By Doug Pettit
Linda and I continue to learn as we spend time in the Kachin State. Today our host, Ah Dee Che, took us along to house dedication for a young couple from the Lisu ethnic group. They attend a church we visited and are expecting their first child this month. What an exciting time for them — a new house and a new baby!
The house dedication includes a long message and lots of prayer. Of course, since we don’t understand the language, it seemed like a REALLY long service! Still, Christians in the US could learn a lot about prayer from this young couple.
The house was built on stilts. And I didn’t think the floor was that sound — I think termites had already visited it. To reach the living quarrters we walked carefully up some 3″ wide steep stairs — carefully holding on to the stair rails!
They put out a floor mat for their ‘guests’ to sit on cross legged. Ouch ! This is their common way of sitting on the floor. And most at night sleep on a floor mat!
The young husband works digging for amber stones in the jungles southwest of Myitkyina. He often leaves for several weeks or months depending on the success of the dig. He must travel these long distances, even hundreds of miles, as good local jobs are extremely hard to find.
Jade and ruby mines also exist in this part of Myanmar.
The amber rock is brought back to Myitkyina and sold to processors, like the one we visited recently (when we have better internet we will share that story). Price depends on the quality and it can vary greatly.
The raw ore is washed, sorted into small piles & each small rock viewed with a flash light to see if amber inside. There are two colors of amber, red or yellow. Good rocks with amber inside are then cut and polished then sold to jewelry stores, etc., some are sold in China which is only 70 miles north.