Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Today I went to school...

...and everyone was having vaccinations.

I held some of the little ones' hands and tried to make them less nervous.

At the end of the day my Grade 12s were having their vaccinations and I was standing with them and holding their hands. Then lots of the teachers started getting theirs done. Teacher Myo Nyunt asked me if I was getting one and I looked at him as if he was mental and said I'd already had them done back home. He said "Hmm, are you sure. This is the H1N1 vaccine.

Myo Nyunt got his vaccination..
I asked loads of times to make sure it was definitely H1N1 and was persuaded into getting it done. I told the kids to watch to see that it didn't hurt. ...and it didn't hurt AT ALL. I didn't even feel it go in.

That's what I love about living here is that you can never tell what is going to happen next. Went into school to teach and ended up getting an H1N1 vaccine.

Chiang Mai blog soon! x

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Friday at the Nursery.

We decided to do art on Friday the 1st with the materials Gillian from Campie nursery sent to CDC nursery. We split into 3 groups of about 7 kids.
We made different fruits out of tissue paper.
Ma La Chit took watermelons.
I took apples. One of the teacher's came over to help my group.

The kids really enjoyed themselves. Friday is always a play day.

Teacher Shellay Paw took Oranges.

This is Muku. He works in CDC office and comes to eat lunch at the nursery every day.

My group's apples. Ailsa did an orange.

The kids playing.

Cap Yo Win and his best friend. Cap Yo Win is the cutest!! He has such a lovely smile.
His friend is so sweet with the nursery puppies. He's so gentle with them.

This is one of the nursery teachers. Looking very wintery.

They took school photos.

I thought they were really funny.

Little baby Heh Blue Saw.

Cap Yo Win taking his lunch outside after eating.

Teacher Ma La Chit is known by everybody in CDC as the scary teacher. She is fantastic at keeping the kids under control. Lisa says that even parents at home tell their children that they better behave otherwise they'll get teacher Ma La Chit haha! I think she's fantastic, couldn't teach without her.
After lunch, the kids got a treat as teacher Ma La Chit did a funny dance for them. The video is so funny! The kids found it HILARIOUS!

These are teacher's Eh Na Paw and Eh Say. They both teach KG.

This is teacher P Say Hei. P means grandmother and she is the headteacher of the primary school at CDC.
Teacher Say Hei will be going to Scotland in October/November of this year as part of the Campie/CDC Global schools partnership teacher exchange. It will be a fantastic experience for her and it's nice to think that she'll be living in my house for 2 weeks. I'm jealous she gets to go and eat yummy chippies and Scottish food. Sooooooo jealous.
I'm sooo excited for her, she can visit Princes Street gardens. Campie parents are arranging a party at the Quayside for Say Hei when she visits. I wish I could come back and visit with her. It's sad she'll be there when I'm here!

That night, my old roommates and I went to Kung's bar. Played foosball and jenga and pool and such.

These are the barmen at Kung's bar. Naing, Saw and Htet.

The craziest one!

So many blogs! I'm sooooo behind.
Yesterday P Say Hei got her visa to go to Scotland. We're so happy because last time, all the teacher's got rejected.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Mae La Refugee Camp

A few weeks ago Poh Cho, Ni Shar and their two children took me to visit their family in Mae La Refugee Camp. I had never visited a refugee camp before and usually visitor's are not allowed into the camp. Ni Shar's father is one of the area leader's in Zone C of Mae La, he asked permission for my visit which was very kind of him.

Mae La is split into three Zones. A, B & C. We visited Zone C which has mostly Muslim Burmese residents and some Karen.

We left at around 8am. I forgot my passport for the Thai checkpoints so Poh Cho had to take me back to pick it up!

We got a song taew which was about an hour and a half long journey. I slept all the way there. When I woke up, the song taew was completely packed with people hanging off the back and such. This is normal for Thailand though.

We got to the camp and walked through to Ni Shar's father's house. He lives with his wife and daughter. I know his daughter already because last year she lived at Say Ta Nar with Poh Cho and Ni Shar. I taught her for a little bit last year when I was covering for the Canadian teacher Emily. She is called Zar Zar Lin and she is so smart and beautiful and kind. I was SO happy to see her again because this year, she moved back to Mae La to go to further study.

I met Ni Shar's family, they all live so close together. The houses aren't that small but they are quite close together. You can stand at their front door and chat to their Auntie at her house.
Zar Zar Lin took me to see her school. I met her head teacher briefly and had a look round the school. Then we visited her friend's house.
The roads inside the camp are awful and full of potholes but there were people with motorcycles inside. Mostly, people walk everywhere. There were a few market stalls and shops around. They had potatoes, which is all I need to live somewhere haha! By the end of my visit I soo wanted to go and live with Ni Shar's family.
People aren't allowed to take photos inside the camp, but I was allowed to take photos of the scenery and Ni Shar's family.
These are the gorgeous mountains on one side of the camp. The camp is sort of in a valley. There's mountains on one side and on the other is a huge long road that leads from Mae Sot to the border.
You can read a much better description of Mae La here:

This is Ni Shar and her father. He is looking at my passport to see what it looks like. Burmese people are so interested in our passports.

Her family were lovely to me and gave us loads of yummy Indian/Burmese food.

I asked some questions about the camp, so we talked about things to do with the camp.
This is Ni Shar's mother and father. The little girl was around all day, I don't think she's a relative.
Before we left, Ni Shar's dad invited us back to visit at Muslim New Year on the 7th of Novemebr. This is the same date as the Burmese 2010 elections. He told us that because of this clash, Muslim's inside Burma are not allowed to celebrate their New Year.
But this is not a problem for Muslims inside the camp.

We could take as many photos as we liked from outside the camp. You can see a few of the houses from this picture. They are made from wood, bamboo, leaves etc.

I asked if people were allowed to leave the camp. I was told they weren't previously but it seemed people were hanging around outside, walking along the road or just sitting outside. Poh Cho said that people pay bribes so they can be let outside the gate by the Thai officers.
He also said that some people go outside of the camp to work because the rations given by TBBC are not enough for their family needs. This is illegal and they could face being sent back to Burma if they get caught doing this.

The children sleeping. Such a long day!

I had a fantastic visit to Ni Shar's family, they were so kind and generous to us. It was such an amazing opportunity to get a glimpse of how life works inside Mae La. I am so grateful to Poh Cho, Ni Shar and their family for letting me visit them.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Catch Up

The nursery have gotten many packages from Gillian, the Campie nursery teacher. One of the times, she sent bunting that the teachers hung on the ceiling.

Teacher Ku Paw told me about this little boy. He lives with his Grandmother in Mae Sot because his parent's live and work in Bangkok. They are working away from him so they can send money back to him in Mae Sot. He's about 4 years old.

Many people who live in Mae Sot or Thailand work hard so they can send money back to their families. They keep a small amount for themselves and send money back to the Parents, children, siblings etc.
These are some of the kids from the nursery waiting to go home. They were sitting outside chatting away, I asked teacher Ku Paw what they were talking about and she said they were saying they're excited to go home and see the little brothers and sisters.

This is Zwe and teacher Za Za. Zwe is a student in my English after school class and teacher Za Za is a nursery teacher. They are lovely people and their whole family speak great English.

My little brother Heh Blu Soh and one of my favourite teacher's Eh Say. She is lovelyyyy!

There is a student in my English class who is quite a good artist. He wanted to learn more so I took some of his drawings to Sein Sein Lin. She is one of the artists at Borderline shop. She really liked them and will start teaching him on Sundays.

That night Lisa, Ailsa, my roommates and I went to see Poh Cho and Ni Shar. Ni Shar made yummy food and Poh Cho told my roommates about what he teachers in his school. Poh Cho speaks a lot to the children in his school about political topics such as Child Soldiers, Child trafficking, Child rights etc. Not many schools feel safe enough to do this and to not have any involvment in political subjects.
Here are some of Yan Naing Win's pictures.

We got another package from teacher Gillian for CDC nursery. The teachers were really happy, they just don't show it in photos. They look a bit confused because they didn't know what the contents of the package were.

Mum asked me to get photos of Grade 6's and 7's. Teacher Myo Nyunt took them. I think he enjoyed it, they were so creative!

This is teacher Myo Nyunt looking very fashionable as usual. Thought I'd get a photo for the Campie teacher's. I'll have a book of all his fashionable outfits by the time I leave.

I made mince and tatties! Yummmmmmmm!

Sat and ate dinner at the front door beside a little frog!

Then my roommates and I went out for a night out with our friends Joe and Stalin.
First, we went to My Mae Sot bar and watched a Burmese band play.


Lianna and I.

Ben and Stalin.

Ben and Joe.

We bought a bottle of Rum for like £3. Spirit bottles are sooo cheap.
Ben and Lianna.

They all got up to sing a Burmese song, I sat out and filmed it haha.

We've been trying to explain to people that a ring on your 'ring finger' means you are either engaged or married. They really don't understand that. So we tried a different tactic of telling people that if they wear a ring on that finger everybody'll think they're off the market and won't want to be their boyfriend/girlfriend. That definitely works! haha.
Stalin and I got married!

Ben and Lianna danced.

We lost Lianna! We thought she went to the toilet and she'd been about 20 mins so I went to find her and she was with one of the barmaids getting Thannaka and make-up put on haha.

Then we went off to Y2K, the club in Mae Sot. I've never wanted to go before cause it seemed really sleazy. But we were in a good group so it seemed like fun.


The club was cool, I never thought there'd be a club like that in Mae Sot. There was a live pop band playing like a gig. They let you take in bottles of spirits and just buy mixers so we did that.
On our table, there was free popcorn!!
I haddddddddd to get a photo of the toilet sign! So funny!!

The next day (with a big hangover) I went with Yan Naing Win to Sein Sein Lin for an art lesson.

More blogs to comeeeeeeee. Next one is about Mae La refugee camp I think.
This week I had a fabby time in Chiang Mai. Met up with my roommates a lot and we made new friends and went to good bars.
Yesterday we had a day off for World Teacher's Day so me, the Thai teacher, her sister and 3 students went to a waterfall and climbed up it!!