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Jan 17, 2006 - Last Days in Bangkok, Thailand

Reported by JoMar All rights reserved.

... Since our last entry about Bangkok, we have,traveled to Phuket and its surrounding islands over the Christmas holidays. While we were in Phuket, our month long Thai tourist visa would run out, so we had to make a "visa run" to the border of Myanmar, formerly called Burma. That took all day, and into the evening, but was beautiful scenery.  We witnessed a burial at sea (!) and got yet another country under our belt.

We are now in Bangkok once again, (3rd time here!)  We decided to not do anymore island travel in Thailand -- we are just a little beached/sunned-out, so we asked if we could come back to Bangkok and stay with Kim for 2 weeks and just veg, shop, rest.

On the 5th of January, we traveled 12 hours from Phuket -- amazingly the buses here in Thailand are very roomy and very comfortable, and they serve snacks and drinks too, all for just under $20 each !

Arriving into Bangkok at Kim's, we were welcomed with "I have bad news and good news"... oh, oh ?

She was having some company from London and Melbourne and we would be staying with Helen, just across the way. That wasn't bad news at all.   We have now been here for almost these two weeks, and Helen's made us very much at home.

Thanks Helen baby!

How lucky we are, staying in a 3 bedroom townhouse, surrounded by manicured lawns, palm trees and fresh orchids everywhere, not to mention a great Olympic sized pool.

We also celebrated Ali's birthday; Kim planned a surprise for him and we decorated his home, where he lives with very close friends O. Isman and Alibaba! There were balloons, little ferrie lights, happy birthday signs, cake with never ending candle flames (!), great food that O prepared yet again for us all.  It was a great party !

In the time we have been here, Kim found me a local directory with volunteer work.  I choose one that is for orphaned children with either physical/mental disabilities or both, like MS or CP.

The orphanage is called Bann Fuang Faa and is only about a 25 minute taxi ride. I met with the supervisor, Ruth Botwick and we arranged for me to help out with the children who are severely handicapped aged  0 - 5 years.

The orphanage was extremely well run, clean, and these children who are family-less and can barely feed themselves were just full of smiles for me as I entered for the first time and widened my eyes. There are over 500 children here and the staff work so very hard to give these unfortunate children a better life.

I have photo's of their precious smiles, but cannot put them on the website, as per their request... 
I also went over to a unit called CCC, where the children are older and less handicapped.  The supervisor there, Suda, was amazing and made me feel so very welcome. Thank you Suda. (I wish I could have helped you more with the computer problems)

These children were fantastic, we played, ran, I taught them "ring around the rosie" song and they just loved it; and so did I. Suda included me at their table for lunch, which was a pleasant surprise, and delicious.

I was not able to attend the orphanage yesterday, as I was not feeling well at all, but will return tomorrow and Wednesday. I just worry about the last day there, I have connected with one little boy who is about 2.  His name is Reeo and he is just incredible. I love him already, and he is up for adoption :-0

He will never walk, he has cerebral palsy but his brain and everything else is keen. He sees me coming in and he pulls himself right over the other kids who are on the floor playing, like a bull-dozer and makes his way over to me! ah...  They want us to take him home to Canada.

What else can I tell you ?

As you know we decided to meet Kim in Koh Samui for New Years. It was quite the venture, was way further than I realized, but in the end we had fun on the beach for the incoming New Year! 
 
On the way there, we met a guy from the United States, Kevin Bogart!! (Hey Kev!)  He was tons of fun, and we ended up sharing a room with Kevin and bringing in the New Year on the beach with him as well as Kim, her friend Sherie (hope I spelled that right ), John and me, of course!  There were fireworks, huge lanterns that went up into the sky, hundreds of them, it was beautiful.

We only stayed for 2 nights and then went back to Phuket for 2 nights, packed up our little apartment :-( and said "so long" to our boys at The Blue Dolphin and got on that 12 hour bus back to Bangkok.

During our stay in Phuket, the first weekend, Kim and Ali joined us and we did a day trip to Phi Phi Island, Khai Island and Maya Bay, visiting caves, swimming, snorkeling with the most colourful fish eating bread from your hands! These islands is where the movie "The Beach" was filmed... Spectacular! There was also an island called Monkey Island, and yes, there were monkeys everywhere! ( As you can see, I could go on and on, but ...

It's been great, we just cannot believe that we are now in our 9th month away from home. Yes, I have been homesick, but this has been an experience that has enriched our lives and our relationship ten-fold, and just cannot believe, we are on our last leg of our life long dream.

We leave Bangkok this Friday, the 20th of January and fly to Kuala Lumpur and Melaka in Malaysia for one week; then we venture to Singapore to celebrate Chinese New Year and meet up with Dawn and her mom that we met in Vienna -- we can't wait for that!

Not sure where we will be from the 01st to 08th of February -- perhaps Borneo or Indonesia.

On the 09th we fly to Brisbane, Australia and tour for 5 weeks. Then, on 11th of March we depart for New Zealand and tour around there for a month.... then Tahiti for a week or so...

THEN ...

...fly to Los Angeles, meet up with Sarah and Deen, do Disneyland and visit Stephen in the Laurel Canyon, do a road trip to Palm Springs to see the one and only Allen !!!! (and his precious MOM!)

THEN, home.

HOME.

HOME sweet HOME.

Kids.

Sprouthouse.

Cannot wait!!

Marc and John xo

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