You'll probably be glad to know that this is the final post about Thailand! We said goodbye to our friends who travelled with us in Koh Lanta & continued on our way just the two of us to Mae Sot. A small district in Thailand bordering Burma. We were lucky enough to stay with our friends who moved to Thailand last December and lucky enough that they had 3 gorgeous baby kittens to play with. It was so good to see them again and so good to see the work they have been getting involved in as mission workers.
I'm not sure how much I can say so I'll give a little bit of text and a few images for you to get the picture.
Some of the work they do involves visiting a Burmese community that have set up home in a rubbish dump. There are about 200 people in this community. The conditions are absolutely horrible but they say it is easier to live here than in their own country. They have created a home for themselves and try to make a living out of sorting through the dump. As you would expect many diseases and infections are spread easily so the team our friends work for go in regularly with medical help & resources when they can.
We spent a good hour here going into the 'homes' of people, getting to know them and their situations. When I initially walked into the dump my first thought was not wanting to walk through the rubbish (and many more unmentionable things!) but a little girl ran up to me straight away with a great big smile on her face and flung her arms around my waist. It was so easy then to immediately put aside anything I thought about it all to just become part of the community for that moment. There was nothing beautiful about the way they lived but there was something strikingly beautiful about the community they had built together. By the end I wanted to stay. There was hope. This community was so strong the mountains of rubbish were almost invisible and it was just another family in their home. They were smiling always - yes, they wanted things to be better, they want to be able to go back to their country, they want real jobs, constant food and water, to not fear being thrown or pushed out all the time and a future for their younger generations but they were beginning to build the best thing they could for this moment in time.
I'm reminded how much goodness and faith can get us through everything. Having a strong community around us to celebrate the good and fight off the bad together. To be light in the darkness and to stand firm. Community is a beautiful, beautiful thing.
Of all the luxurious things we did in Thailand & all the amazing places we stayed, this ending was a really special one...