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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Crossing the Border

I am still feeling a little tired today.  On Saturday morning we left at 4.40 am and drove to Burma to get our passports stamped (to comply with our visa requirements).  
It's only a 4 hour drive each way, but with children (and all the stops we needed) we didn't get home till after 7.30 pm.  
Despite the long drive in the car though, it was a great experience and we got to see some more of this amazing country.

We didn’t spend more than about five minutes in Burma as we were confronted with a number of begging children, who we could see were part of a syndicate as they all had the same red color dyed into one part of their hair (we presume so their 'owner' could easily identify them).  Some were not much older than Tobi.


We thought for this first border crossing we’d just go in and out and see how long the process took and save some of the exploring for another time (we have to do these border runs every 90 days..so there’ll be many more opportunities).

On the Thai side of the border there was a huge
market calling for me to come and explore....
ahhhh next time!
Probably the highlight of the trip though was stopping for dinner.  Jessica and I ventured in to an open-air market in search of food.  We were unsure if we’d find anything that we’d be game enough to eat (or present to the children) but surprisingly we came away with a few bags full of sticky rice, kebabs, fried chicken drumsticks and something else that looked like pork and basil but later turned out to be unidentifiable!  Sorry Dave!

After driving around through unfamiliar territory, we choose a semi-secluded spot to set up our picnic mat on the side of the road. We all sat in a circle tasting the various dishes.  What we didn’t realise when we settled down to eat though, was just how much attention we would attract.  

Now we’re getting used to people staring at us- especially the children but it was amazing how the local people appeared out of no where to come and say hello.  We had the most wonderful time, Jess interpreting for us and the children making new friends.  We all came away with a buzz of excitement as we’d been able to experience something that just doesn’t happen every day.

What always amazes me is how children never seem to notice, as much as adults do, the language barrier.  They just find things to do like chase each other and play together, that don’t seem to need as many words.  Despite feeling tired after a full day of travel, our children all embraced this rare opportunity and even used it to bless the others by giving away some of our food, dessert (the long bamboo sticks filled with sweet rice and beans as well as giving one of their books to their new little friend).   
We were really proud of them.

Check out the elderly man who seemed like he’d never laid eyes on skin like Spencer’s soft, white baby skin before... he was totally fascinated!





Our picnic dinner... indescribable! 


Here's some more pictures from the day:
First stop breakfast- the kids are still in their pajamas! 
And our first experience of feeling slightly cold!


About to cross the border...
Tobi looking SO excited to be doing the border crossing...not!  Little did he know that the officials would all want to take his photo LOL and give the kids strawberries!


A good chance for Jess to speak Thai.




Making new friends!


Well, until the next blog .... sa-wat dee ka!

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