill, we just buy some pills or go to the doctor. In Pak Beng there was no doctors and only a tiny "pharmacy", so our money was no good! Secretly I was very worried that Talita might have malaria.
By the time we got to bed Talita was really struggling to breathe. We tried to sleep, but God kept saying to me to have faith, lay my hands on Talita and pray for her healing. I said: “But God, I don’t know what to say.” And He said not to worry about that. After some more negotiations I was compelled to go to Talita and pray over her. I just knelt over her and started praying and the word just came out. I can’t even remember everything I prayed, only that I prayed for her healing and for a good night's rest.
Immediately after I said "Amen" Talita’s nose opened and she could breathe! Amazing! I went back to bed feeling like a weight has been lifted from
my shoulders. We slept like babies!
1. Getting on the “slow-boat”
2. Getting off the “slow-boat”
3. Enjoying some Indian food
4. Praying for Talita’s healing
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