Sunday, 21 November 2010

Goodbye Say Hei...amazing woman!

Goodbye Say Hei on PhotoPeach

So our amazing Say Hei has gone ... and I've had a weekend to think about the magic moments of Say Hei's time in Campie School. Here's some of them.

Magic Moment 1
On Friday I took Say Hei over from my house to the beach. As we went down steps to the beach, she was nervous. " I afraid." No it's OK Say Hei. I took her arm and we walked onto the sand. The sea was far out so we walked half way towards it. "Stop. I afraid. When sea comes... it comes fast or slow?" She thought the sea was going to rush in and drown us. It was so so funny and she was so excited that in her 50s, she had been to the sea for the first time in her life. What a privilege to share that moment with her. She's got the photo sadly.

Magic/Tragic Moment 2
Driving past the sea near Levenhall, she said, "My sister, you very lucky. Every day you go to school you see this beautiful sea. Every day I go to my school, I see Thai police arresting my Burmese people."

Magic Moment 3
Say Hei, Marc and Fraser from P7 and I went to meet Don Ledingham at East Lothian Headquarters. The boys impressed all of us with their knowledge and understanding of the plight of the Burmese people. Later, Say Hei said "Your students have many rights... rights to speak to the leader. My students have no rights. One day, I hope my students will have rights as yours."

Magic Moment 4
Apart from the entire ceilidh being an incredibly magic moment where parents, staff, children and visitors all mingled beautifully. In her speech (which you can see on, Say Hei said, "I never thought in my life that I would ever be in your country."

Magic Moment 5
On the last night, Fiona O' Donnell (East Lothian MP) coming to listen to Say Hei and Paw Ray tell her about their situation. Paw Ray had been in Glasgow and returned with 2 new friends who drove her back. Then there were 10 in the house and the conversation became more and more obscure. Fiona turned round and said, "Being in your house is like being on another planet!" It was a huge complement.

Magic Moment 6
Later that evening, Gaynor and I had unpacked Say Hei's suitcase 3 times trying to get everything she'd been given by Campie into her baggage allowance. Gaynor had to stay so long that we all had a chippy tea. After a long time, Seth said to Gaynor, "Mum we need to go home. We've been here 5 hours." Then he looked at his ex headteacher, remembered his lovely manners and said, "But it's been really good!"

Magic Moment 7
At Edinburgh Airport at 4.30am on Saturday, Say Hei's baggage allowance was 23 Kg. Her bag weighed in at 30 Kg and the second bag that Campie were paying for was 7 Kg. So Gaynor and I unpacked her bag, moving Campie's letters for CDC and Louise Laing's Heinz tomato soup into the little bag. The queue behind us were not impressed but we were giggling our heads off. And surely this has to be the most obscure but effective example of excellence in a headteacher and the chair of a Parent Council working together! I mean 4am on a Saturday morning! (although that is why neither of us made it to the Musselburgh Community Planning event at 10am. Sorry, folks.)

So many others, Sarah Boyack showing the Scottish Parliament, watching her horror as we ate ice cream, visiting our Burmese refugee student friends at Newbattle Abbey College, waking up to the smell of Burmese breakfast cooking, Campie children saying bye to Say Hei and much more.

Say Hei, you came and gave us so much. Thank you Amazing Lady.

Sheila Laing

If you have any magic Say Hei moments yourself, put them in a comment or send them to us and we'll blog them.

1 comment:

  1. That's a lovely tribute to Say Hei's visit, Ms Laing. I only met her a couple of times but was affected by her quiet dignity. Still waters run deep. Although Say Hei often says she feels afraid, she seems very courageous to me.