The Border

by jeannabauer

A week in Mae Sot, Tak Province.

The delirious, hazy start. Bedridden with a bug in my body & many in my bed. A shared toilet a flight of stairs away.

Looking out on the daily happenings of a dusty street as three young women learned how to sew. Truck-bed rides, pink sunsets & factory bells. Homemade meals & quiet, dark nights.

Markets filled with thanaka painted faces, colorful longyis, foods & languages of Burma. Bicycles for one – with two (sometimes three). Crowded open air restaurants.

Visits to places I’ve heard the stories of for years. Mae Sot, Mae La Camp & Mae Tao Clinic. “I’m really here” moments. Multi-emotion tears, big smiles & rocky pathways.

Exchanging stories with teenage students & mastering a few more Karen phrases. Quiet guitar & loud singing. An elephant show & plenty of ice cream too.