A personal account from Kim-Maree Sherer
I had heard a lot about ITDP and the work they do in Thailand, but to be in Krae Maw Kee village and work alongside ITDP was an incredible experience that I won’t forget.
I was fortunate to be a part of a team of 7 New Zealanders who had the opportunity to go to Krae Maw Kee village and to construct a water tank, dig out and concrete a path right around school (so the bathrooms can be accessed in the rainy season without walking through the muddy dirt), and build additional village toilets with ITDP. Most of our work was based around the school. You would look up and see little peering eyes out the school walls watching you work, or hear the sweet tunes being sung by wee voices which always put joy in my heart.
It didn’t take me long to fall in love with the place and the people. Krae Maw Kee was no longer photos in a presentation or words on a page. Krae Maw Kee had faces and names, and people who became my friends. To experience everyday life in this place – sleeping on the floor in huts, using squat toilets, washing yourself with cool water from a bucket as your shower, having limited power and no cell-phone reception – was a life I embraced and loved! This place and the people stole my heart in an instant.
To be a part of a team who are improving these people’s lives was an incredible, challenging and emotional journey. Though there were language differences – smiles, laughs, gestures and broken English went a long way. It didn’t take long to create a real community feel. Krae Maw Kee accepted us into their village with love and care. A community working together during the day on the different projects, carrying buckets of cement, shovelling buckets of dirt and sand together and in the evenings playing card-games, drawing pictures with the children, teaching each other language or just sitting together enjoying each other’s presence.
To serve the people of Krae Maw Kee was a privilege and one I won’t forget. To work alongside ITDP and see the amazing work they do to bring the Hill Tribes hope is a precious memory that excites me to share with others. Now that I have seen, I am responsible. Though I live across a distant sea, I carry Krae Maw Kee and the people with me. I will tell the world, I will tell them where I’ve been.
– Kim-Maree Sherer