Note: this blog was written on 3/29/18
This is Cynthia reporting from Bangkok at 10:10pm. Last week we stayed in a village for almost a whole week. A village where we were all welcomed into their homes. We had fun, exiting, and sad moments. We were fortunate to work with the Mirrior Foundation. The mirror Foundation is a program who helps the people who don’t have citizenship. They help people who in society are called “no identity”. They help them by finding them homes and jobs. They also fight to help them get citizenship.
So what we did was build a fence for the new school that was built for the children who’s parents worked at the orange farm. We worked on the fence everyday. We separated into different groups some of us would be shaving bamboo, others would cut them in halfs, put up the fence and the last group worked on the flag pole, it was a daily routine. after working for a few hours we would get a long relaxing break where we would get fed some yummy food.
Before going to work we would stop at the daycare near the village where we interacted with the kids for an hour. We sang songs, played games and played with them. My favorite part was seeing the kids smile and hear their laughter when they would see us.
Every evening we would go back to our home stays and eat dinner with them. Our mother Mae Jeene was a good cook, all of our dinner meals where delicious and spicy. We had several laughs and good moments in our homestay with my girls Ana, Elena, and Sierra. The first night we were a bit confused, we didn’t know where to brush our teeth, since there was no sink in the bathroom. So we got the idea of spitting it out in the squad toilet, until we realize the next day that we were supposed to brush our teeth outside. We got to experience bucket showering but the water was super cold and we were sharing the bathroom with a huge spider which no one wanted to kill because we were scared until the last day in our homestay we notice it was dead.
Even though sometimes it could be difficult we manage to get through them and had fun. One of many funny memories I will always remember about our homestay, was that the last day in our homestay we were picking up the blankets from the floor since we slept in the floor with mosquitos net and sleeping bags but as we folded them Sierra saw a cockroach running away from under her blankets, so we figured it was probably under blankets all these days but the funny part was she screamed as the cockroach run away and she said “guys looks its pitter patting” we just started cracking up. There was one evening where i wasn’t feeling good so I went to play pickup soccer with Mai Mao, the kids, and some adults from the village in a bumpy grass area with no shoes. It was so much fun and a pretty good competitive game. It reminded me so much of my childhood.
The day before we left we only worked half day, after we went to a museum and to Laos. It was a pretty good day so far but it got even better during the evening. In the evening we got ready and dressed up for the string ceremony. We ate dinner “more like a feast” with the people from the village. During dinner the kids performed a dance for us. After we offered he villagers a gift and then the string ceremony began. There was nine villagers in a circle with white string and we all sat down in front of a villager. We all routated until all of us got to each person. They tighted the white string in our wrist while saying a blessing. The string are sed to be for good luck, good health, and other good things.
The final morning we got to give a huge thank you to Pee Manop who helped us with everything you could think of. He is a good and kind soul, who helped us, took care of us, and treated us like family. As we said our good bye to everyone , i realize how amazing it was to be part of the Mirror Foundation and part of the village. I will always remember every single kind and caring soul I met in this program and village.