The school closed last week. This makes us happy and not happy at the same time. We were happy because the children did well at the school. They passed the exams and did all their requirements. We did not need to worry about additional school works for them during vacation. Not so glad because unlike many of us, the school closing does not offer us any respite. It means the children will be with us 24/7 and when they are together, with their full energy accumulated together it will be a total chaos. So we are bracing ourselves for another crazy summer.
We are member of a Network that addresses the problem of exploitation of women and children in Northern Thailand. The organization is trying to stop child and human trafficking. We were invited to attend their meetings two years ago and since then they considered us one of their own. Although we could not understand what they the discussions are all about, they like us to be there every time they have a meeting. The Network has been very helpful to us in providing needed documents for the children.
Last Monday, they told us we had a meeting in Mae Salong. It is one of the beautiful places in Northern Thailand. Actually, the meeting was in Thod Thai, just a few meters from the boundary of Mae Salong. The mountains are stunningly beautiful. Even with the presence of thick haze, the view is still beautiful. After the meeting, we had our lunch in one of those eating places. THe menu were all Chinese. By the way, Mae Salong is one of the towns where Chinese is the first language and Thai is the second. Except for Tai Yai and Akha people who are also living there.
We were having our delicious lunch, when the vice-mayor (he was introduced to us as the second leader of the town) came. Surprisingly, he is also a Christian. After introductions and small pleasantries, he announced that the lunch was on him. The lunch was awesome especially when it was free.
Pastor Sunnit (the leader and he is considered by everybody considered as the founder of the Network) brought us to Khun Sa's army camp. He was considered to be the "opium king" and the leader of the Shan United Army and Mong Tai army. He was considered a local folk hero in this place. His interesting story can be read here.
The trip back to Mae Sai took two hours. The road is long, mountainous and winding. I didn't want to drive too fast.