Tales of a Global Neighbours Traveller – Joe Remai

I was on the November 2012 trip with Global Neighbors and I first must apologize for not updating the web site with our many experiences. The only excuse I can give is that I was too “played out” in the evening to do anything!! We worked in +31° temp. with 75% humidity – I didn’t think there was a humidity that high!!

Regardless thank-you for caring about us and we’re back “safe and sound” in Canada.

This was my fourth trip to Thailand with Global Neighbors and I enjoyed the “experiences” this time as much as the first trip The Global Neighbors “farm” has expanded unbelievably since 2010. The teaching classrooms, dormitories and completion of the outdoor kitchen / dining room, which we were part of, left me in “awe”.

Our time was busy because so many things were happening. A container of goods arrived the second day we were there and 20 some students and our team unloaded the container and stored everything on shelves in our warehouse – 18 bikes, 20 serving machines and two pianos!! We were blessed to have Graham & Jillian as team members as their group has assembled and packed the “C” container in Vancouver. Graham was the last to lock the doors in Vancouver and 1st to open them on the “Mae Sot Farm”. Their stories of where the donated goods came from and how they packed the containers was a real bonus to the trip for me. Over the next week, we delivered a lot of these goods and I can tell you that every item out of that container was put to good use in migrant villages along the Burma border and inside Burma.

I had the opportunity to work on the dining hall helping to pour the floor (pail by pail) and later with installing the roof tiles. I also spent a morning picking cucumbers and the fields – I very much enjoyed the “sign” language rapport with my fellow pickers.

I marvel that Global Neighbors seems to be able to fit the mold “a hand up not a hand-out”. They are providing much needed facilities infrastructure to facilitate further education for teachers but also the opportunity to promote peace among the ethnic groups coming out of Burma.

I would ask how the teacher students get to school, the instructor would say ‘just over that mountain” which usually means 10 days foot travelling through the jungle!!

If I tell you all my experiences, my letter will become a book, so I advise you to go see for yourself, go on a work tour, it’s a game changer!! Canadian neighbors in action, it’s a wonderful feeling.

Thanks to my fellow travelers, you were a super group of people to work with. Luc and Dave, you looked after us so well, huge thanks

Joe Remai