I recently went to Mae sot and took an unusual tour - of the garbage dump. Mae sot is a border town with Myanmar (Burma) and there are several "refugees" living there; Burmese, Nepalese, Indian .... I heard about a garbage dump near Mae sot where a few refugee families live on the dump and thought it would be interesting to visit them. I drove around for about 3 hours trying to find the dump and by the time I found it the sun was setting. There were a few kids and their parents going through some garbage when I arrived. The situation seemed pretty grim - kids covered in flies eating food they found. In hind sight I should have hired a Burmese speaking guide so I could ask the people at the dump some questions. I took a few shots but there wasn't enough light so I returned the next morning.
The next day I noticed that there was a well at the dump (I believe an Italian Aide agency provided it) so the people there had "clean" water. After spending a few hours taking pictures and "interacting" with the people I stopped at a small "shop" at
the dump to get some bottled water. I noticed that there was a school there and there were many kids running around laughing and playing (which was a better sight than the night before). A burmese man, who turned out to be a teacher at the school came out to talk with me. We went in the school and I met the principal and we chatted for awhile. They said that a Burmese organization funded the school. I know that there is a Burmese Dr. in town who provides free medical care to refugees. Here is a link to more photos from the dump as well as some shots from "town" CLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS
I wondered what these people would think if they lived on a garbage dump in the US - TVs that worked, refrigerators and stoves that work, bicycles, packaged food, good clothes ...
Im going to keep this blog very short. I'll be hitting the road tomorrow and will leave thailand on Sunday going to China via Laos, I sure will miss having a room with A/C.
Until next time - check out my "updated" website and let me know what you think: f o t o s by D a v i d
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