On Saturday, I had the privilege of joining an amazing team of students and teachers on their trip to bring emergency food packets to a community in the Bang Khae area in the South West of Thailand. After putting on our plastic boots, we dismounted our air conditioned luxurious van and stepped onto a mossy dirty road in a village which was affected by the floods.
The first thing that I noticed was the young children walking in their slippers or bare feet in the dirty water looking around for something. They were carrying a net with them in their search of the waters beneath their feet which totally puzzled me. I was trying to figure out what on earth interested them in that murky mossy water which to me was an inconvenience of course. But for these children, these waters seemed to be a source of fun. After some hand gestures and a few broken Thai words, I discovered that they were on a mini fishing excursion. Yes, believe it or not there were fish in the water... that same water that filled their houses and conquered their streets for weeks.
The second thing I noticed was the smiles on the people's faces. I have grown to respect and love these people of the Thai land as they have inspired me to make light of an awful situation. Everywhere I turned, I found their smiling eyes looking back at me. We walked through the village to meet more people who were unable to walk to the relief truck parked at the entrance. There were many houses that were severely affected by the floods. Some still had water in the bottom floor of their house while other residents were cleaning the black bacteria infested sludge remaining after the water had receded.No matter what the extent of their dire situation was, they always managed to flash their toothy smiles at all of us.
There is so much to learn from these lovely people... which makes me wonder sometimes which one of us is considered poor.
I am not posting all the picture together as there was so much for me to take in and digest. It was not a difficult trip in the physical sense of it all but it definitely took a toll on my emotions. Therefore, I need time to choose my words carefully when posting the pictures along with their comments which was why I chose to start with the positive side of it all.