We started the day at the border market on what we thought would be the quietest day of trip! Whilst we did enjoy the market very much, we'd heard about the children living under the bridge but seeing them brought home the harsh reality of their lives. We're happy to know they receive some support and care from another group operating out of Mae Sot.
Back in town we had lunch at Bai Fern, which was delicious, though we should have allowed a bit more time. It's worth mentioning that two of the best handicraft shops that we've come across, WEAVE and Borderline are closed on Sundays. Or at least they were today! :)
The afternoon was spent visiting an orphanage for toddlers and babies and a home for women and children living with HIV. There's always a great need for volunteers in these places (so much so that one of us was 'carried away' within minutes of arriving by a group of 3 year olds heading to the nearest open parkland to blow bubbles!), that if you're interested in knowing how you can volunteer and/or help otherwise, just let us know.
We shared dinner tonight with 48 teachers and 200 students aged between 4-18 at a boarding house and learning center for refugees and immigrants. Two groups of students performed an hour of traditional Karen dancing, which they had been practicing for the past two months. Their obvious pride in their culture brought tears to our eyes and we felt very priviledged to witness their passion and energy.