Maybe it is not surprising that there is a link between Wales and the Ghasi hills. The Welsh Presbyterian church git here in the 1800s, one Thomas Jones is much revered and had huge success with converting the population. We walked down to the village people were going to church looking serious and carrying black bibles. In the village of 250 souls there were at least 5 welsh Presbyterian churches in varying degrees of plainness. Welsh hymns floated across the air. The house even looked Welsh with corrugated iron roofs. The gardens were lush with huge red flowers and lush vegetable patches, it felt like the end of a nice UK summer. WE walked down to viewpoint where one looked out over the cliffs and we saw the river winding through the forest and tiny villages deep in the forest.
On our journey back to Shillong i noticed how there was a gravel factory every 200 yards. The local people are busy excavating the whole mountain side and converting it into gravel for construction. It is a real eye sore. This is not regulated because the government doe s not own the land. It seemed a deep contradiction to the preservation of the forest. Mining also happens on a similarly haphazard way.
Back in Shillong we met up with Sandra’s and her family and had supper with Pat, the editor of The Shillong Times. She was a campaigner and seemed to have fast access to everyone in government.