We had our morning in the market on December 4th. After breakfast at a place called Lucky’s we split into teams for a scavenger hunt. Not only did we have to find items such as pig heads, a sewing machine and building address, we also were on the hunt for items we were going to take to a Burmese village. Teams bargained on prices for cooking pots, knives, buckets and utensils. Everyone had a great time exploring the market, odd smells and all.
We then toured the Mae Tao Clinic. This wonderful place helps people who normally don’t have a right to health care. There was everyone from elders to children to women giving birth. A couple students had the privilege to hold some of the precious newborns. The clinic also provided dental services,eye exams and surgeries, prosthetic limb production, vaccinations and many other services. It was so great to see these people receive much needed, and often life saving, healthcare.
After lunch we visited the very first school that Global Students Helping Students built. In the midst of a struggling area was this charming school full of laughter and joy. At first the elementary aged students waved at us from their classrooms, but they were soon climbing all over us, laughing and running around as we gave them candies, toys and stickers. We were having so much fun that it was hard to leave!
The team then packed up more supplies to give out and picked up more candy for the children before our evening activities. We stopped into a place to view an art show displaying beautiful paintings depicting life and struggles in Burma. We even got to meet the artist, Maung Maung Tinn. He had a beautiful life story and beautiful paintings. Supper was at a Burmese restaurant to introduce us to the food before heading to Burma. We surprised Erin with a cake to celebrate her birthday!
Next the team headed to the Teacher Prep Center. We met the students studying there as we settled into our seats for some presentations. First, us students presented a slideshow highlighting facts about Canada. In return, the TPC students presented about the process that goes on for their training at the center. These brave young people were training to go into remote villages to work with children and provide education. A couple of students performed the traditional dances of their homeland. We sang some songs, including ‘this little light of mine’ as we lit the candles of both SIAST and TPC students. Connections and bonds were formed as Ice cream and fruit were served, gifts were given and hundreds of pictures were taken. The evening was ended with fireworks and the grand opening of a little store/restaurant for the Safe House girls and TPC students.
It was a full day of work and fun for us. I speak for everyone when I say that we went to bed with warm hearts and memories we will never forget.