Monday, 23 July 2007

The Final Entry!!

We are home safely.

Thanks to all our friends and colleagues who have shared our journey with us - watch this space for the next part of the journey - when Burmese friends visit Forthview.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

How hard to flee when you are old...

On Wed 11 July, which would have been Geoff's mum's birthday, we went to the home of a famous artist Maung Maung Tinn ( you must check him out on and on .
He showed us his very very beautiful, striking paintings of life for the Burmese people in exile and actually autographed and gave us one of his books, which is stunning and we are really looking forward to sharing with you. He is a very humble and generous man who gives most of what he earns to his people
Steph, a comment on the blog shows that you thought Maung Maung Tin's work was tremendous so here is a picture of one of his paintings. He is not selling them just now as he is painting for an exhibition that will show, we hope, in Europe. However he very kindly invited me to photograph his current paintings so I can show the world about the people of Burma in their desperate situation.
Maung Maung Tin said this lady shows how hard it is to have to travel far to leave your homeland when you are old and you are too weak to travel. You rest often and you can't run from danger. Many never make it...
If you want to read more about the political situation for the Burmese people, look at

The most amazing thing Sheila saw....

Teacher says, "SLEEP!" to 45 children aged 3 and 4 years old in the kindergarten class after lunch....

... and they do - ALL OF THEM - for 2 hours!

Try that Forthview Nursery!

And then the art...

The last step in the process of teaching this song, in a truly thematic, mulit-sensory way, as per Curriculum for Excellence (a note for Scottish teachers) was to take the 24 actions in the song, give one to each child and ask them to etch it. We then used the etching press we gave to Hle Bee via Chris Robinson nearly 2 years ago and printed the etchings.
The best one was romancing, where Su Pone Chit etched a couple sitting on a park bench close together romancing but the little birds she drew on the tree were also romancing, very clever. It also showed that teaching this song extended the children's knowledge but, more importantly, understanding of English vocabulary.
As we waited with the teachers for the bus on Sunday, they were singing to me, '..waiting...' So they, children and teachers alike, are transferring the words they have learnt in the song to their everyday lives.
We have brought these etchings back to give to Fischy. We hope they may put them on their website with a wee introduction about these children and their lives.
PS This is Dhar Dhar's etching.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

I'm the only I, You're the only you, We're the only we in history!

Today we want to show you the process of teaching this Fischy Music ( song to Hle Bee School
The song was written on the board in English and Burmese:
The children copied the words into their jotters:
But there weren't enough desks to go round (below) - not that that deterred them from getting the job done!
Their work was immaculate:
(below) Then it was time to learn the actions.

And then they sang . . .and sang . . .

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Child Labour

Rather than bore you with more failed trips to galleries, or endless enthusings about lazing beside the pool, we thought we'd post some of our numerous photos and tell you the story behind them.

'Are you coming out to play after school?'
'No, I've got to go to work.'

As we were walking home from school, we met these 2 pupils from the school. They were pushing their barrow up to the market to set up their stall for the evening. They had some very sad looking fruit and some very suspect looking cakes for sale.

Of course one buys something - not to eat but out of friendship and support for their effort.

We were told that the barrow was a big step up. Previously they had carried their wares in baskets on their heads!

Other children work as garbage collectors - that is they rummage through bins looking for things they can sell - bottles, cans, paper, anything that the garbage traders will buy.

'Fancy a take-away tonight?'
'Er . . um . . no thanks.'

The Burmese markets in Mae Sot were full of these food stalls. What the camera doesn't record is the smell! Perhaps if you have worked in the factory from 7am to midnight (that's right, those are the normal hours they have to work - 7 days a week and 1 day off each 6 weeks - for less the a pound a day - no overtime pay) then any food would be welcome.

Spare a thought for them next time you put on your Nike or Reebok gear!

Monday, 16 July 2007

Destined never to sightsee!

Woke up this morning, Monday 16 July, wondering where we were. Realised it was Chiang Mai and we were due to move on to Pattaya tomorrow, we were a bit underwhelmed with the thought of more change. Pattaya for us was meant to be 3 days relaxing in a resort, resting. But here in Chiang Mai, we can still be around the Burmese community a bit and we are really missing Mae Sot and our friends and the school so we decided to stay here till we leave.

We cancelled the next hotel, booked this one and changed our flight to Bangkok.

Then we set off to the Teacher Training Centre for Burmese Teachers & Migrant Learning Centre ( in our hotel minibus, much to their amusement as they are more used to folk going off to see a big wat (temple) or some other tourist spot, especially 'shopping'.

There we met and were given a lovely meal by the Principal Sai Hsai Lum Kham, Thein Win, Sai Som Pong, Maram Roi Ji and Kyaw Kyaw Min Htut. We had a great discussion about the situations of the Burmese people in Burma, Mae Sot, Chiang Mai and about educational methodology. Unfortunately we missed meeting the students cos it took so long to change flights, hotels etc so we will go back on Thursday night to meet them.

Murray Forgie, our Edinburgh mentor, had emailed us about the biggest exhibition of Burmese Art in North Thailand, which was being shown at the Chiang Mai University Art Museum. Our TTCBT friends put us in a songthaw to go there. Unfortunately they thought we wanted to go 'shopping' and dropped us off at a mall! We walked and we walked and we sweated then we walked some more, all round the university site. We saw their agriculture centre, their cropping centre, their language centre, their Thai Art building.... everything except their art centre. All the time we were thinking sweet thoughts of Murray (NOT!). Eventually with swollen hands, feet, legs, burnt backs of necks cos the sun was so hot, we found it......

.... and it's SHUT ON MONDAYS!! First time Sheila has sworn since she got to Thailand. We hailed a songthaw who took us straight through the exhaust fumes for about 20 mins, cough cough to .... the wrong hotel! Dying by this point, he proceeded to pick up 6 girl guides/schoolgirls who squeezed in beside us and finally dropped us at the hotel, 2.5 hrs after we left TTBT! This sightseeing doesn't work for us. Give up!

Are we going back to the exhibition, Murray? Eh NO!

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Happy Floor Day!

...we stayed to help lay the new floor!
The sand was arriving on Saturday so we went to school and the sand hadn't arrived. About 20 children come to school on Saturday because their parents work and the teachers look after them. Fancy that Forthview? Suddenly there were shouts of, 'SAND... SAND'. The first car of sand had arrived! Here you see in order 1. The bricks with one of the Grade 4 (P7) boys, Bobo. 2. The school tuktuk driver and his daughter and the caretaker filling buckets and bowls of sand and carrying it through to the classroom. 3. The first three bricks are laid, suddenly we had the start of a floor! We were all very happy. 4. The caretaker mops his brow as even they found it hot work and they are used to it. I said, 'It's raining... oh no it's me, I'm raining! as sweat dripped off my brow! as you can see from the pictures. 5. The team on the bit of floor we finished with that load of sand. We are the caretaker, his wife and son, the tuktuk driver and his daughter, 3 lady teachers, our GA and a few friends of the school.
What an amazing experience, probably one of the most amazing experiences of my life! And that is why we missed the bus and we are so glad we did. On a sadder and scarier note, we also went to Phillip's house for a wee scotch after a meal on Saturday night and cycled (yes we hired bikes here!) past the jail, which is like an open cage with bars that you might find at the zoo and around 30 Burmese people were there waiting to be taken back across the Burma border. Just so chilling.
Sadness, separation and fear of the authorities is never far away for the Burmese people in Mae Sot.

Saturday, 14 July 2007

STOP THAT BUS!!! Happy Saturday

Waiting to be collected to get the 8am Saturday bus to Chiang Mai.... waiting..... waiting.... (reminds me of a song we know!). A confusion between Burmese, Thai and English language meant our driver went to the wrong place to collect us. He arrived with the teachers and our friend at 3 mins to 8! We raced to the bus station, only to see the bus going down the other carriageway. We chased the bus but it vanished by the time we had turned round so we went to the bus station on the way out of town. No bus.

By this time we were saying, 'Don't worry, today is not the day to leave Mae Sot. We must stay and there will be a good reason.' Our friend was distraught. He felt he had let us down but we were actually really happy not to be leaving. So we drove back into town ....

.... and the Chiang Mai bus went racing past us again! We don't know where it had gone inbetween, probably a detour into town but by this time, we had decided to stay....

.. and we had the most magical day.... Why? What was the reason we stayed? Watch this space... we will tell you when/if we get to Chiang Mai....!

Friday, 13 July 2007

Last post was what makes us sad... this is what makes us angry!

Hle Bee School has 2 buildings. The second building has 5 small classrooms. The roof is leaves but the FLOOR IS MUD. We went over there so little because you can't walk as your shoes stick in the muddy ground and you have to pull your foot out every time. This is where 5 of the 7 classes of children work. The chairs and desks sink into the mud as the children lean on them. This is the rainy season and so mud splashes all over the place as the floor gets very wet. It is not safe or hygienic.

We asked the Headteacher - if you could choose one thing to improve your school now, what would it be?

A concrete floor for the second building, she said. We asked how much it would cost.

To get workers to work all day on a Saturday, for concrete blocks and for 3 cars of sand (!), the cost would be 137.50 pounds.

We both felt so angry that for such a small amount of british money, so much could be done to transform the educational experience and health of so many children. THIS WORLD IS SO UNFAIR.

We talked together and gave the headteacher the money she needed to do the floor this morning. By lunchtime the concrete blocks had arrived, the sand will come by tomorrow (thundershowers permitting) and when the children go to school on Monday, they will have a concrete floor!

The workers are here, the materials are cheap so it can happen so quickly. Imagine getting workmen so fast in Edinburgh! In fact, imagine getting workmen at all in Edinburgh!

We are not trying to say we are good samaritans but trying to show you how little it costs to change lives here. To walk away would be criminal.

As we leave behind our time together....

Today I wept to leave these beautiful people behind. They are such kind, caring, happy, smiling children but the pain of leaving their homeland is always there, barely under the surface.

Today, Grade 3 & 4 were telling us about themselves. One boy is always smiling and cheerful and helpful but his eyes clouded over and looked off into the distance as he told us that his mother is in Burma and he is here with his father who has to work very hard all day. His pain was tangible.

And then we had to leave for the last time (this year!). The whole school were singing like crazy. Their favourite song is I'm the only I. I looked at the children and teachers, all from Burma, all refugees, all living in fear because they are not safe in this place and was overwhelmed as they sang 'We're the only we in history'. To share this moment in history, being here amongst them, is a great honour for Geoff and I.

I wasn't going to play the leaving song AS WE GO NOW but our friend said, 'Yes, this will be good'. So we sang, 'as we leave behind our time together, may we walk with one another.... as we go into the future, may we realise how precious we are'. And then I had to speak and say goodbye to all the school. My voice kept breaking up. I told them, 'Remember each one of you is a special and wonderful person. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.' My goodness, it was so hard to leave. These people are treated by Burma and by Thailand like the scum of the earth and they deserve so much more.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Beautiful Burmese Dancers in Hle Bee School

Aren't the girls so beautiful and graceful in their dance? Can you see the eyes of the girl 3rd from right? The girls did a lovely preformance of Burmese Dance for us and 2 classes. They took 2 hrs to prepare their make up, hair and costumes - just like my daughter!
So what do you think Sheila likes to do best with an empty hall (after the performance finished)? SONGTIME!! so 220 children for 45 minutes singing Fischy! Photo tomorrow cos the blog only seems to handle one a day. We sang I'm the Only I, which they adore and is good for teaching English and You, Me, Just the Same and Build Up and As We Go Now which had us all nearly greeting (weeping) thinking of leaving tomorrow. So tomorrow is a day for tears. We will be very sad to leave. Never thought I'd be saying that on Monday when I was thinking, 'I cannae handle this!' There is a 2 year old girl who is adorable and always wants up in my arms and uses her wiles to get me to give her water and goodies. I hope I can post a photo of her too. The children are so lovely, just so much like everyone says Forthview children are - warm, kind-hearted and friendly.

Good Morning! Photography Assistant still in Bed so Nae Photy!

Went to bed last night at 11pm but decided to draft the partnership agreement we had just discussed so finished that at 1pm, Geoff falling asleep reading at 11.30pm. Then woke at 4am with my head buzzing about how we can fundraise for the school, which is a quite separate activity from the DfID Global Schools Partnership, which is entirely about joint learning.

So to answer Rowena' s question about how the school is funded. Funding is a very complicated issue, here as everywhere but the school has grown from 20 to 220 in 3 years. Last year's funding was got through a grant for 7000 pound (cannae find a pound sign on this thai keyboard!). The grant lasts till May 08 then there is no funding. Separately a benefactor pays this year for providing lunch for the children.

So the future of the school hangs in the balance as there are so many schools for migrant children in this town (45 and probably many more) so the chance of getting funding is limited here. The lady who organised last year's funding knows it won't be repeated next year.

Now 7000 pounds pays for all the school costs including 6 or 7 teachers for one year.

Geoff and I are thinking of ways we can work towards this. So we'd appreciate any of you great Scottish (and other) brains thinking hard about how to do it. Since 4 am, I have come up with a few ideas, which I tried to share with Geoff when he eventually woke at 6.45am but those of you who know him will know his brain doesn't function before much coffee so I was on a hiding to nothing there!

All ideas gratefully recieved. My first one being that when I do have my very big 50th birthday party later this year, nobody gives me any presents but instead gives a donation to a fund we will set up for the school. What do any of us need in Scotland compared to these people?

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

A hard working but highly productive evening!

Tonight we sat down with Thazin and with our GA (see previous post) and worked out a plan for our joint curriculum work over the next year or more. We will develop the art/printing/writing work we have done together over the last 2 years on the theme of Children's lives in Pilton and Mae Sot. I am too tired to write much more about it tonight and need to go and shape the ideas we shared so Thazin and I can reflect on them over the next day or so. This was really hard work and would have been completely impossible without our guide, GA! What a gift he is. Good night! PS We forgot to take a photo!


Well Sheila has - Geoff had the morning off and tagged along for the afternoon trip. (Sheila says "I'm supposed to be doing the writing - you're doing the picture - so over to the official scribe!!)
So Sheila here and yes, our harmonious relationship might degenerate into 2 blogs as we fight for who writes! I have had the fullest day today, I went with my guardian angel guide who shall remain anonymous for reasons of his safety, henceforth to be known as Guardian Angel.
He took me to a much bigger school in Mae Sot where I was quite overwhelmed to talk to the oldest class of young people aged 16 - 23 who could all speak good english. These young folk are hopefully the future of Burma and will be the ones to take Burma back to freedom but their lives will be full of struggle ...
Then we picked up Geoff and went to Dr Cynthia's clinic (, which is a hospital/clinic/outreach medical facility for the refugees and migrant workers. We saw many sick people waiting for treatment, a class of young mothers doing parenting classes and we met Lisa from Edinburgh who has lived in Mae Sot for 11 years. We actually met her and her husband Rocky, who is a Karen Burmese person, briefly last year in Edinburgh at one of Murray's Amnesty Group meetings.
The we went to the home of a famous artist Maung Maung Tinn ( you must check him out on and on . He showed us his very very beautiful, striking paintings of life for the Burmese people in exile and actually autographed and gave us one of his books, which is stunning and we are really looking forward to sharing with you. He is a very humble and generous man who gives most of what he earns to his people. His book sells for 20 pounds. We bought another one for Forthview. The pain of the Burmese story is tangible in his work.
Next onto the border. Not how I imagined it. Mae Sot houses and markets go right up to the riverside. One big bridge goes across a river that is currently quite dry so many people live in this no man's land between Burma and Thailand in shacks. Across the river/bridge the Burmese houses are clearly much poorer than in Mae Sot. You can see them in the picture. For about 10 mins a 2 yr old child walked with us but I did remember what folk said, 'You are not to bring any children home this time!' so I didn't!
Onto the Borderline cafe, a collective for local artists ( where we bought some of Maung Maung Tinn's paintings as cards and also some postcards from local artists, including our Guardian Angel!
Then back home. Today has been hot and sunny but we are in the sun so little we are not burnt and we are drinking lots of water and being careful with our silver soap so we are healthy and well. Today's catastrophe for Sheila was that I went to the toilet, which has to be the worst thing about this place. I am getting better at squatting but you have to take your bag in as you have to take your own toilet paper. I am lucky cos Moyra my neighbour gave me fabby wet wipes for bottoms! As I squatted (Who said, 'too much information?' Ms Vacher is that you?), my lunch flew out the top of my rucksack onto the wet floor! So, no lunch today! Too hot to eat anyway and before the rest of you start - YES I am being a good diabetic and my sugars are fine.
Tonight we are meeting the Headteacher of Hle Bee School to see if we can identify a joint curriculum project for the future. (Sheila signing off at 5.15pm Mae sot time, 11.15am Edinburgh time.)

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

The Promised Picture!!

Well what an evening! We arranged to meet Phillip Campbell, a VSO volunteer from Aberfeldy tonight. On Sunday his 'boss' was sitting beside Sheila on the bus and got chatting. Pramote is Deputy Director of Educational Office for Tak area and he said, 'I have a volunteer who is Scottish, you must meet him!'

Now Phillip has a motorcycle and so he took Geoff to the restaurant then came back for Sheila who needed to change out of her dress! We went to an amazing Italian restaurant where we began by ordering 3 bruschetta and then main meals each. First came one plate with 2 brushcetta, so we shared it. 10 mins later came another plate with bruschetta so we shared it. Then Sheila's penne came, followed by Phillip's cashew nut and rice, followed by.... yes you got it .. the third plate of bruschetta! So Geoff ate that then his pizza arrived. It was really funny.

At the end of the meal, the rain had started. Phillip took Geoff home and was going to come back for Sheila. After Phillip and Geoff drove off, the very kind restaurant owner said 'My husband will take you on his motorbike!' So I chased off on the back of this guy's motorbike in the rain, trying to catch up with the guys. As we drove up to the hotel, Phillip took off to fetch me from the restaurant. I phoned him just as he drove up at the Italian restaurant and the folk there were saying,'She's already gone!' What a laugh and what a great night getting the big picture of education in this area. Thank you Phillip. We look forward to introducing you to the Burmese folk in Edinburgh when you return next Spring.

This picture is to prove to the folk at Forthview and to Dianne that Sheila was on a motorbike!

So you see 3o young Burmese singing "I'm the only I" - the words on the board are in English and Burmese and the youngsters are singing at the tops of their voices. It feels better and less tiring to be doing something productive. Also we met Dr Elizabeth who is an Italian doctor and who is akin to the school business manager. We got a fuller picture of how the school is financed and how wobbly the hook is that they hang from!!
Walking back through the town, talking about how well we had got on today, we saw a lorry going past with the back packed with men and women. Thinking they were workers coming back from the factory, we paid little attention. However our Burmese companion virtually hid - he explained that the lorry was from the army and the people in the back were being taken to prison as illegal immigrants. It was a sobering thought to bring us back to earth.
So we're off to Canadian Dave's cafe for tea then to meet a man from Scotland who works in the Migrant Workers Education Organisation.

Monday, 9 July 2007

We arrived safely on the air conditioned bus after a 5.5hr trip from Chiang Mai to Mae Sot yesterday but were so exhausted from getting up at 5.30am to get the plane to Chiang Mae that we never made it to the computer. Sorry!
We were met in a jeep by Thazin, Headteacher of Hle Bee School, Bobo artist/teacher at Hle Bee School and San da, a Burmese lady who know Dau Aung San Suu Kyi and works with many Burmese schools in this area. They brought us to the DK hotel where we have a very clean room. Then they took us for a wee tour of local restaurants who sell food that is not local - how well and how quickly they know us! Sheila had Hawaiian Pizza and Geoff had gulash, which was surprisingly made with fish! We konked out at about 9.45pm and slept until 6.30am when we pottered up to Candian Dave's restaurant (we've told him we are likely to live there all week!) for cereal and toast and tea for Sheila and bacon, egg and chips for Geoff!
Then it was off to school with all our gifts on a tuktuk, which is a 3 wheeled motorcycle rickshaw with seats for 6 passengers.
Is the school how I imagined? One building is but the other is much more basic than I thought. The main building has a metal roof which feels like an electric fire it radiates so much heat in the sun, then becomes incredibly noisy when the thundershowers batter down. It has a concrete matted floor, which is pleasant, but the second building has a mud floor and a roof made of leaves and branches. When you go there, your feet stick into the red, sticky mud and this building has 5 classrooms. I was worried the children would get wet in the thunderstorm but the leaves held the rain out well. The children were adorable, so engaging and happy to see us. The class of 45 3/4 yr olds we spent most of the day in had no desks, no toys and learned by rote and repitition much of the day. After lunch the teacher said sleep and they did! All 45 of them for 2 hours! As they woke they did some writing of Burmese and English letters in jotters. The older class had 11 pupils. This is their last year before going to High School or work. They enjoyed reading the letters from Forthview children and playing SNAP with me. They also cut up the paper for tomorrow when we are going to use the etching press Forthview gave Hle Bee. We showed them lots of pictures of Forthview on Sheila's laptop. Their PCs are not able to be used currently. So much more to say but that will do about the school for now.
The walk back from school through Mae Sot was almost too much. So so hot and so much food being cooked or displayed raw at many stalls, so many people, motorbikes, dogs, goats all in quite close streets was overwhelming. We were so glad to get back to DK hotel and fall asleep. too much to take in for one day hence the title CULTURE SHOCK.

PS No photo today because this PC in the hotel is not liking Geoff's camera. We will work on it as we have so many cracking photos to post. We both have Flickr accounts but can't remember our passwords!

Saturday, 7 July 2007

Amazing skytrain trip to boat, which was wild. I know a young man from Pilton who would love to work on one of these, whistling loudly to tell driver how much to reverse to bang into landing pier. The journey was fascinating, seeing the mixture of luxury hotels and waterside shanty villages. Despite the glaikit look on my face, I was quite happy at this point......

....until the rainy season hit us! No coat, no brolly, no shelter, just torrential rain. We ran to the nearest phone boxes and spent 40 mins talking to a guy who was telling us he used to go boxing near our hotel and then everyone was telling us which bus to get.. a number 1... then a 2 to the station .... then a 44... all agreed 44 was the best one... they kindly sheltered us with a bit of plastic tarpaulin from who knows where. Then we ran in the extreme rain back to the boat stop.. back to the skytrain... looking like Mr and Mrs Wet T shirt... Oh yes, by the way, the Royal Palace we went to see? It had shut 40 mins earlier! All you can do is laugh and reach for the anitbiotics!
Off to Chiang Mai on the 8.40 am plane tomorrow, then we have to find the bus station and get the bus to Mae Sot at noon. We should get there at 6pm and there's only 2 stops for a wee! Hmmm... I can't wait to see what we end up writing next!


Good morning, it's hot and sunny here today in Bangkok. Last night we went to the Night Market which was quite an experience - narrow, covered, sweating hot alleyways with wee stalls selling clothes, lampshades, jewellery, art, lots of elephanty things etc and in the middle of all this was a huge eating area with a rock band belting it out. Folk were eating lots of unusual and interesting food, which we enjoyed looking at! The streets round the market at midnight were heaving with cars, taxis, tuktuks and noise. We walked back to the hotel and were stopped by a dozen taxis clearly wondering why we were walking.
Today's first task was to find stationery for Hle Bee School. The hotel reception sent us to a store like Debenhams right across the road. We really wanted a Poundstretcher but how do you explain that in Thai? 'Bhatstretcher'? We bought 10 kilos of pencils, rulers, paper etc. We have an extra 20 kilos allowance on the next flight.
Now we are going to try to take the Skytrain to the River Chao Praya and sail up to the Royal Palace. Sounds easy....we'll see.

Friday, 6 July 2007

We're in Bangkok!

We are in Bangkok. It's been pouring with rain all day so we feel quite at home but it's also nice and warm, not like Edinburgh.
The journey was long - 2 x 6.5hrs and we had to bolt from one plane to the other in Doha so no time to find water etc. Geoff survived without the pipe and is now well topped up! We got in to this lovely hotel at 10am (4am Scottish time), slept and have now come to. It's 6pm and time for breakfast or lunch or something... body and brain are a bit confused.
We are off to find a meal and the big project for tomorrow is to find paper, crayons, pencils to take to Hle Bee on Sunday. Cheerio!

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Good morning 5 July 2007!

It's 4am and my son John has just bounded out of bed to take his mum to the airport - NOT! My daughter Louise is off to Spain today with her friend and hasn't gone to sleep yet - what's new? Son David has just got in from a wild night out.
And we are up and off at last. The planning for this journey has taken months. I feel like we should be going for a year! Finally managed to arrange the luggage so my bag didn't weigh over 20K, mainly by carrying a library in my hand luggage.
It's going to be so weird after the next 3 flights to arrive in Bangkok and finally get to see what it means to be part of a minority ethnic group with no local language...
Wonder where we'll get to post next? We're meeting a dear teacher colleague and her hubby at Edinburgh airport for coffee at 5am so we'll get them to take a photo.
"John, get out that bed....!"

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Well we are almost ready to go!
The school and the Edinburgh Burmese community raised enough money to buy chicken for a day, a digital camera and a 1G memory card for it, Fischy music CDs and we also hope to pick up crayons, pencils and paper in Bangkok for them.
I have the school digital video so that will make a good record of the journey. We have had all our jags, got the malaria drugs, sorted all the flights and accommodation. Murray has linked us up with a friend at Dr Cynthia's clinic, Nan Lung has fixed up for us to visit Migrant Learning Centre on Monday and we hope to meet the folk Geoff found on the internet that have done building work at Hle Bee.
So we are off and we'll do all we can to keep the blog up to date.