Veg Voyages Visits the Andaman Coast
Folks from Veg Voyages recently visited Southern Thailand with a group of 30 vegan tourists on a vegetarian food tour. Part of their trip included a visit to some of Andaman Discoveries projects. After their adventures at the Vegetarian Festival and Jungle Tree Houses, their next stop was the island of Koh Prathong and the Burmese Learning Center. Both the kids and tourists were full of anticipation.
The 5-minute walk from the pier to the school led through a muddy road with some deep puddles accumulated from the constant torrential downpours typical for this time of year. Upon their arrival, the School Director T-Saw welcomed the tourists.
The kids were all in their tiny classrooms, some without a teacher. As the main purpose of the visit was to help with the preparation of the kids’ lunch, some of the Veg Voyagers went straight to work in the makeshift kitchen/dining room, helped by the Burmese ladies.A chopping and peeling frenzy ensued and soon the appetising aroma of the garlic and spices was wafting through the air.
Meanwhile, the rest of the group had spread out into the rooms and the excited voices of the kids could be heard singing songs and clapping hands. In one of the rooms a young man was playing hangman with the kids, who were eager to impress him with their knowledge of the English words and spelling. In another, someone else was showing the kids some magic tricks. To everyone’s amazement, when she started singing the song “If you are happy and you know it,“ the kids joined in straight away singing the words they already knew!
Soon enough the food was ready and the visitors helped to dish it all out and serve the kids, who were all lined up and separated according to their age group. After orderly lining and washing their hands one by one the kids took their seats. After saying a prayer in their
Burmese mother tongue, the eating started! When everyone was done with eating, the kids were nicely surprised to find out that there were some wonderful gifts prepared for them. Their visitors had brought wond
erful goodies, such as little backpacks, pencils, kits with toothpaste and flip-flops. The kids were full of excitement and were smiling and posing for pictures.
The Veg Voyagers were all gathered to hear what Karen from AD had to tell them about the Learning Center, and to answer their questions regarding the funding and upkeep of the school. Some of the group made donations and enquired about setting up direct debit as they were touched by the plight of the little Burmese kids. After some emotional and heartfelt hugs and goodbyes, we were all on our way back to Kuraburi.