Monday, 30 August 2010

Mo Uay Day! It's Raining!

Was torrential this morning when I woke up, it's starting to ease off now. Hopefully it'll have stopped by the time I'm supposed to move all my stuff!


Move In Day!

Tomorrow I will move into my new house :D I'm so excited to make it like home. I'll take lots of photos.

Not much has happened this week. Been out to Kung's bar a few nights. I was teaching during the week and you know about the Karen festival.

I'll let you know how tomorrow goes but I don't have internet in the house. May have to pop up to CDC and use their wireless.


Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Karen Culture Day

Today was Karen Culture day, also known as the Wrist Tying Festival.
"The festival is known as Lah Ku Kee Su. Lah Ku means August and Kee Su describes the act of binding the wrist with white thread in the belief that evil spirits causing illness can be exorcized."

I had to wake up at 7am! Eeek. Before I left I realised that my camera had no battery, so I put it on charge and forgot to take it!! I reallyyyy wanted it too. Today was amazing.

So part of this day is the wrist-tying. People give eachother string from their Karen shirts.
Especially young single girls and boys. People who are good friends. But it seemed like everybody gave to everybody.

They elders take the string and rub it upwards on your forearm 3 times, they whisper prayers to send your spirit back to your family. Then they wrap the string around your wrist 3 times, tie and snap off loose ends. They then put the leftover string on your head or shoulder. One of the elder ladies did one for me, but everybody else does it too.
Loads of people would come up and tie you.

I went with Lisa, Ailsa and Say Say (one of the Naw Naw's). A CDC troop were dancing and also another dance troop from the Mae Tao Clinic, as well as many other singers and dancers. There were some very famous Poh Karen singers who the crowd went crazy for.

Personally, I was fascinated by the talented dancers. I loveeeeee Karen dancing. It's so jumpy and fun. So, I have been signed up to Karen dance at Karen New Year in January. I'll make sure to get lots of photos and videos of that. All the girls from the office at the clinic, including Lisa and some other women from around the clinic. We will be doing the 'spinster's dance'. Apparently it's easier than the energetic young person's dance.

We saw teacher Myo Nyunt, he was dressed rather brightly. Bright pink and red Karen shirt. He never fails to impress clothing-wise.

Afterwards, I came home and slept for like 5 hours. Oops. Guess I'm just not a morning person.

:) reallyyyyyyyy lovely morning. I really regret not taking my camera! :( Maybe I'll try to get them to reenact their dance routine.


Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Week blog! Photos are working :)

On Monday last week I did a lesson at Say Ta Nar school. I would sum it by with the word strenuous.

Start at 8.30am but Poh Cho had told me to come at 8am. So they sang for 5 mins then I had to teach for 3 hrs 25 mins. To a class with pupils from grade 4 to grade 7.

We did a few things. They all introduced themselves and I asked questions about them. We talked about their families. We sang a Fischy music song that I was planning to teach, but they already knew it (Teacher Mary!). They learned different answers to the question "How are you?"

Ni Shar made a fabby lunch which I loved. Then as I was leaving I walked outside onto the road and saw some of the boys from the school prising open one of the grates in the ground with metal rods!!

One of the Grade 1 boys had changed his clothes and was preparing to go underground!

I was havin a bloomin fit.

His job was to clear the gutter so that it didn't flood I think. Can you imagine that EVER happening in Scotland? All the boys were calling him the Say Ta Nar hero.

After STN I came home and slept for like 4 hours. Then I went to the shop to buy stuff for my house. I bought a bin, table, chair, mop and two containers for sugar etc. £23 They said they'd deliver the next day.

I went to the nursery and went about my day being a teacher/carer. I had to teach my group alphabet stuff which was easy and sang some songs.
They have a new swing outside the nursery.

This is the front of my house.

...and the side.

During lunch I went to see the house and the builders told me to go and look inside. This is the main bit downstairs. Through the doorway is the kitchen. Theres a toilet to the right of the kitchen.

The stairs are up!

The chief builder made me look upstairs haha.

I took a video for you to show upstairs. There are two bedrooms.

This is the upstairs bathroom. There's a tall-ish toilet!

The shower is upstairs too.

This is the downstairs Thai-style toilet. Beautiful tiles!

My stuff for the house got delivered. This is my really good chair which is soo comfy. I'm gonna buy pillows and stuff for it because it's quite low down and I can't reach the table. Need a wee booster seat.

Wednesday was my day off. I had arranged to go and buy tiles for my kitchen and living area in the house with the landlords. We bought beautiful ones. They were the cheapest tiles they had. £100 for the whole thing. Eeeeeeeeeek!
After nursery I went to the English class (voluntary). I go after school on Tuesday's and Thursday's. I might go every day when I'm closer though.
These are some of the boys who go. They are fantastic, so clever and very funny. The boy on the right speaks only Karen but comes to the English class to learn. He is very funny. He copies little things I say but funny voices sometimes. Quietly though so you don't know if you even heard it or not. Very cool guy. Today (Tuesday 24th) He ran all the way from CDC high school to the boys' boarding house near the nursery, chasing someone on a bike.

On Friday, I cycled into the nursery and there were medics set up and a wee boy crying his eyes out. Vaccination day.
His father got called in and calmed him down, very very sweet. I just came at the end though so there were only a couple left to get vaccinated by the time I arrived.
Friday is games day. This is the teacher's favourite game. The children pass the balls in the basket under their legs or over their heads and the last kid puts it in the basket at the end.

This is the nursery baby. His mother is the cleaner I think, she just helps tidy up and stuff. The baby is always with her. There is a nursery student in the photo too. The one who ALWAYS jumps on me.
This baby is also the one who has peed on me a record of FOUR times. According to Myo Nyunt though, for the Karen people, this means the baby loves you "veeeeery much!"

One of the teachers.

One of the many insanely cute boys there. This boy is the smiley one.

At lunch time, Ailsa and I went to visit my house and see how is was going.
There were many cows outside the nursery.

They had tiled the whole of the downstairs area just TWO days after me buying them.

They've also put up a board thing to cover the stairs.

These are the tiles in the living room. They are very pale but have sort of wooden markings.

After we visited the house, Ailsa and I got on the bike and cycled up to CDC. We went to the tuck shop and bought ice cream with Jack. Then we came back.
We had arranged with Lisa that Jack, Ailsa, my two roommates and the two Naw Naw's who looked after me overnight in the hospital would go to the BBQ restaurant in Mae Sot.
On the way we went to find mite spray at the pet shop for this hamster I have inherited. He hisses at you when you go anywhere near him!! They didn't have mite spray but Lianna (my roommate) bought some a few days later and he seemed much happier.
At the pet shop, the owner showed us the baby hamsters he has that were just a few days old.
They look like beans.

We went to the BBQ restaurant and it was boiling hot but really yummy!
Afterwards, my roommates and I went to the bar at the end of our street, Drop Out bar. We played cards.

Here's a video of the boys singing a song.

And a game Ku Paw (the nursery headteacher) was playing.

Another blog sooooon!

Read and comment!


Sunday, 22 August 2010


I was gonna do a blog about my week, but the internet won't let me post any photos. Very frustrating!


Friday, 20 August 2010

I can't help but post this!

I hate not to post in chronological order but I have to show you the cute wee boys in the nursery! These are some photos from today.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Visas Rejected

If you've been reading my mum's blog, you'll know how much effort everybody involved in the Global Schools Partnership exchange has put into getting passports and visas for the 3 Burmese & Karen teachers.
Unfortunately, when we got the passports back from Bangkok, all three of the teachers visas had been denied. It was shocking for us and very disappointing. We had a meeting later that day with the headteacher of CDC high school, the three teachers who are coming, Lisa, Dr Cynthia, Thazin (Hle Bee headteacher) and I. We have decided to try again with more letters of support from various people.

We will try again, don't give up!


Thursday, 12 August 2010

The rest of my Birthday!

So after I found the scrabble message, I found this. My roommates are looking out for me insect-wise.
Phyu Phyu Win and Si Si Win came round to give me pink roses! They didn't know it was my Birthday but I felt EVERYONE should know. They were so excited.

They're reading mum's wacky card.

We went to Dave's and I had a nice chat with him about Dengue etc. No HP sauce, I made chips but it didn't taste the same without HP sauce. But they gave me a lovely Birthday croissaint.
I had a lovely day. Phone calls from my Papa, Mum, and teacher Fiona (and all her relatives). I got emails from Uncle Andrew too! Which was lovely, because we share the same Birthday :)
At night, we went to Casa Mia and had dinner. They had made a banana cake for me :)

I think Lisa bought special candles, like sparklers. :) lovelyyyy!

The cake was soooo yummy.
Jack tummy took my camera so I have lots of weird photos.

That's Ben, one of my roommates.

Cute Ailsa picture.

Present from Ben and Lianna. DVD's!

Jack Tummy and Aine.

Niamh and Aine.

Opening presents :)

Jack tummy and I.

It was a lovely Birthday and it was so nice to have loadsssss of messages from family and friends.
I got a Birthday phone call from my Uncle David and cousin Daniella. It was lovely and we had a really good chat :)
I would've loved to be at home with everyone but this was a different kind of Birthday, still lovely!

Internet down

Louise's internet is down but she'll post as soon as it's back on. She's feeling much better though the rash hasn't gone yet.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

It's my Birthday!!

Woke up to this message from my roommates.

I'm off to Casa Mia tonight for a birthday meal and they've made a banana cake! yummy!


I really want to say thank you to everyone who commented or sent messages to me, it was SO unbelievably lovely the amount of people who cared or were worried. It's so so nice to see hundreds of messages from family and friends.
There were 62 people who read the blog yesterday! Up from around 18-25 per day. I know that it's difficult to comment sometimes but it's lovely to know people are reading.

I cannot begin to thank all the people who came to see me in the hospital and brought food and books and love and cuddles. Lisa was amazing, bringing everything I needed. She even ventured into my minging room which isn't so minging anymore (thank you PoePoe the maid for cleaning my room and bringing in books). She got my laundry done. Sylvia made me pasta for lunch and brought me into the hospital in the first place. She spoke Thai to the nurses and doctors which is invaluable.

I just ate a big meal of chicken supreme and home made chips. My roommates (Ben and Lianna) went out and bought lots of food for me and we cooked together. They've been so nice and helpful. They bought me a huge bunch of yellow flowers which smell lovely! It's always fabby to live with med students because they are very knowledgable about fevers and such.

So...these are my photos from the hospital and some shots of the Dengue rash.

This is my horrendous drip which I had in for about 28-30 hours. Overnight is horrible with a drip, keep thinking you're gonna rip it out.

I had SO many visitors, these are the Naw Naw's from Lisa's house. They're students at CDC high school and live with Lisa's family. They are so motherly and helpful with anything you need.

They were sleeping under the huge "bed sheet" towels they give you in the hospital.

They both slept the whole night (when they weren't nursing me) on that long chair thing. Kept kicking each other.

Me and my drip.

Sorry this one's side-ways. But you can see all the food people brought (and made) for me.

This is the second day. I was MUCH happier because I'd been told I was allowed to go homeee!

Si Si Win came to keep me company.

And this is the horrific rash, I hatehateHATE Dengue rash! I've thought of many ways to describe it.
One is it's like an old drunk man's red face.
Another is that it feels like you're wearing trousers made of towel. But really stiff uncomfortable towel trousers. It's itchy but prickly and sensitive at the same time.

So red!!

So, it was a horrible stay at the hospital but made bearable my the many amazing Burmese, Karen and Foreign friends around me who I will have to repay in some way when I'm better!
The calls and emails from friends and family back home have made this illness better and I'm so grateful for everyone's messages. Thank you.
And thank you Mum for letting the whole of Thailand and UK know about my short stint in the Pawo Hospital!