Tsunami relief success assisting orphaned children in Ranong, Thailand
July 30 , 2005
by Stephen Kirwin
A quick update on the continuation of the KIRF orphan support in Ranong ,Thailand.
I arrived here a few days ago to the heaviest rain that I have ever seen...big monsoons with strong winds. My mission here was to go out and collect data from the children orphaned by the tsunami. Sounds easy enough but with the change in the weather and having only a motorbike to get along with it was going to be a rough go at collecting all the info. I decided not to rent a bike as the rain was just too much to handle....I decided to try my luck at the public bus.
As usual the bus was filled with characters and all of their animals with blasting karaoke videos to boot. There was a man sitting next to me who inquired what I was doing in this remote part of Thailand. I told him about the orphan project and my lack of transportation and he was immediately on the phone arranging a ride for me and my translator Ja...He turned out to be the chief of police. I was picked up in the rain by a squad car who escorted us to the first school. Here I met their English teacher who spoke very good English - a blessing indeed! She arranged me to go along with the superintendent of the schools to all the locations we needed to go to gather the necessary info continue the work on the orphans educational trusts.
I was greeted at all the schools by happiness and relief that help was coming...the kids all lined up and waied to meet (a traditional greeting with hands together in front of the face- a huge sign of respect) When the children were filling out the bio sheets of their info some were crying. I asked in my broken Thai what was wrong and they said nothing wrong but they were just so happy that they might have a chance at a better life...very moving indeed. After gathering all the info the kids lined up and all gave me huge hugs and smiles. There is so much good in this world...my eyes filled with tears also!
I managed to collect data on 43 kids, this info will go back to my brother in California who will in turn make several presentations to help raise money for the education of the children! All is good here! Thank you all for your interest and for reading this email.... I will let you know how it continues to develop!
KIRF Field Representative SE Asia.