Blogs from Mae Sot, North-West Thailand, Thailand, Asia

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Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Sot July 6th 2015

Short holiday to renew my visa.... read more
From Thailand to Myanmar
Burmese snack
Back to Thailand

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Sot March 20th 2015

See the TWO (2) White Temple panoramas above Look at the photos below. Click on any photo to enlarge. Text is of limited interest. Another couple of months...another visa-run. March 13, 2015: Rather than take the most common visa-run from Chiang Mai north to Mae Sai / Tachilek border, I thought it would be interesting to see a less used border crossing south-west at Mae Sot. Mae Sot is a little further away, 6 hour bus ride rather than 4 hours, but is less used. There is a refugee camp manned by many young volunteers and a small expat community. Many of the local workers in Mae Sot, Thailand are from Myanmar and speak no Thai or English. Precious stones from Myanmar are popular and there's a gem market on Saturdays with many shops (photo) cutting ... read more
Mae Sot border crossing
Mae Sot Market
Breakfast Eels

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Sot November 17th 2014

Today is Monday and this will be our last day at Future Light before we leave for Bangkok first thing tomorrow morning to return our rental vehicle and spend a few days at the beach before we leave Thailand. We have been here for 5 days and have accomplished a lot on this trip. Goin and I spent about an hour this morning reviewing the progress of the work and planning for the expenses to complete the projects. We determined that the skilled tradesman and his helper would need about three weeks to complete the tiling, grouting, parging of a few concrete walls in two interior rooms, repairs to the two toilets and repairs to the two shower rooms. Additional materials would also be required to finish up the work. I provided Goin with the necessary ... read more
Happy Faces
Floor nearing completion

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Sot November 17th 2014

Today is Sunday and a day for church service and rest at Future Light. However this week 'free time' in the afternoon will consist of getting back to the project and mixing concrete. Ted and I spent the morning catching up on correspondence and relaxing after a few very busy days and when we arrived at FL the crew was already hard at work. We helped with a few batches of concrete but also played with the kids that afternoon. We also had some great conversations with Ita and Goin despite their limited english language skills and my non existent Burmese. They brought us a little more up to date on their life here at Future light and some recent additions to the home. There are now two new boys at FL. Both had been dropped ... read more
New addition to Future Light
40 new chairs for the classroom
Delivered to Future Light

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Sot November 15th 2014

We woke up early this morning as we needed to stop at Mega Home to pick up more supplies for the new Floor Project. We arrived back at FL just after nine this morning and the project was well under way. All of the boys above the age of about seven were hard at work already with Goin and Tin Tin (the gardener who looks after the two acre vegetable plat at the back of the yard). It was amazing to see them all working hard and having such a good time. There is no cement mixer. The concrete is a sand mix. The sand is brought into the room in plastic hand baskets by the kids and piled up in a heap and flattened until there is about half of a cubic metre of sand. ... read more
Making the Float
Leveling the concrete
Ita and her 4 year old daughter at lunch time.

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Sot November 14th 2014

After a brief tour of the Maesot market and general layout of the town we made our way back to Future Light this morning. Our plan this morning is to review all the potential projects and select those that we can afford to pay for this year and those that will be of most benefit. After a detailed discussion of the pros and cons of each project we narrowed it down to 4 listed in priority order. 1) Repair the floor in the main activity room of the school which was heavily damaged by the 2013 flood. 2) Repair the damage to the main supports of the shower room building and the toilet buildings 3) Build a new structure to be used as a study room/library for doing homework and activities 4) Purchase a used pick ... read more
Maesot market scene
Flood High Water Mark
Meg Home shopping trip

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Sot November 13th 2014

We left Jomtien early this morning after another great breakfast with Simon and Bronwyn at their condo. The IZUZU 3.0 Diesel SUV is a great vehicle for this trip. Really glad we also rented the Garmin GPS as the highway system around Bangkok is a nightmare. The highways in Thailand are fantastic! Lots of service centres along the highway with everything we need. We checked into the Picture Book Guesthouse at 4:00 pm and will be staying for 5 days. It is a beautiful place and the Burmese staff are very sweet and helpful....they can't do enough for us. Ted is on the ground floor at 300 Bhat (about $10 Can) and I am on the second storey with a balcony at 800 Bhat ($25 Can) with breakfast included! I called Goin at Future Light to ... read more
Picture Book Guesthouse
Our Welcoming Party at Future Light
Goin explaining the flood damage

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Sot March 6th 2013

Every teacher has a student who drops out at some point. But not many can say their student dropped out to become a monk. It is a Burmese tradition that three times in a man's life, he must stop what he's doing, go to a monastery, shave his head, and become a monk for at least two weeks. I think, if society allows for this (no one losing their job), it is a wonderful tradition. A time to get a personal reality check, get some perspective, and refocus those goals. In this case, my 20 year old student became a monk because his father died last weekend. His mother had already died when he was quite young, and now he and his sister are parent-less. The death was apparently quite unexpected. My student took his university ... read more

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Sot February 12th 2013

I'm sitting here in this internet computer room with the old crummy computer because the middle school thai boys have taken all the nice flat screen monitored computers to play mine craft. they are shouting to each other, evidently all playing the same game. The temperature has cooled at least 20 degrees from the day (high of 102 today) and the fans blow in the smells from dinner because the family who runs this place is eating in the back room. On the other side of the room, the door to the outside is propped open, and bicycles and cars coast by, and the occasional dog wanders nearby, wary of people but hungry. Moments like this, I can see that a tiny border town is actually doing quite well, and Thailand has indeed raised itself from ... read more

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Sot February 9th 2013

So i've finished my first week of work! I woke up this morning to the sounds of firecrackers from various neighbors, and when i rode into town, the asphalt was littered in red paper. especially in the "posh" section of town where they sell gemstones, an area defined by cobblestone road, actual parking spaces, and stores that have air conditioning. this week has been eye opening in a strange way. i think looking back at old entries, i realized that i've just been listing events, but i haven't been analyzing them much. i hesitate to get too ethereal and froo froo about what's going on, because i don't want it to sound false and pretentious. but here is the truth: the people here do so much with so little, and i am in awe. the woman, ... read more




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