Saturday, 21 July 2012

Funny fruit

Imogen - 9th July
At lunch time we went into the staff room. Considering that many teachers used the room, it was very small. We went in and saw the table littered with fruit. It had the normal like apples and oranges and then it had some very strange looking fruit. There was a big round green fruit with little brown prickles, Myoe Nyunt started to somehow peel it. Inside there was a whole other fruit. It was white and was in segments like an orange. He peeled one and then gave me it. I sniffed and then ate it, hmmmmm. Not for me. Not for Seth either and his face was priceless! We didn't know what it was as MN didn't know the English names.
We tried more fruits like one which was like a bunch of grapes but when you pulled one of you peeled it. Also a fruit which you cracked open and it was bright purple. Some of the new ones were nice but some..... The problem was Muin Nunt pealed them so quickly and we felt bad saying no. Luckily little Ailsa came to the rescue!!
Add from David: after lunch, we spoke to one more class and although they had no questions and were very quiet, the sesion ended with some of the older boys doing street dance at the back of the classroom to entertain us. Two of them did backflips from a standing position on the concrete floor! Amazing.

Good morning teacher 2

Before we left Scotland Sheila had said we wouldn't get away with not teaching - and she was right. She'd suggested keeping it simple by taking photos of Campie School around each class and expolaining what was happening. We collected lots of photos of Campie, but Sheila only managed to get one set laminated s we divvied them up and off we went.
David had Immy and Seth and I had Maya and Livvy. Walking into the classroom was the first surprise as everyone stood up, put their hands in prayer position and said "Good morning teacher!" Wow. We talked about Scottish schools, particularly Campie and Musselburgh Grammar and what happens during a normal day at Campie. Sheila had said the kids wouldn't ask many questions, but we had the youngest and they were fabulous. We had "Do you have many trees?" as trees provide important shade here; "Do you have a flagpole?" as they ave to raise the Thai flag every morning and sing to it!; but my favourite question came after showing the class photos of our lovely Campie nursery and telling them about the children playing, a little boy asked when the nursery children have to work. While Sheila was in a different part of the school teaching all about emotional intelligence and how Scottish schools are now concentrating on the early years to create confident, well established and happy children, I tried (with my limited understanding) to explain this to a wee boy in Grade 2 (P3 to us). The children really listened and when I asked who thought they should let children play in the nursery and early years at CDC, every hand shot up in the air. Magic. I did explain about learning through play (if Gillian is reading). The kids were quite confident and had a real laugh. We all sang heads, shoulders, knees and toes, and the kids were just great.
Lisa dropped Jack and Ailsa off when we were half way through, so Livvy got totally distractedad went to play with them. Actually before this she was amazing, and was really taking part in everything. Maya was great as expected. I'm so proud of them.
Our translater They They Lin looked about 17 and was an English teacher at CDC, he had also attended the school. He had done very basic training, but was really good with the kids and had a good laugh with them.
We managed to get around four classes before lunch, but the other lot did all six, so after lunch we swapped photos and did a class each.
It was a wonderful experience and an amazing day. It was great to be with the kids and the staff and to feel a part of everything. It's so comfortable beng here with our friends. Amazing.
Livvy stayed at CDC with Jack, while the rest of us and Ailsa went to theclinic for a tour. More of that later.

Good morning teacher

David - 9th July
We were made to feel very special at the school and during the assembly, two of the Burmese students welcomed us in excellent English. One of them was a young girl not much older than Livvy who was very sweet and confident.
Gaynor, Imogen & Livvy said a few words of welcome. We were very proud of the girls to stand up and speak about the Campie-CDC link on front of so many people in such a different environment. Livvy said the link was very strong and important to the children at Campie.
After the assembly, we split into two groups to talk to individual classes of about 35-40 children - in very bare and basic classrooms with desks that looked like they were from the 1950s.
New teachers at CDC!
Seth & Imogen came with me to do slightly older children, probably around 10-14 and Gaynor, Maya & Livvy did the younger primary groups. Our Burmese is pretty limited, so Myoe Nyunt translated for us & another lovely man called Thay Thay Lin did so for Team Gaynor.
Over the next two hours and more, we spoke to six classes for about 20 minutes each. Each class greeted us by standing and in smiling unison, saying "Good Morning Teacher", which was quite strange.

Using some laminated photographs, which we passed around the children, Imogen told them a little about life in Campie School and the CDC link - one of the pictures showed the board at Campie with the pictures of CDC, Aung San Suu Kyi and a map of Burma & Thailand, which I always think are such oddly-shaped countries.

I talked about Say Hei and Thein Naing visiting us and about TN running into the cold sea and Say Hei putting stacks of chili sauce on all her food! We explained how the Cmpie kids loved e partnership and described done of the events we have held, like two ceilidhs which mixed Scottish dancing and Burmese food.
We said we had brought some small things from Campie - stickers, books, Scottish flags, letters from Campie children, etc - and hoped these would remind the CDC children of the partnership. We also showed them the origami Campie children made by Simon Archer which we hoped would remind the children of us when we had gone home.
We also explained a little about the money we had brought to help CDC - £1600 from the school's Rice Fund, £267 from the One World Night organised at Musselburgh Grammar by Maya and £167 from the Hits from the Musicals night featuring Imogen and her p7 pals Luke, Amy, Lara, Joy, Eve & Hannah.

I had also been told the kids at CDC liked football so Seth & I took some Musselburgh Youngstars strips along, and in each class invited the kids to try them on. In all of the morning classes, at least 7 or 8 children put the strips on and we took some pictures of em in the blue and black striped tops.
We asked the children taught us a few basic Burmese words and added to our limited collection with Ball-o (football), Nay gow la (How are you?) and Mama (older sister). This pleased Imogen very much, as Myoe Nyunt thought she was older than Seth!

The children were a little shy at asking questions, but there were some good ones - about how school was different at Campie and who did we have who was like Aung San Suu Kyi. That was a hard one! Seth said afterwards that maybe we should have said Alex Salmond - or maybe not!
Towards the end of the morning, Imogen & Seth started taking the mickey when I thanked the CDC children for making us all feel so welcome. I said that we also brought with us the smiles and love of the Campie children and would take the smiles and love of CDC back to Scotland. "You sound like a Disney film, dad," Seth & Immy said.

Asssembly at CDC

Seth-9th July, Mae Sot

David note: we were up before 7am to cycle to Casa Mia for breakfast and then onto CDC where we planned to spend most of the day..

Singing to the Thai flag - very strange
We arrived at CDC at about 845ish, just before the start of the Thai National Anthem. We walked in and stood to the side of an open sheltered platform (which I'm going to refer to as 'thingy', because it would be to awkward to refer to it as a sheltered platform) in front of all the primary students.

We were quickly shuffled around to face the Thai Flag and the national anthem began playing. I expected some sort of orchestral music and an anthem similar to 'God Save The Queen'. Instead we heard loud drums and small primary kids shouting pretty loudly (not really what we expected). Listening to it, I found it a bit intimidating and strange, all these loud noisy drums and kids shouting all behind your back feels a bit weird. After the National Anthem, we turned round to face the children.

Sheila said a few words which were translated by Myoe Nyunt. She explained why we were here and that instead of bringing Campie teachers to CDC this year, she brought us. After Sheila's speech the children shuffled to the entrance of the thingy. They did this in a very odd looking way, the children held on to the child in fronts shoulders and they all side stepped along to the end, if I'm honest it reminded me of a sort of follow the leader/conga gone wrong.
Immy and Livvy taking part in the school assembly

After the shuffle, all the children stayed in their classes and were put into nice neat lines and faced the back of the thingy (towards us). Then Say Hei said a few words as so did the head teacher of CDC whose name I can't remember. (David: Man Shwe Nin).

Then Myoe Nyunt introduced some Karen dancers who had a dance they wanted to show us. The dance was excellent and very enjoyable. Myoe Nyunt then explained that some of the students were going to show us a traditional Burmese dance. The dancers lined up and then what sounded like a slow pop song was played. The Burmese dancing was good, however slightly bizarre. The students seemed to be shaking from side to side and moving their arms.
Karen dancers getting ready to perform
At the end of the assembly, we were all presented with tiny wooden Burmese dolls and lovely necklaces, which was very moving.

Ice cream shop

Livvy - 8th July
After going to Mae Tao clinic, we went back to the hotel and Sheila said she would take us for an ice cream at a new ice cream shop. When we got there, we chose our ice cream and topping . I watched them make the ice cream (they got a big block of ice cream of the flavour you asked for and put it in their machine, twisted the handle and held the bowl underneath and got shavings from the block. I got chocolate ice cream with jelly balls, Geoff got blueberry ice cream with mango as a topping, dad got coffee ice cream with chocolate sauce , Immy got vanilla with caramel sauce and jelly balls, Sheila had coconut ice cream with chocolate sauce and Seth got mango ice cream with strawberry sauce. It was AMAZING !!!!!!!!!!!

Meeting Dr Cynthia

We cycled from Thein Naing's house up through the back streets to the Mao Tao Clinic to meet Dr Cynthia, who is also known as ' Our Mother'. Dr Cynthia pretty much looks after the entire Burmese community here.
She fled Burma in-1988 and set up a small clinic to give medical aid to people who had also crossed the border to escape the Tatmadaw (Burmese army). Over the years the clinic has grown and grown, along with demand. The clinic sees between 300 and 400 patients a day, from Thailand and Burma, or 150,000 displaced people every year. Last year they helped deliver 3,000 babies, and they deal with cases of malnutrition and lost limbs through land mine injuries, alongside providing dentistry, an eye clinic, carrying out operations and providing mental health care for many people damaged through the horrific civil war. [in the Thai border province of Tak, there are around 800,000 people - 300,000 of them are Burmese and 120,000 of that 300,000 are aged 15-19]
On top of this Dr Cynthia has set up CDC school, provides medical care, food and humanitarian care for people throughout the border region. She is a totally amazing woman and has received many, many international awards in recognition of her work. Dr Cynthia and the clinic continue to grow and meet the needs of this community in crisis. If anyone would like to find out more about this incredible place visit
As we cycled up to the clinic, we met Sheila, Geoff and a poorly Maya just gettin out of the DK tuk tuk. We all went to meet Dr Cynthia in the library, where she told us about the funding crisis. She explained that the school and clinic (along with most Burmese organistions) are dependent on foreign aid, but this is drying up as most donors are starting to pump money into Burma and leaving the border. This could be the start of a massive crisis. We were told earlier that it wasn't going to be safe for the Burmese to go back to Burma for another few years, so what are these people going to do for all that time. How are the kids going to be fed or the clinic going to continue to provide free health care? It is all very depressing.
We were pleased to give the cash we had brought from Campie, Judith's Hits From the Musicals, Maya's cash and the money Sheila had collected from everyone. I think we all wished we could do more.
It was wonderful to meet Dr Cynthia, but Maya hit the wall and it was time to go. Dr Cynthia said her, Sheila and Geoff could be taken back in the clinic van. We were due to have a tour round the clinic, but decided to leave it to another day.

Thein Naing's House

David - 8 July, Mae Sot
Thein Naing then took us to his house, via a muddy and bumpy orange path alongside a dirty river/canal, where some local boys were having a swim. Later, we saw very small children scavenging through rubbish, collecting plastic bottles and bags to recycle.
The downstairs of Thein Naiang's house is the office where he and his colleagues produce the magazine Maukkha, an educational and cultural magazine for Burmese teachers and others inside and outside Burma. His latest issue had a picture of Aung San Suu Kyi receiving her honorary degree at Oxford.
Thein Naing explained the complex difficulties surrounding the Burmese exiled community returning home. He is keen to go back at some point, but thinks it will be 2-3 years before things really start to change and a lot of Burmese start to go home.
At the moment, there are many reasons why this is problematic, we have learned - fighting in ethnic areas (Shan & Kachin states), general fear and uncertainty about the intentions of the Burmese Government and how much democracy they will allow -and economic issues. There is a shortage of jobs in Burma and many migrant workers feel they have a degree of security in Thailand - even if the jobs are low-paid. These migrant workers are important to the Thai economy, filling many low-paid jobs, but there are also Burmese people who have started their own businesses in Thailand, while in Burma this enterprise culture simply doesn't exist.
Thein Naing is keen to use his skills - as a writer, editor, teacher and teacher trainer - in Burma, but isn't quite sure how he will do that at the moment. A lot of Burmese people living in exile are in the same position.
Despite the changes in Burma, there are still people coming over the border into Thailand. There are 150,000 people in the refugee camps and an enormous migrant population in the Tak state of Thailand of which Mae Sot is part. The problems are all very challenging and there are no easy answers.
Thein Naing then led us on our bikes to Mae Tao Clinic, passing lots of goats and some water buffalo on the way - and then being passed by Sheila, Geoff and a pallid Maya in a motorised rickshaw.
We were led into the library at Mae Tao Clinic, where we were soon introduced to Dr Cynthia.

Deep Fried Cockroaches, Angry Birds and Burmese Tea

Seth & David - 8th July, Mae Sot
After a nice breakfast at a small coffee shop opposite the DK, Theing Niang - one of the Burmese teachers who stayed with us in Musselburgh last year - came to take us out for the morning.
Maya had been ill in the night with headaches and a fever so she stayed in (Sheila & Geoff were staying at the hotel so they kept an eye on her). It was a shame as she would have loved cycling to, then walking the bikes through, a packed food market with various delicacies including deep fried locusts and cockroaches and three (live) fat frogs in a satsuma bag for 5 Baht (about 10p).
To be fair, there was lots of nice-looking stuff too - prawns, various grilled fish and some attractive-looking sushi including the obligatory Angry Birds-themed sushi. Angry Birds is everywhere - t-shirts, caps, toys, sushi, etc. I wouldn't be surprised to see it on a dead frog any day soon.
Theing Nang (pronounced Thay-Nigh) took us to a Burmese tea stall, where Gaynor, Seth & I tried Burmese tea, sweetened with condensed milk and sugar (not as bad as it sounds) and Burmese rice doughnut-type things (also OK). We started chatting about the situation in Burma and with the exiled Burmese community in the border region....

Sunday, 8 July 2012


So after a meal at the night market, me Imogen, Dad and Maya were all making our way back to Canadian Dave's to meet the others when we noticed a glass display cabinet selling animals. We all had a look and noticed what appeared to be a human heart. We then relished it was a frog with what looked like its brain out on top. Then Imogen and Dad walked away and I went in a world of my own when (according to Maya) a man popped hishead around the corner of the display cabinet and said "frog" in what Maya described as a questioning way. As the story later got repeated, Maya explained that the man had a shower cap on, this made us doubt if the story was true or not, however Maya still insists that it happened.
Also when we were walking back, we saw a dead rat under a car. Imogen didn't notice the rat but screamed. Turns out she stood on her shoelace and thought it was the rat's tail. This gave us a bit of a giggle as well.

Food Market

Maya, 7th July
After watching the break dancers in the street for a while Sheila led us to a food market. When we came in Sheila pointed out a row of corrugated iron shacks. One year when she came to Mae Sot she had met a young girl in there who lived with 5 other members of her family in this tiny room. It was very sad that it is normal for people to live like this and it made me appreciate our nice house back home in Musselburgh very much. Mum, Sheila, Livvy and Geoff left us at the market to go and eat at Canadian Dave's, leaving Dad, Seth, Immy and me to try the Thai food at an outdoor restaurant in the market. The food was lovely and once again Seth ordered a dish way to spicy for him and ended up trading with Dad. It was a strange experience eating there though as there was a strange mix of wealth and poverty. There were young child beggars coming up to the tables and the iron shack houses metres away from where we were sitting yet all the surrounding food stalls had flat screen TV's. After we had finished our meal we headed along to Canadian Dave's to meet the rest of our posse.

Lazy start, fun day

David - 7 July, Mae Sot

A lazy start to the day, as we were all shattered after lots of cycling yesterday. We finally moseyed along to Canadian Dave's and ate about 11. Livvy had cheesy beans, and she was delighted. Later, she are some chickpeas and roti, which was most unexpected.

Canadian Dave's is run by a moustachioed Canadian. His name is Dave.

After moving rooms into the newer, nicer part of DK (the older bit is fine, but a little dark, dingy and old colonial) we walked own to Borderline to meet Lisa and her kids. Lisa is originally from Edinburgh but has worked for many years in the Mae Tao Clinic, a hospital for the Burmese refugee community which also oversees CDC School.Her husband, Rocky (who is Burmese) wasn't there, but her kids Jack & Ailsa were. Thy were a bit shy at first but came out eventually and we had a lovely lunch and a good chat. We arranged to meet them for a swim at the Mae Sot Hill Resort, a fairly posh hotel but now slightly faded. It took us about 15 mins to cycle there and the outdoor pool was big and great and we had it to ourselves for ages before a man with a very hairy back arrived. The kids all had a ball and Livvy got on really well with Jack (they are very close in age) and Imogen & Ailsa, who is five, took a real shine to each other.

Seth & I played tennis for an hour (6-0, 6-0 - no mercy) which was fun, then we cycled back and as it was almost 7, got changed quickly and headed out to visit a local market. There was lots of tat, as ever, but we enjoyed watching some teenage boys having an amazing dancing competition on a thin mat on the floor near the start of the market. They were brilliant.

Crazy bikes and Casa Mia

Cycling to CDC was pretty hairy, with lots of  cars and vans parked at the side of the road to negotiate, with bikes, mopeds, cars, vans and people and dogs everywhere. Oh, and a one-way system to negotiate too. With Livvy on the back of Maya's bike, it felt a bit risky, but everyone handled it well.
At night, on the way to eat at Casa Mia, it was even hairier as we were cycling in the dark with no lights. Still, everyone plays the game, respects your personal space and manoeuvres around you.
Geoff, who is 64 but a mean cyclist, led the way very skilfully. Sheila was easy to spot in her turquoise t-shirt or turquoise poncho!
Casa Mia is great - a brilliant range of Thai, Burmese and Western food. I had a Burmese pumpkin curry which was fab, while Seth - who has eaten Thai all week, including rice soup for breakfast one day in Bangkok - finally went for comfort food and had fish and chips. Sheila was told she is allowed to talk to Livvy about anything but food, as she and Liv have the same culinary range.

Mae Sot and CDC

Gaynor - July 6.
What an amazing day. We didn't know what today would bring, but it has been such a fantastic day. Going to CDC and seeing Say Hai, Myoe Nyunt and the children has been so much more humbling, happy and inspiring than any of us could have imagined.
The journey down was an adventure in itself as we weaved precariously in and out of traffic on our shaky bikes. Great fun, but probably something not to repeat in Scotland. At CDC we called at the nursery, which is in a totally seperate building from the school. The school day had just finished and the kids were lining up to go home. They were in awe of all the white faces and kept very quiet, but not for long as they were soon giggling and having their photos taken.
As we chatted to the teacher and the children, a songthaow (half truck/half minibus) pulled up filled with teenage boys and we were told that the nursery doubles up as a boarding house by night. Where do they all fit into this small building? We left them to do their daily swap and cycled on to the main school.
About 1,200 children attend CDC, a few less than at Musselburgh Grammar, and what amazed me was how small the building is as had imagined it to be far bigger. The children were pouring out of the school, but we could hear drumming and see the kids next to the school in a building with a roof and no walls.
The children, all older ones, were practising Karen dancing. This was amazing to watch as boys and girls danced in the middle of the floor. Lots of younger kids stood around watching and clapping. It was so lovely to see, the kids were all laughing and everyone looked to be really enjoying themselves.
We went off into the teachers' office to speak to Say Hai and Myoe Nyunt and were amazed to see so many photos of Campie along the way. There were even family photos of us that Say Hai had taken while she was in Scotland. But Sheila was pride of place on virtually every wall - the Queen of CDC! That gave us all a good laugh.
We were all chatting when Myoe Nyunt told us that the money to supply food for the boarding houses had stopped as the many funders had decided to send money to Burma instead. He said this in a very matter of fact way, which made it seem even more sad. These people are used to adverse conditions. In the hour we had been there, we had seen these kids living a life thatfew of ours could cope with, yet they all appear happy and content. They consider themselves fortunate as they have a roof over their heads, they have an education and people who are doing their best to look after them. And they are lucky, as on the way to CDC, Sheila and I stopped to see a woman and child searching the bins for scraps.
Later at Say Hai's new boarding house we saw the girls' rooms. They were packed in two to a single bed, which was really a plank of raised hardboard. They have a box each for their belongings. They told us that tonight they were havig morning glory (a type of spinach) and beans for their evening meal. They haven't had spinach for some time due to lack of funds. Again this was said as a matter of fact with no moaning.
This is just awful and so wrong. I am very proud to be taking £1,600 from Campie School, £137 from Judith raised by her children's production of Hits From The Musicals, and £260 that Maya raised from her One World Night.
Like all children, these kids are so special. They can also teach us so much. They are thankful for what they do have, even if it is very little compared to our children, they are happy and eager to learn, but most of all they value what they have so much - their friendships, their education and their love of each other.
Their plight is something deserving of everyone's pity as no child should go without adaquate food, but as individuals they should be applauded for  their attitude and determination. What we saw today was as uplifting as it was sad. These children and their teachers are an inspiration to us all.

Impressions of CDC

Seth - 6 July, Mae Sot
A normal day in the life of Musselburgh Grammar usually means a lot of moaning about teachers, mucking about and kids taking their great standard of education for granted. I can guarantee that if a lot of people had the chance to come to CDC, their attitude would chance drastically.

As we walked around CDC and around the boarding house, you could feel a sense of gratitude for their education and housing. The children who board at CDC don't moan about the fact that they live in a small shelter, or the fact that they have to share a one man bed with another pupil, or even the fact that the classrooms are tiny and the classes are large.

They are thankful for the fact they have a roof over their heads, they are grateful that they have a bed to sleep on, and they feel lucky that they have a teacher who will teach them. And even though they have so little, they are happy. All the children who we met today were all smiling and all happy. And although all of the children in the grammar have so much more than these children, they still feel the right to moan, to muck about and to not take their education seriously. So if there is one thing that I could take out of this trip it would be to realise how lucky I really am and how I shouldn't take my education, house, food, money and family for granted and I should feel privileged that I have all of these amazing things

Boarding houses at CDC

Imogen - 6 July
After we had looked around and seen a little bit of CDC Say Hai wanted us to see her boarding house. It was only a ten minute walk round some rice fields and you were there. On the way one of the women staying in another house gave Livvy a bag of sweet/crisps, Liv didn't know how to react so just took them and walked away witha confused look on her face. She smiled and said thank-you though when we told her it was ok and they just thought she was very different and pretty. Shelia said she was like a Scottish princess!!! Anyway we got to the boarding house and parked our bikes then walked down the path and saw the first room in the boarding house, it was quite big and it looked like some kind of lesson was going on which confused us a bit. It made sense when Muir Nunt told us that it was an after school English class for older children about 15-17.

Impressions of CDC

Maya, 6th July
It is strange to finally arrive at CDC after hearing so much about it and seeing lots of photos. It is also really great to see Say Hei again after she stayed in our house last year. Just having a look around CDC was utterly amazing, it is a very different way of life from back in Scotland and all the equipment is pretty basic. However despite the basic materials and small classrooms, everyone we came across had beaming smiles. It was a very humbling experience and made all of us able to appreciate how lucky we are.

We had a chat with Muir Nunt in the new teacher staff room - which had the two embroideries Immy did on the wall! - and he explained to us how CDC was struggling to feed the children as most of the funding was going directly to the Burma democracy movement inside Burma rather than the schools for Burmese refugee children. It was very sad but Muir Nunt did not tell it in a way that he wanted pity. He was very matter-of-fact about everything. Muir Nunt would be ideal to come over to Campie as he is young, works very well with all the children and a really nice guy. However, it is difficult for him to get a passport.


Seth - 6 July, Mae Sot
After the bike ride through Mae Sot, we headed in to C.D.C. As we entered the small village around C.D.C we were greeted by lots of smiles and waves by the very lovely people. As we entered the school complex we were greeted by Say Hei. We walked our bikes in the school yard and heard drumming and singing. Then as we got into the school we saw about twenty 16-17 year olds boys and girls doing a very strange but excellent dance (something that is less common at Musselburgh Grammar) under a roofed shelter. When we asked Say Hei (and Muir Nunt, a male teacher) about the dance, she explained to us that it was a traditional Karen dance. After that Say Hei led us through a hallway, at the start of the hallway there was a wall dedicated to Campie and the link, it had a lot of photos of children at Campie as well as some of Thieng Naing and our family which was strange coming half way round the world to see photos of yourselves. I will let the other describe the rest of our time at C.D.C ..........

Bike to CDC

Livvy - 6th July
In the morning we got up at 9:40 went to Canadian Dave's for breakfast, came back met Sheila , Bobo ( a burmese friend) and Geoff and arranged to meet outside the hotel, walked to Bobo's shop and got our bikes. Bobo could not find the right size of bike for me so I got a backy from Maya. All 8of us got a bike and our bike had to get the brakes fixed. Seth's got oil on his. Then we set off, we had to cycle across the Thai motorway to get to C.D.C. It was quite scary for all of us and it was dangerous. We then went onto a street of C.D.C and the nursery and boarding houses for some of the kind and friendly children of the school . We got to the nursery and all of us parked our bikes.

Sheila and Goff arrive

David - July 6
After going to breakfast at Canadian Dave's (after we finally found it, the portions were massive), we came back to meet Sheila & Geoff. They have clearly been here many times before and know people so they got a lighter, nicer and more modern room. We also met their Burmese friend Bobo and had a chat at a cafe table opposite the hotel while it poured with rain. Until recently, it has been pouring with rain all the time, Bobo said.

Hello Mae Sot!

Maya, 5th July
We arrived at Mae Sot around tea time after a very very long day travelling from Kanchaniburi. We had our own private taxi and we were all very comfortable. We stopped a few times and went to KFC for lunch at a service station, it was my first ever KFC so it was rather bizarre having it in a Thai service station. There was also some Ed Sheeran and aJessie J cover playing and everything felt very Western. It couldn't have been more different when we got to Mae Sot. Everything is very local and there is few tourists here, when we are on the streets we stand out due to the fact we are pale skinned (me to the extreme) and are a large family with younger kids. Mai Sot is filled with a variety of people due to it location next to the Burma border, there is Koren, Burmese, Thai and others.
It is great to finally get to Mae Sot and I am very excited to go to CDC and meet the children and the school teachers including Say Hai and Thein Naing It is slightly surreal being here after we have talked about it for so long.