Tuesday, August 2, 2011

out of the city

A few weeks ago our team got to visit an IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camp. Well, the 8 hour trip to the town of Maesot was amazing and we got to stay at the IDP for a few hours. The camp is hidden from the road and you have to walk down a steep pathway to get to the buildings that are made out of cement, bamboo, and dried leaves. We got to witness the community of teachers and adults who cared for 25+ children. Many of the children were orphans and had trekked through the jungle from Burma to arrive at this safe haven. It was a privilege to play with the kids, sing and dance to “Father Abraham”, and eat with them. Personally, this trip to Maesot was really eye-opening for me because I got to hear the stories of some of the children. One of the 18-year old girls told us how she had traveled 3 days through the jungle. Also, her father had passed away of sickness trying to hide in the jungle. She wants to learn and study and is currently learning the equivalent of 6th grade schooling. Another girl was 12 years old and is learning the equivalent of kindergarten schooling. She had traveled one day to get there and her father died from a landmine. It was a scary reality for me to hear these young children’s’ experiences. No child should ever have to experience that trauma and pain. Saying goodbye was hard even though I had only gotten to play with them for a few hours. Some of their faces were so happy and I loved seeing the smiles on their faces. It’s crazy that we had to leave the camp in the early afternoon because if we left too late, we would face the risk of robbers and marauders on the street! So ridiculous.

Another trip we made outside of Bangkok was to the city of Udon-Thani. We travelled and spent the whole day there, meeting the staff of SDRF (Sustainable Development Research Foundation). We got to tour the fish farms that SDRF has been creating. They breed tilapia and sell it to local and global markets. All the workers there were Thai and SDRF had helped them create a sustainable business. That trip was also cool because the SDRF staff was truly inspiring. We talked with them for hours and got to gain from their wisdom.

Two friends from home, Nancy and Emma, came to visit us in Bangkok. They came to Thailand for vacation and rest, but our team got to spend time with them. I am really grateful for the conversations that I got to have with them because they both helped me in the place that I am at. I definitely learned a lot from them both and also got to become better friends and sisters in Christ with them both. ☺

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