Sometimes I overestimate the capacity we have, and it leads to a few busy, chaotic days as Stephen graciously helps us pull it off and make ends meet.
Other times, I truly and completely overestimate our capacity, and it leads to a few weeks of exhaustion and a night or two of not going to bed until 2 or 3 in the morning. Because Stephen is one of the most patient people I know, he is still gracious and helps pull it all together. This includes going to sleep on the futon at 2:30am because I’m still packing and have clothes strewn across our bed. That was this past two weeks for us.
But amidst the over-zealous to-do list, there were some great notables. The first being the kids’ first day of school!
(Are you hearing “First day of school! First day of school!” in Nemo’s voice? Me, too.)
The kids are divided between three schools around us, mostly depending on the parent’s value of education and willingness to pay between $3 and $20 per term.
It’s so fun to have school start back. Since our house is the house to be in the neighborhood, we are a bit relieved when the school bus starts pulling around. Kids can get pretty destructive and crazy in the hours of summer, and this summer’s heat wave didn’t help the insanity.
(On the note of the heat wave, I know we keep mentioning this. The rain has now started, and we officially survived. But I want to note that there usually about five consecutive days over 105 degrees Fahrenheit. This year, there were fifty. FIFTY CONSECUTIVE DAYS of what I can only fathom to be hell-like heat. We were not being overly dramatic. It was horrible. Take a minute and say a prayer of thanks that we survived and that you don’t live here.)
Now, the rains have started, and the kids pile off to school with their lunch pails and umbrellas. For those at Hsa Thoo Lei migrant & the Hua Fai Thai school, they walk to class and often just stop in to tell us hello in the morning as they pass the house, which is adorable.
For those going to Ko Pi Ban migrant school, our house is the unofficial bus stop for the surrounding kilometer or so. It’s so fun to have the kids gathered around in the mornings–both kids we know and kids we are only now meeting–and then hear, “The car is here! The car is here!” and watch everyone pile into the back of a pick-up. It’s a magic show, really: I have no idea how they pile some fifty kids into the car. They just keep coming and squeezing.
On one of the first days of school, there was a kid outside of our gate early in the morning, before any of the other kids had arrived. Stephen welcomed him in and told him he could sit down. The poor little boy looked dumb-founded. Stephen could tell he was scared, so just smiled and came back inside, saying, “Well, there is a new kid outside, and I don’t think he expected me to speak Burmese. I’m also not sure how he knew to come here. Do they just tell the new kids to go to the white people’s house? The poor kid is scared to death.”
One last note: we are really excited to say that the two girls who were unable to go to school last year have started back to school this year! (In the photos above, they are the two girls on the far right.) We are so excited for this opportunity for them, and also really thankful we were able to help them in the gap of this last year. We really hope that giving them English and math practice over the last year and through the summer program will help them to adjust back, despite the absence of a year.