Sunday, 30 August 2009


I saw my first ever elephant in Mae Sot!

Guardian Angel and I were driving on the motorcycle to Hong Long supermarket & we passed something really tall. So I looked back & there was a huge elephant standing in the middle of the one-way system! I practically screamed "Oh my god, there's an the road!" and everyone turned round to stare at me..and not the huge elephant! I suppose they see that all the time. GA says that they use the elephant to beg. That's a lot different from our people in Scotland begging with dogs, eh?

After shopping, I went home & noticed I had more patchy red bumps than usual around my legs and feet. So after many phone calls, GA took me to the pharmacy & she said I had gotten a mosquito bite & I had had a bad reaction and she gave me some anti-histamine tablets and cream.

Then we went to a village just outside of Mae Sot, where there was a big game of football and we picked up GA's friend and went back to his house to meet his mother! I was very excited because if GA's mother is anything like him, I would adore her. And she was lovely! It was so nice to meet her and they kept bringing me baskets of food that I would like haha. Very thoughtful. Cookies, biscuits, bananas. We are going out tomorrow to the night market for dinner, which will be lovely.

Then GA took me to buy a table for my laptop back at hong long. Earlier on in the day I had noticed that there was lightening & I appreciated how quiet it was and that there was no rain at all....Then it started POURING with rain. It was like being in a bath! So I got home & had a shower, not that I needed one as I could just step outside! I literally jumped every time the thunder came, it's unbelievably loud & it's still going..3 hours later. At least I don't have to worry about waking people up when I need to pee in the middle of the night because it's so quiet...Hannah.



Yesterday was so much fun! I went to Lisa and Rocky's house to play with the kids all day.
This is Ailsa..

And this is Jack..

Here I am relaxing in the hammock. Reading a book.

And this is what happens when you give a 5 year old a camera..

2 of the 3 girls who live with the family..

Flower chair we made for Lisa..

Singing dog..

The house we built..

messy floor..

and the outcome of the messy floor

We fed the catfish that live in the garden. Yuckkkkk!
This is Ailsa feeding the fish.

Can you see them? there are hundreds!


Saturday, 29 August 2009

A sneaky wee posting from Mummah

Sorry to invade your blog, Louise but I just had to post this wee email I just got from our dear, dear friend, that we call Guardian Angel.

As you will know if you have read Louise's blog, she had a tricky few days on her first 2 days in Mae Sot so I wrote to Guardian Angel and asked him to give her some Gecko training! ie what do you do when a gecko is on your bedroom wall and you are worried it may run over you when you are asleep!

This is his reply. This shows why he is our dearest friend and helpmate, like our brother. Every person who has gone out under Global Schools Partnership values and respects him so highly. Without him, there would be no linking between Edinburgh and Mae Sot. The reply....


everythings are fine here and young Louise is also fine. How are you and everyone there?

Last night Louise called me and she said electricity is out. he may be scared but I encouraged her to be brave. Tomorrow is Sunday and we are going to make shopping for Louise. For a moment this is very beginning of her in Mae Sot. soon she will become flexible in Mae Sot. Are you worry for her?

Last time I'm really sorry to read your email. You are feeling worry for your daughter. Your daughter is a strong young woman. Trust her. I'm also with her. Be well.

Guardian Angel

Who could worry with that level of support and kindness? As Louise says he really is her surrogate mother!

Blogged by Sheila, who'll probably get a row.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Sorry for the excessive posting..

About 45 mins ago there was a big bang outside & the electricity went off. Jeez does it get hot when there are no fans! Seconds after Lisa called to say it would probably come back on during the night/morning, it came back on. Hurray for fans!


Pictures from today!

Y Sander Wei trying on hat from Beth and Fiona.

Baby with a little girl who speaks great English.

Motorcycle ride back to school! Fasterrrrr!

Lovely sunset.

Fabby day at Hle Bee school!

Today I went to Auntie's cafe and had baked beans on toast which tasted almost normal! very good. I got a strawberry frappe which I lovedddd. Then I cycled to Hle Bee school which was easy peasy. The teachers were having a meeting, so I went into grade 4 and spent some time with them, doing a bit of english. Baby Y Sander Way woke up to say "Hiiiii!" with meme & I gave her some dresses from "teecha Fiona". Mother loved these dresses.

Then, after everyone had left for night school. Yan Yan, Toto, Mon So and some other boys were playing volleyball. So Yan Yan had to give Toto a ride on the motorbike to night school and he asked if I wanted to go. So we all went to night school where I taught Yan Yan, Tha Zin & Teacher Katie some english phrases. So we stayed until night school finished at 7pm & we motorcycled back to Hle Bee - there was a beautiful sunset! Then I cycled home. I accidentally took a wrong turn & ended up coming out of a side street near Casa Mia, which was okay because at least I didn't have to phone GA to tell him I was lost.

Came home, got less sweaty and went to get KFC, which is brilliant. Their chips are like McDonalds chips :) I can see this being my treat. I went to the video shop & asked if they had English movies & they took me to a whole different room which was full of good movies :) I'll definitely go back thereeee.

For some reason, the pictures from today won't upload, so I'll try in another post.


Wednesday, 26 August 2009

"We don't just teach how to sketch pictures, we teach how to draw dreams" Studio Xang Art for Migrant Children, Thailand

Also, sometimes when you try to comment, it says it cannot be processed. If you click post once again after that, it seems to work.
Two days ago I went to Hle Bee primary school for the first time in a year. Our Guardian Angel came with me and I was so thrilled to see him again. It was so lovely to be back and see all the old faces again. The children were extremely welcoming, each reciting some long welcome every time we walked into a classroom haha. "Thank you teecha"

First, we went to the kidergarten classroom where the headteacher Tha Zin was teaching in groups. The children had to sort out the english alphabet in order together.

We visited all the classes, this is Yan Yan's classroom. He usually has around 40 children in his classroom I think, as does the teacher next door. Yan Yan's classroom is absolutely tiny & that day, they had grouped the two classrooms together in Yan Yan's tiny space. The children were everywhere, even sitting under the desk! Yan Yan was teaching english using a CD Sheils gave him.

The last class GA and I visited was Grade 6. When we got there, there was no teacher. When we asked them what work they were left they said they didn't have any work. So we asked them what they wanted to do.."sleeping lion!" they said. I was confused as I have never heard of this game, I told the children this and they said "oh..teacher Irvine!" haha. So we played sleeping lion, brown eagle, 'can we cross the river' until lunchtime.

GA and I went to the Burmese market and had something to drink and he was talking to an old Burmese lady. When he gave her some money I asked what it was for and he said it was for her to buy a watermelon and that she was a beggar. He told me how her son had wanted to become a doctor in Burma so she went to Mae sot to beg and put her son through medical school. When her son became a doctor, he quicky forgot about her, so this is why GA treats her like his own mother.
This just reminds me of what an amazing man our friend is, he is so kind and helpful in every way and I am proud to call him my surrogate mother.

Afterwards, we went to visit a girl from Hle Bee school, who a member of staff from forthview primary school supports so she can go to school.
Last year I became very attached to girl smart, friendly, wonderful girl and I was so excited to see her again this year. I invited her round to the homestay sometime for some western food! We'll see how that goes.

Today GA picked me up on his crazy motorcycle and we went to a bike shop, I bought a fabby bike that I actually like to ride. One of the men who worked in the bike shop had his toddler there and he was very adorable, running away and stealing bike parts.
Then I cycled to Hle Bee where I observed Yan Yan's class. Baby and Meme came to say "Hi". I spent a good few hours with them. And this time, little Y Sander Wei smiled! She is attached to her mother so it was a miracle she even looked at me haha. She was playing with my Thai mobile and she started saying "Baby" and "Hiiiiiiiii". Very sweet little thing.

I met Emily, a volunteer who took over for Emma who had to fly back to Canada. She was really nice and fabby at teaching the children a new song. She invited me out for dinner at the night market and we cycled home together. We stopped cycling briefly to stop and say hello to the head teacher of Say Ta Nar school and his wife and two children riding on one motorbike!
The Thai food at the night market was actually really nice. I did not expect this. There are four of the Canadian volunteers who work at some of the schools in the area. I met three tonight. Ella, Emma and Alex.
For the past couple of days, I've found it hard not working in the school, because Hle Bee is the reason I came to Mae sot. I certainly didn't come for the food..
But it was a really nice day today. Which has made me feel better. I just can't wait till I start teaching on monday!

Monday, 24 August 2009

Sunday, 23 August 2009

I'm here!

Yesterday was the exhibition of the etchings from Our Burma Book, a book of etchings of Burma that children from 5 Scottish schools and 3 Burmese/Shan schools worked over a year to create.

The Shan - a Burmese ethnic group - children meditated before they did any hard work.

Then, in the first part of the day, they did their own etchings which they got to take them home with a copy of 'Our Burma Book'.

In the second part of the day, people got to look at the etchings in 'Our Burma Book' and talk about it them.

That night, I went out for dinner at 'Maze' with Murray, Stewart...
& their friend David...I had mum's recommendation, chicken cashew nut and fried rice. Our waiter was fabby, very cute!
It was a really lovely meal and really lovely company. I will miss Chiang Mai a lot and I will most likely go back every now & then.

I woke up this morning at 9.30am, I set the alarm for 7.30....PM. I was supposed to be at the bus station for 10am. So I rushed around, packing last minute things, missed my beautiful hotel breakfast & got a taxi to the bus station. Called Kyaw Win and he told me it was actually at 11am we were meeting. I had a hot dog for breakfast.
The bus was fine until I got my hours wrong & realised that I still had another hour to go that I didn't expect. Sylvia picked me up from the bus station in Mae Sot. Sylvia is the owner of Homestays A, B & C. All in Mae Sot. She took me to Homestay A where I will be living for the next 5 months. My room is upstairs & it's all beautiful wood. The walls are paper thin though, so that's not the best. So we arrived & sylvia showed me around, she's a lovely woman, very kind. Then we went for dinner at her house, really nice food. Lisa & Rocky were there with the kids & it was really nice to see them again & also to meet some new people.
I've come back to the Homestay now & I am ready to sleep after measly unpacking a few things.
Blog soon! x

Louise is in Mae Sot

Louise has just arrived safely in Mae Sot. It's 11.30am in Scotland and 5.30pm in Thailand. She's been met by Sylvia, who owns the accommodation Louise is going to be staying in.
Louise in her element!

Yesterday in Chiang Mai, she spoke on my behalf at the opening of the 3rd OUR BURMA BOOK Exhibition this year. Shan children came to the exhibition opening and took part in an etching workshop. OUR BURMA BOOK is a book of etched images of Burma created by children in 5 Scottish schools and 3 Burmese/Shan schools. Louise loves working with Burmese children, as you can see here.
blogged by Louise's mum....

Friday, 21 August 2009

Fabby breakfast.

I didn't sleep at all last night, so I went down to breakfast early. It was gorgeousss, I missed this fruit so much! >>

Nice eh?

As you may have read, I met a lovely Gecko. I took a few pictures around the hotel, it's such a beautiful place and everybody's friendly. This is the huge budgie cage next to the pool.

I phoned Kyaw Win, who is organising the Burma Book exhibition in Chiang Mai, and he said he'd pick me up at 4pm to go to the place where the launch of the book takes place. We rode to the coffee shop on Kyaw Win's motorbike and his friend followed behind.

The coffee shop we went to was lovely and the staff were so friendly, it just felt like everybody there was a group of friends. Mum would have hated this coffee shop, it was based around the owner's cat. A cross-eyed cat with HIV, as the owner explained. I can't remember his name, but it translated to 'cross-eyed' from thai. The lady showed me a cat calendar, which featured little 'cross-eyed'. They sold tote bags with him on the front. I think the shop was called Coffee, cats and more. But my memory isn't too great.


Everyone worked really hard putting up the exhibition.
Kyaw win & his friend took apart the etching press to clean it & had trouble remembering how to put it back together..

Then I played scrabble with some people, very perplexing when you've had no sleep in 22 hours.
I'm off to bed.