For my 40th I had a big birthday bash, we were in Congo then, and two ambassadors and a brass band took part! Hitting 60 I wanted “something special” to celebrate. However, since we are just back from four weeks in a refugee camp on the Burma/Thailand border, a straight-out party seems wrong somehow…

So, we held Tim’s Big 60 Rambo * Feast: There was loads of yummy Karen-style food (not too spicy), photos, videos (though not of Sylvester) and stories from the Mae La Refugee Camp and an (Internally Displaced Person) IDP village. People brought generous cash presents – not for me – but for Bethel Baptist Church in the Karen IDP village, to help their school. It’s for children chased from their homes by the Myanmar army.

The existing Boy’s dorm

The party went pretty well, people all seemed to enjoy Nathan and Tommy’s Karen-style food (it does help having professional chefs – thank you guys!). We raised over $2000 on the night which with some late arrivals is now up to about $2,500. The money has gone towards the $4,000 needed to put the roof for the boys dormitory at the school for IDP children in the village that exists on rented land in Thailand . The location means it is safe from the Myanmar Government army, and (since it is right on the border) accessible to the children of IDPs in Burma and people in the refugee camps.

However, the location also means that it gets no official support. It exists on what the village can supply together with help from a couple of charities. The Body Shop (Children on the Edge) provides rice for everyday, veges twice a week, fish paste or beans also twice a week, and meat about once a month. At least that was the case when we were there, rising food prices may have shrunk what they can buy 😦 Another group was helping with permanent buildings.

Work starting on the new dorm

They have pulled back (at least at present) leaving the school with an urgent need to replace the roof on the girls dormitory. The leaf roofs only last two years and this one is overdue for replacement. The rains have started – remember the cyclone that passed through Burma?

The church needs about NZ$4,000 to finish the roof. We have collected NZ$2,500… If anyone who hasn’t contributed would like to please transfer the money to:

Partners Relief and Development at Westpac Bank (Upper Hutt branch) 03 0774 0598181 000 and label the gift “Phopra Dorm”.

Canadians wishing to obtain a receipt for tax purposes should make donations at the Partners Canada website.

Americans wishing to obtain a receipt for tax purposes should make donations at the Partners USA website.

Norwegians can find the information needed to make donations in Norway at:

Australians can find the information needed to make donations in Australia at:

UK Residents can find the information needed to make donations in the UK at:

PS: I promise this blog will not become a series of requests for money – but this need is urgent, and if you have been reading the posts you probably understand why I’d really love to help get this done 🙂

We still have lots more video and photos to post, and I still have not written anything like all the reflection pieces I hope to about our experiences!

* while I was in the Karen refugee camp and IDP village, people in NZ were watching the Rambo film where he rescues Karen IDPs. So be like Rambo! Help the IDPs! [RETURN]


11 responses to “Party

  1. Pingback: 60 this year « Teaching OT in faraway places

  2. Pingback: Cute kid « Teaching OT in faraway places

  3. Pingback: Party « Teaching OT in faraway places

  4. Pingback: The results of the party « Teaching OT in faraway places

  5. I met a Dutch girl in Mae Sot about 2 months ago, who was teaching in one of the refugee camps in the area. Unfortunately I didn’t get to talk to her very long as she was catching a night bus to Bangkok. She suggested to do some teaching too as they were in need of teachers. And the thought has been wandering in the back of my mind since I returned. I won’t be able to teach any time soon or very long when I do, but I do wonder where I find more information on how everything works as I am considering to do this for 2 or 3 months sometime within the next 3 years or so. Any suggestions? : )

  6. Good day, I was looking to teach English in this refugee camp as I am interested working with Burmese refugees. Perhaps you can point me in the right direction? My email is

  7. Hello
    I have just finished reading this post and your time spent in this refugee camp sounds very rewarding. I am interested in working with Burmese refugees as well, either teaching or doing any sort of physical work in the camps. Would you be able to point me in the right direction of who i can ask about doing this?
    If you could email me a response at i would be very grateful

    Many thanks


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