Third Christmas party: Mae La refugee camp.
It was pretty similar to the last party Partners hosted, with the notable difference of more staff being there. We had Partners staff from Chiang Mai come down and most of the Mae Sot staff come together to have a dinner the night before and go together to Mae La.
There was a lot of singing. This group sang “Silver Bells” with a really beautiful Asian accent. I also enjoyed “Give thanks with a grateful heart…”, which just really makes you think when its coming from a group of orphaned children living in a refugee camp.
Partners proudly presented the nativity story as a bilingual skit. Stephen & I landed the roles of Joseph & Mary, complete with a plastic baby to be born out the side of my tunic.
Small world moment of the day? When I traveled to Thailand in 2006, a small group of us went into Mae La one day–the one day that changed nearly every day following it–and visited one of Partners dorms. Kris Allen, who went on to win American Idol Season 8, was a member of my team and left his guitar with the kids. It is still one of the hostels Partners supports, and we had the Christmas party there; we found that they’re still using the guitar and singing loudly!