THAILAND/BURMA REFUGEE CAMPS 2013
Page 2

We arrived in Lampang early evening on the 19th. Rudy and his wife Tai, had invited friends over that we had met in the past and a nice dinner was prepared, which I ate very little of.

I kept trying to reach Roger, to no avail, so I called my friend, Suchart, who lives up North near the high mountain refugee camp of Mae Rah Moe. He has driven me into Mae Rah Moe a couple times in the past and he speaks excellent English. He said he would arrange for a camp pass to that camp, but could not get one from there for the Southern camp of Mae La. I would have to ask Honest to get that one for me. Rudy and Mark had offered to drive us to the border town of Mae Sot, spend the night and take us the rest of the way to Mae La camp early the next morning.

Since I hadn't been able to reach Honest yet, I decided to call Evergreen, the young lady who lives in Mae La camp and disburses the sponsorship money for us. She told me that all the students would be having final exams the entire week and would not be available for us to see until Friday night. She is a Seventh Day Adventist and asked me if I could come on Sunday, when she would be available to help us. So many of the people who speak English have been re-settled from that camp to other countries, there are only a few people left in the camp that I know who speak English. I told her we would plan on coming in on Sunday and would call her when we got to Mae Sot on Saturday. Mae Sot is the town closest to that particular camp and is about an hour drive from Mae Sot to the camp.

Since we had to wait a week to go to Mae La camp, we decided to head North and go into Mae Rah Moo camp first. However, yet another glitch developed. Suchart called to tell me that there is only one man in that district who can issue camp passes and he was out of the office for the entire week! We were really discouraged that we would have to wait a whole week before going to either camp. We were disappointed because Mae Rah Moe is the hardest camp to get into and we really wanted to get that one done first, especially since I wasn't feeling well. However, one thing I have learned in my 20 years of traveling to the Thai/Burma border is that you can have the most carefully crafted plans but things very seldom go as you planned. You have to learn to be flexible, patient and resilient.

 

 


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