Most of the day today was taken up by the long, hot journey to Sangkhlaburi, a small town in the hills of Thailand. On the way, we stopped off at the Hellfire Pass Museum, and learnt about the significance of Thailand and Burma in WW2. It was quite interesting, as it was an aspect of history I had no idea about.
The journey was a bit mad in places; the bus was old and practically stopped whilst going up to long hills to the town! It is well worth the trip though. It is a small town filled with generations of refugees that fled from Burma in the 1990s due to political tension. Our hotel is right in the middle of it all, with coffee shops, internet cafe (where I am right now) and a 7/11 all within walking distance. The town is quite conservative to say the least, so the dress code for the girls is quite strict. Cover shoulders at all times and knees too if working with children. In the evening you can expose your shoulders if you cover your knees.
When we arrived, we met with Joe, who is the manager of the volunteering program here in the area. He is British and has been living here for 14 months working on various projects. He seems very organised and really knows what he is doing by the looks of it. He gave us his mobile number and said that it was a 24 hour line for us to use, even if the problem seems insignificant.
The hotel is a bit basic, but is had air conditioning and a locked wardrobe for valuables. In all honestly, it is probably better living conditions than most of the houses in the area.
Tomorrow is a temple day- we will visit another Buddhist temple and get welcomed to the village by a monk. I think we will then have a chance to go swimming in a lake nearby. Due to the town being near the jungle, TONNES of deet is needed all over, even at night. This is the area that is a high risk malaria zone.
On Monday we begin project work for 5 days, which on the community option (which I am on), could be things such as plastering a wall to teaching a class of little ones. I think we get more information on that tomorrow.
Tuesday is the Buddhist new year, where the massive water fights take place throughout the country, which should be amazing to watch and take part in!
I hope you are all okay. I will have a busy few days so don’t be worried if it takes me a while to update.
All my love