Huay Malai is a special village, but an individual wouldn’t be able to see that with just a short visit. It takes time to see. To see the endurance and strengthen of the people, to see the beauty, happiness, but also sadness in their lives past and present, to see the beautiful place we live in, to see the wisdom and love in their words and lives.

Huay Malai is located about 30 minutes by car from Sangklaburi.  Sangklaburi is in Kanchanburi province located in SW Thailand. Kanchanburi is not only the name of the province, but also the name of the main city (located about 4 hours from Sangklaburi).  To get into or out of Huay Malai village to Sangklaburi or anywhere else one must travel with some that has a car as it is too far to walk or bike. An individual can take a hired motorbike or  song tao (a truck with an open back on it) , if it is a weekday.  Huay Malai is way up in the mountains. It is SO beautiful, but in order to get to Huay Malai one must travel up through the winding mountains for 4 hours, by car or minibus/bus.

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Huay Malai is located right near the Thai/ Mynamar border (about 15 minutes by car) and thus the people that live in Huay Malai and this area are mostly Karen people, but also Mon, Thai, and Burmese.

It’s hard to say how many people live here, but the village is filled with children. ❤

There is a market only once a week, on Thursday mornings, when people from the village and the surrounding areas come together to sell their goods.   One other stall has food (vegetables, eggs, and meat- so very healthy)  in our village people can get when it’s not market day. Many of the people in the village also love fishing in the nearby rivers and then come sell their fish and/or vegetables from tubs on their heads.

Most of the people live in bamboo houses or traditional Thai houses (as Lindsey – another American volunteer and I live in). There are 6 Thai houses owned by the school here. Lindsey and I live in one of the homes.

In the other houses live 1. Cru Wonpen and her family. Cru (Thai for teacher) Wonpen is from Sisaket, Thailand which is in Isan (the part of Thailand near Laos) and so she can speak and understand Lao.  Her husband , Mon, is also a teacher at a primary school in Ban Mai which is another nearby village.  They have 3 children, O, Annie, and A-fo.  O is also a teacher in Huay Malai, Annie is studying Pharmacy in Bangkok, and A-fo is in 5th grade.  Bell also lives with them who is a cousin. Her parents passed away when she was young, and so they have adopted her. She is in high school in Sangklaburi.

2.  Cru Joy.  Cru Joy is the pastor at the school. He lives with his sister and his sister’s grandson who is 3 years old. There are also 3 nieces/ nephew that live with them.

3.  Pi Mi La is the janitor at the school. He lives with his wife and many children.

4. Cru Komgrit and his daughters and grandchildren, one of the 3rd grade teachers at the school.

5. Mr. Soupha the director of the school and his family.

Our house is made of wood, but pretty open to nature. Since we are very deep into the jungle, our home is filled with geckos, about 5 lizards, mice in rain season, large snails,  and other animals. Every day is an adventure! 10178087_10152473188619120_7276769051917098155_n

This lizard has adopted my bedroom! It finally let me take its picture one day, but usually is too quick!

This lizard has adopted my bedroom! It finally let me take its picture one day, but usually is too quick!

 

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