In the U.S., people only get one day a year for Thanksgiving, but here in Thailand, we have them all through the month of November. This time we went to a village high, high, up in the mountains. Grandma thought it was very pretty and took a lot of pictures. I guess it was pretty, but I was more interested in finding something interesting to do.
I wanted to see the decorations. Last week at Na Hui they decorated with fruit. When Thanksgiving was over, we took the fruit down and ate it. That’s the kind of decoration I like!
But the Plang Hoc church only had flowers. The food on the offering table didn’t look very interesting to me, either. It was mainly rice and bags of brown stuff.
“Where are the bananas?” I asked Grandma.
“They don’t have as many bananas here,” she told me. “This high in the mountains they mainly grow tea. Those bags of brown leaves there on the table are bags of tea people brought for an offering.”
Well, I like bananas better. You can’t eat tea. I wondered if you could eat flowers?
“Na Say,” I said. “Lift me up so I can look at the flower decorations.”
She did, “Linkee, you are just supposed to smell the flowers,” she said. “I don’t think you are supposed to play with them.”
I wasn’t going to play with them! I was going to eat them. But I smelled them first to see if they smelled like something to eat. Umm. Maybe not.
I decided to forget about eating for a while and just play with the kids. Danosong always has a fun game to play.
Ma Li and Pa La Di played hide and seek with me. They tried to hide behind Grandma’s fan, but I found them.
Selah and Mai wanted a turn playing with me, too.
But I was getting hungry! Maybe those flowers wouldn’t be too bad. They LOOKED good. I grabbed one to test it.
As I pulled on it, it made a funny noise — kind of a buzzing sound. No it didn’t. Something ELSE made a buzzing sound. It was a bee! It was in the flower I pulled out of the flower arrangement, and it wasn’t happy! It flew right onto my nose and stung me!
Ow! It hurt so much! It felt like my nose was on fire.
“Grandma,” I cried. “My nose is burning off! What will I do without a nose?”
Grandma dug in her big bag to find her ointment. “I know it hurts,” she said. “But your nose won’t really burn off.”
“Well, it feels like it,” I sniffed. “Why did that mean bee have to sting me?”
“Well, Linkee,” she said. “Were you supposed to pull a flower out of the arrangement?”
“I was just going to eat one little flower,” I said. Wowee, my nose felt like one big pain in the middle of my face!
“You knew better than to eat the decorations. They aren’t a snack. They are to make the church pretty. The people want to thank God for being so good to them, so they do their best to make the church look special.”
“Well, I don’t think it looks so special,” I said. “It looks very plain to me. It needs some paint and they don’t even have chairs to sit on.”
“None of that matters to God, Linkee,” she said. “What matters is that they give their best to Jesus. That’s what He cares about. He knows they don’t have much, but they give out of the little bit they have because they love Him so much.”
The ointment was making the pain go away, so I didn’t feel quite so grouchy. I guessed that if God liked the decorations so much I shouldn’t eat them after all.
The kids were sorry I was hurt.
“You can have some of these berries, Linkee,” Supucket said. “I found them growing behind the church building. We have a bush like that behind our dorm and we like to pick and eat them.”
He handed me a green berry, about the size of a cherry. I bit into it. It was sour!
“Quick, take a drink,” Supucket said. He handed me a bottle of water. I took a big gulp — and suddenly I tasted something sweet.
Supucket smiled. “That’s the way these berries are. They taste bad when you eat them, but after you drink water, you have a good taste in your mouth.”
I thought it was really strange and did it again. Yes, it worked! But I decided I didn’t like the sour more than I did like the sweet, so I let Supucket eat the rest of the berries.
After the service, we had lunch. Guess what? We had bananas for dessert!