Having just written out a whole couple of pages worth of text to have the iPad delete it all, I don't know how much I want to write it all out again now.. But I will try my best to remember what I put before..
We were not sure what to make of Mae Sot but our dislikes of this place became sure when we went to the bus station in the morning, and no one could speak any English (as much our fault as theirs) but not only this but all of the city names that the orphanage had told us to quote did not get us anywhere... Well, not anywhere we wanted to be.. Ban tha song yang we said over and over.. Eventually they put us on a truck, and we anxiously thought about which direction we could be headed.. All the driver did when we asked about where we were going was nod.. This mildly settled our nerves.. We began to believe we headed in the right direction and were here.. But no. No one had heard of the safe haven orphanage, or Mae Tao, we said, this Ban Tha Song Yang? No, this was Mae Tan.. We asked for ban tha song yang.. He took us to a nearby house from which a French boy appeared and after a chat showed the driver where we wished to go on a map.. Now we were getting further and further into the Thai-Myanmar border jungle, and further out of our comfort zones.. We were about to crack, give up and turn back and call it a day.. But as we were about to.. It was suddenly there.. An old man had pressed the bell for us, pointed us in the right direction and off we went down the track to the orphanage.
We were not greeted for a while so, we cautiously ambled around the property.. A few dogs, chicken and young children were to be seen but no one expecting us.. We finally found the owner Thanasees, who had been running this place for 24 years.. We were glad to see a friendly face.. We were given the grand tour and shown to our room, a mattress on the floor with a net round it.. Perfect. The children then came home, all with big grins on their face as they nodded their heads to us saying sawatdee ka, we did the same back and went to talk to Thanasees about what we would be up to.. She said for this evening nothing.. Just rest.. We asked about tomorrow etc and we got no answer.. The correspondent we had been in touch with was not there..
We went to our room and watched a few episodes of breaking bad and how I met your mother, and then some more... Then slept.. And we're woken being called for dinner.. Expecting the canteen full of hungry children we found that it had been exclusively set up for us, and we were the only ones cooking.. Not what we expected or wanted! We asked to help but our offers were rejected.. It appeared that they wanted us there for the donation and not for any help.. They had no projects and nothing to do.. We weren't allowed to help cook, clean, read to the kids or teach them anything.. We wondered, what are we doing here?
We went to bed.. We were joined in the room by a multitude of bugs and nasties.. One to speak of was a lovely little scorpion, just chilling by the light switch.. Woken in the morning by the singing of 60 children at 6 am. This continued until 10am. We walked past a few times but were not invited to join.. Breakfast time.. Maybe today would be different? Things to do? No.
We ate alone, we had a chicken, a dog and two kittens join us but no others. The eldest orphan niko(20) had a quick talk with us.. after asking agaib what we can do and the answer being, well there is nothing today, it is rest today. We decided this was not for us, we wanted to help, not be waited on by 10 year olds...
The next day we left.. Still with nothing to do.. It was for the best.. Soon we were on an over night to Bangkok and headed to ayutthaya the old capital of Thailand.. Much, much happier to have that experience behind us..
We felt saddened by this experience having looked forward to it, and the idea of being able to help.. At least we gave it a good go.. Anyway, onto better things and the rest of our trip!