Some of Mae Chan’s girls by her house. House one is behind it to the left. The wood pole sticking up on the left is to hold the line for temporary power for construction of the fourth house up off the road.
This is the last post for a month. Sue and I leave for Bangkok tomorrow morning to meet up with Gayle and Keith from Australia. We leave for Myanmar the 14th where Gayle and Sue will be training Buddhist monks and World Vision teachers in elementary school teaching methods.
I was just out at 7 this morning to run on the foundation road in the village. I can only run for a half hour now because of Achille’s tendon issues, and have to do some stretching exercises the doctor gave me before I run. The front steps and railings of our second house, Mae Chan’s house, are perfect for those exercises.
I talked briefly with Mae Chan as she left on her motorbike to help out at the school of some of her girls. Mae, say “ae” as “a” in “apple”, means “mother” in Thai, and that is just what she is. She has been with us the longest as a mother really loves her 7, soon to be 8 girls. They love her and are very secure with her. Of our families, hers has been together the longest and it does show. The girls really behave to each other as sisters.
We train our mothers to be just that, mothers, not only caregivers. Our girls learn that the chief authority in their life is not our staff psychologists and social workers, not our managing director or any other director, but their mother. No one can make an end run around their mother and ask the chairman of the board, who they see often, to get what they want.
Mae Chan’s life has not been an easy one, but it has made her tough as nails. Her girls get a great deal of freedom because all know the limits and have the safety and security of their home as a base for reaching out into life, and a mother that nothing gets past unless it should.
Mae Ui had just finished cleaning the third house. I thought it was already pretty clean, but oh well… Mae Ui and her girls move into it from the first house tomorrow, I think. The first house will become our new foundation office as well as our new crisis center under Mae Noi. We still have 4 girls with Mae Pai at a rental house. Walai says we can start our fourth house for them in our village when Sue and I get back from Myanmar in January.
The first house will be the temporary quarters for our foundation office until our main building. This building is not scheduled but should be coming in a year or two. In the meantime Walai claims she can get all our office, 8 desks of which 5 are the big wrap around type, along with some tables and cabinets into just the front bedroom in house one leaving the rest of the house for our crisis center. Our bedrooms are big, and Walai has proved very capable in all other matters, but I wonder if even she can pull that off. We’ll see when we get back.
Things really are coming together. It is so nice to be out at the village. It is in town but away from it at the same time. Very quiet. Sue and I will miss it until we come be back in a month.