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Official opening of the Sop Moei Nursery School

Friday, 19th November 2010

Dad, together with the Child's Dream Thai project team, officially opens the Sop Moei Nursery School.

After breakfast this morning we set forth to the river "port" which services all the villages along the Salawin River which acts as the border between Thailand and Burma. We all climbed aboard our long tail boat and with the throbbing off the big V8 set forth for Sop Moei, lickety split, racing down the river, slaloming through the rapids.

After about an hour we made a courtesy stop at the Burmese army post across the river from the village of Sop Moei (with its own Thai army post).

We toured the pre-school and water treatment plant and I was impressed with the profession workmanship of the school and toilets. After a very emotional speech I declared the school open. Being the first school to be opened by the family was a significant milestone in my journey since Andrew's death. The Karin mothers gave me four beautifully hand crafted bags which apparently are given as traditional gifts.

The school principle and teachers hosted us all to lunch and I noted with interest that all students were given a hot lunch. Seeing the way lunch was devoured I surmised it was their main meal of the day. The principle told me the school recently installed solar power and now for the first time the children could enjoy educational programs which had made profound impact on the children. In the West we take so much for granted. It makes me proud to be a very small part of a group who are making a postiive difference to these under privildged children. 

Sop Moei is an interesting village where the villagers are a mixture of Thai, Burmese and Karin people and though they reside in Thailand all their cattle breeding is conducted across the river in Burma. The numerous border skimishes mean that the villagers' agricultural interests play second fiddle to the waring parties.

On the way back up the river, we gave a lift to two Karin women in their colourful and distinctive robes who wanted to go to the monastery. It was interesting to see their habit of chewing the local betel nut leaving their teeth stained dark brown. Eventually after an hour on the boat another 4-5 hours in the car I was gratefully deposited back at my hotel in Chiang Mai. A very interesting trip and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The Child's Dream crew really looked after me which I greatly appreciated."

For more information about the Sop Moei Nursery School please click here.


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