Monday, 16 July 2012

12th of July.

I'm trying to catch up on blogging as I've not been able to get on the internet for long enough wherever I am. Funnily enough, the only hotel I've been able to get the internet working properly in the little hotel in Rangoon, Burma! 

On the 12th of July I went with Mum and Geoff to CDC where mum was catching teacher Myo Nyunt up with training she had done with the other teachers. She had been training the CDC teachers in Emotional literacy and I listened in, it was really interesting and I think it will be beneficial to the teachers and children at CDC. 

Teacher Myo Nyunt works at CDC school and lives in one of the boys' boarding houses. He is studying Public Communication with Open University Australia (OUA), he does this online. He also attends university in Burma, he goes back every now and then to attend but otherwise studies from Mae Sot, Thailand. 

This is mum with teacher Thein Naing. Geoff created a program for Scottish schools that tracks students' grades and was training the teachers and Thein Naing in how to use this to track their students' grades. 

This is Pee Say Hei. She is the headteacher of CDC primary school. She and Thein Naing came to Campie school in Scotland as part of the Global Schools Partnership between Campie school and CDC school. 

This is the little boy of a family I was very close to when I lived in Mae Sot. He's older now! Walking and talking. In these pictures he is sweeping the grounds of the school. Very funny!

After we went to CDC, we visited Hle Bee school so mum could say goodbye. We brought Thazin, the headteacher, a bag of chickens! This was a really nice gift for them and Thazin later told me that the her family and her 2 brothers' families each had a chicken for dinner. 

I look quite happy in this photo, but I'm screaming inside because the chickens still had their heads and feet! We explained to Thazin and her family that this isn't normal for us and that we were afraid, they thought that was very funny. 

We sang songs with the children at Hle Bee and they asked some questions about mum's school. They asked how many toilets they had in the school, because there are only 3 for around 200 students at Hle Bee. 

They also asked for us to sing our national anthem. We explained that we would sing Flower of Scotland. I think they enjoyed it. 

After school, one of the students came over to me and showed me a fetal mouse that he had been keeping as a pet (!!!). It was really weird and looked like it was dying. Ew. 

That night we had a quiet dinner and came back to the hotel early because mum and Geoff needed to pack as they were leaving in the morning. 

My first day in Mae Sot

On my first day in Mae Sot, we visited the CDC nursery (and boarding house) where I met the nursery headteacher, Ku Paw. She also lives above the nursery building with her husband, Mahn Shwe Hnin. He is the headteacher of CDC school. 

Ku Paw was always so kind to me when I lived there last year. My house was just a few doors along from the nursery/boarding house/her house and I was there all the time. I also taught the nursery children English a few days a week. 

We went to Hle Bee that day too and I met one of my old students, Thin Thazin. She is a really clever girl and is now in Grade 5. Her twin brother, Too Ko, now attends CDC school and is in Grade 7.

Louise x

Friday, 13 July 2012

Wednesday 11th of July

On Wednesday, our friend Bobo and I took Gaynor, David, Seth and Imogen to Lucky tea shop. Lucky tea shop is a well known tea shop in Mae Sot and is written about in the guidebooks for Thailand. 

Breakfast here is so yummy so I wanted Gaynor and her family to try it before the left for Burma. 

We had 4 dishes of curry, potato and dahl. We also had two massive plates of flat bread, which they cook in their oven. They fling the flat bread onto the walls of the oven and bring it over to your table straight out of the oven. 

We also had burmese tea, a water and 2 juices. This all came to just under £3.50!  

Meanwhile, David and Gaynor's youngest daughter Livvy was munching away on her banana pancake with extra sugar.

After we finished in the tea shop, Bobo went to meet up with my mum and Geoff and the rest of us headed to Hle Bee school. I wanted to show Gaynor and her family Hle Bee school because it's very different from CDC school. It's a much smaller school. The headteacher who runs the school is called Thazin and many members of staff are her family. Because the school is quite small, she knows the children very well. 

When we got back to the hotel, we decided to go out for ice cream. There is a new ice cream shop in Mae Sot. It's very strange, they get a big block of ice cream and use a machine to shave the ice cream, this made it really stringy and weird, but tasted exactly the same. 

They have all kinds of ice cream, papaya, grape, banana, coconut, vanilla, chocolate etc. And all kinds of toppings, quite minging. They had noodles, jelly, nuts, grapes, watermelon, sweetcorn!!

That day we had to sort money out, close my Thai bank account and exchange money. So we spent the rest of the day doing that. 
We had to change the US dollars we got in the UK (because we were told we could use it in Burma but then got told we'd be ripped off if we used dollars) back to Thai Bahts. Then go to the Burmese black market and change them into Burmese Kyats. 

At night we all went to Casa Mia for the Allen family's leaving meal. We all ate so much. 
Then Thein Naing came to say goodbye. He stayed with the Allen family last year and was one of the exchange teachers for CDC. 

The Allen's dropped their bikes off at Borderline shop and we all walked back to the hotel and waited for their mini-bus to take them to Bangkok airport, from there they would fly to the capital of Burma, Rangoon. 

The bus finally came and we had a really emotional goodbye, Mae Sot is a really hard place to leave. 
We had news the next day that their mini-bus journey went down as one of the worst journey's ever, 3 of the children were sick on the way to Bangkok and they had to leave piles of their sicky clothes along the way! Ew!

When the mini-bus left, Thein Naing asked us if we wanted to join him at the night market for a drink, he hadn't eaten yet. So we went along for a beer. He ordered frog and asked us if we'd like to try!

We made sure that he'd ordered dead frog because in the market they tie live frogs down with rubber bands so they don't spring away! He assured us that they'd be dead and cooked. 

I tried a little bit of the frog and it was really tasty, like chicken but tastier. But it was really hard to chew and swallow. 

Then, shock horror, Mum, who never eats anything but toast and pasta in Mae Sot, tried a bit of frog too! 

Congratulations Thein Naing, for being the first person ever to make my Mum eat something other than toast in Mae Sot! This will go down in history!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Arrived in Mae Sot

The journey from Scotland was long. I had a 2 hour flight to Amsterdam and a 6 hour wait in Amsterdam airport. Then a 10 hour flight to Bangkok. After that I got a 1 hour flight to Chaing Mai. Then Murray and Stewart drove me to Mae Sot, which was very kind of them!  We went straight for dinner when we arrived in Mae Sot, we finally arrived on Monday at 8pm. 

When I got here, my mum looked like this!!! 

It was really lovely getting to see everyone I know at the restaurant, all the waitress and chef girls. We joined my mum and Geoff, Gaynor and David from Musselburgh and their four children - Maya, Seth, Imogen and Livvy, and our Burmese friend came along too. 

When I got to the DK hotel, my room was full of mosquitos so I sprayed it with killer spray and left the room for a while. When I came back in there were two huge cockroaches on their backs dying and hissing away! I had to get Geoff to take them away. 


Yesterday I woke up at 7am! I wanted to go to Lucky tea shop with our Burmese friend for breakfast. They stop serving food at 9:30am. I had potato curry with flat bread for breakfast, that's so not me! haha. 

Afterwards, we went to the market and I bought loads of lovely fruit like mangosteen and salak. 

We went to visit CDC school, where I taught last year. I got to see a lot of my old students and the teachers at the school which was lovely. 

Then we moved on to Hle Bee school where I saw a lot of old students. We spoke with Thazin, the headteacher of the school about previous students who had moved on from the school. I find it amazing that she continues to take care of previous students. Some students leave school because their families don't have enough money. So their children, who can be very young, go to work in the Mae Sot community as waitresses, shop keepers etc. It's upsetting, because they love to study so much and believe education in key to helping their country. Thazin always keeps in touch with previous students and tries to help them in any way she can. 

Mum sang with the students, who remembered songs they had learned from us years ago! It was amazing to see them all again. 


In the afternoon we went swimming which was really nice. Me, Mum and Livvy got a tuk tuk back to the hotel.

In the tuk tuk
At night we went to Bai Fern for dinner and Gaynor and I both got Thai yellow curries, which taste amazing. She got tofu and I got chicken. I was sitting eating my curry like normal and Gaynor relly couldn't handle the heat, which is weird because mines was fine and we got the same thing. We were all thinking she was a wimp but when I tried hers it burned my mouth for about 10 minutes! haha strange..

All in all, I had a fantastic day yesterday, but it really is sad being in Mae Sot, remembering just how hard life is for the Burmese people here. 

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Back to Mae Sot

I fly to Bangkok via Amsterdam on Sunday and am away for two weeks. Really can't wait to get there and see everybody and go to the market and eat nice fruit like 'snake fruit' or 'mangosteen'.

At the end of my trip, I go to Burma for a few days :) I will go to the capital Rangoon, then to Sittwe for a few days to visit Khaing's family.

Please keep reading during my stay and hear all about my trip to Thailand and Burma.

Louise :) x

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Update from October and November.

Ages ago! We had a birthday party at my house for Thai teacher Ki Ki's sister. I made spaghetti. As usual with the salt...

Some of the students..

Yummyyyyyy cake!

Teacher Ki Ki and I.

Then Sayama P Say Heh went to Scotland! Teacher Sunday is helping to pack her suitcase.

I lent P Say Heh my Burmese - English dictionary. She didn't need it though, everyone thought she only had a little English but she went and could speak brilliantly. Sneaky!

Her daughter was sick and throwing up in her bed whilst we were packing..

This is at Jack and Niamh's pig on a spit lunch.

Who are the brothers??

This is the day after the refugees fled into Mae Sot. The next day I went to the nursery to bring back a few things and the nursery had about 15 refugees sleeping on the floor! So I went and brought round some tablet I had made the day before.

They were shy to accept it so I left the box on the table...came back 15 mins later and ALL the tablet was gone. Who knew??

Little baby liked it the way, they recently changed his name from Heh P'lu Soe to Heh P'lu Zai.

I brought in some of the nursery's resources for the temporary refugee children to play with. We watched the jungle book on my computer too. I brought magazines and make up for the women hahaha.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeee! I'm going to write this one very fast as I can't bear to look at the photo......!!!


I also went to Chiang Mai at the end of October. This was the first time I met Kyaw Win's baby daughter. She is very very sweet!

It was nearly Loi Kratong, so they had lots of cool light effects at the Gates of Chiang Mai.

We sent of a huge Loi Kratong lantern together.

In Chiang Mai, I went to get my feet nibbled by fish!

KFC with teacher Ki Ki...

Prepare yourself.....this photo is brutal!!

Muslim New Year at Mae La refugee camp! I went to visit Ni Shar's family inside Mae La for Muslim New Year and watched two bulls being slaughtered. It was....interesting. I watched the whole thing and apparently was sitting too close cause I had blood on my face!!

Say Ta Nar teacher.

Little kitten found at the clinic.

CDC Kindergarten chatting with P Say Heh whilst she was in Scotland. The wonders of Skype!

Eh Nar Moo's wedding being prepared.

My little family.

One of the Miss Loi Kratong contestants from CDC.

Ailsa, Jack and I went swimming with Sylvia and May May at the hot spring.

Loi Kratong floats.

P Say Heh returns from Scotland to teach Kindergarten.

Outside CDC, harvesting something...I don't know.

Pho Cho and Ni Shar's daughter putting thannaka on my face.

Nursery student literally climbing the walls!!

I feel so guilty that I haven't posted anything in ages! Now my computer's broken and all my photos are on there. I will fill in the gaps when I get home and post recent updates.

Sorry!! Louise x