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  1. #1
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    Ranong visa run to Myanmar???

    Heads up to anyone who does a visa-run to Kawthaung (Victory Point) from Ranong. Before you get on the ferry, pop into the 7/11 near to the
    immigration office and buy some small toys, crayons, colouring books etc.

    When you get to Kawthaung and have got your passport stamped, make this 10 minute diversion before you get back on the ferry. Turn left out of the immigration office and follow the small road that skirts the sea. After about 300 metres you'll see a small Chinese temple on your left and just after that is some sort of memorial to a marine god.

    Right by that memorial you should find a small girl (about 9 years old) and her mother. They are destitute, (which is actually unusual in
    Kawthaung - I have walked many times throughout the town and these are the only people that appear destitute, apart from one mad guy who lives in a rubbish bin...)

    The girl and her mother are not undernourished, (presumably they receive food from the monks). But their whole waking life is spent in the shadow
    of this memorial, doing absolutely nothing but staring out to sea.

    Last week I bought the girl a doll and some new clothes. She is quite chirpy and her mother seems sane - no sign of any drugs or drink. I don't
    advise giving them money - that's not a solution to the problem.

    I'm not sure of the circumstances for their predicament, but the head teacher of the primary schools in the town is a friend of mine, so I'll
    see if it's possible to get her into school. There are also ways for her mother to create a regular income, (which does not involve throwing money
    at her or selling her daughter in the brothels). I'm working on this.

    FYI - in my thread in the Construction forum, I explain my regular trips to Myanmar to research building a small hotel. One outcome of those trips is the founding of a 'social enterprise' called MyanmarTeachers.org, where I am trying to help the local community in my own small way.

    Voluntary teaching of English and Thai in the local schools costs me little, but the funding of equipments for the schools and the local hospital (which - to put it frankly - has totally fcuk all in the way of medicines and equipments) - is all way beyond my bank overdraft facility.

    Anyway, here is a photo of that little girl doing a Burmese version of the 2 finger V sign...



    Simon
    Groping women when you're old is fine - everyone thinks you're senile

  2. #2
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon43
    these are the only people that appear destitute, apart from one mad guy who lives in a rubbish bin
    I was wondering where Smeg was living now

  3. #3
    Mid
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    Kidos Simon ,

    The future is not ours to know, and it may never be, so let us live and give our best and give it lavishly!

    Irish Saying

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat
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    I was back over in Kawthaung a few days ago and took some crayons and colouring books for this girl.

    Using a highly experienced translator (local motorbike taxi guy), I learnt that her mother was working in Thailand, but somehow ended up in prison (not difficult if you're Burmese in LoS). She was deported back to Myanmar with her young daughter and has remained in Kawthaung since then, (which was apparently several years ago). She receives no food from the monks but locals do give her a little money. She originally comes from Dawei, further north.

    Not sure what more can be done right now. I am trying to sort out the logistics of volunteer teaching at the local school in Kawthaung, whilst learning conversational Burmese and helping my wife run our little hotels. The plan is that I'll teach on weekdays for a few months in a Ranong school whilst learning Burmese in the evenings courtesy of the local Burmese prostitutes - then return to Phuket each weekend. (I can manage my hotel responsibilities online). Then I'll move over to Kawthaung and go from there maybe later in the year.

    Winning the lottery would also help somewhat, but my lucky number (00000) never seems to come up

    Simon

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