Thursday, 27 April 2017

Ko Dut

Events of Monday 24th April 2017

Helpers from Ko Dut Drop In Centre arrived at our accommodation fairly early and, after preparing breakfast for the Doctor, the Doctor's mother and the writer, they lifted the large sacks of materials for the Distribution to Children from upstairs in the house to a waiting pick-up.

Around Ko Dut: Helpers from Ko Dut Drop In Centre moving the large sacks of materials for the Distribution to Children from upstairs in the house to a waiting pick-up.

With Ko Dut Drop In Centre temporarily unavailable, the monastery had agreed that the Assembly Hall there could be used for the distribution, so we arrived to find around 300 excited but surprisingly quiet young people sitting on the floor of the hall.

Distribution at Ko Dut Monastery.

Soon, a senior monk arrived, deputising for the abbott who had been called away. The senior monk sat facing the children together with a second monk. A simple portable amplification system with a radio microphone was set up.

The Senior Monk at Ko Dut Monastery addresses the children.

After a brief exhortation by the Senior Monk, Doctor Hla Tun explained about the new donated school uniforms, school bags and stationery which was about to be distributed. The senior monk then suggested that I addressed the children. First, I would say a few sentences in English. Then I passed the microphone to Dr. Hla Tun who translated into standard Myanmar language. Then the microphone passed to one of the helpers, a fluent Mon speaker, to translate into the Mon language, as not all the children understood the standard Myanmar language. Then the microphone was returned to me, to say a little more.

The helpers from the Drop In Centre had prepared the donations by placing everything else in the new school bag so, as each child was called up, a helper passed the appropriate bag to me, and I presented it to the young scholar.

Distribution at Ko Dut Monastery.

Each child was then asked to put on the new uniform, with helpers giving assistance to the younger children, as necessary.

The work of presentation was not quite over. Each child then received a snack and soft drink which Jan assisted the helpers in distributing by moving among the seated children.

Snack and soft drink being given to children in their new uniforms.

Wearing their new uniforms, the students moved outside the assembly hall and sat in rows under a covered walkway for the 'group shot'. This took a few minutes as there were lots of cameras waiting to record the event. Someone then suggested that re-positioning everyone on nearby concrete steps would give a good effect, so all the children moved across and more pictures were taken.

Distribution at Ko Dut Monastery: The 'group shot'.

Doctor Hla Tun explained to me that the pupils we'd just seen came from seven schools in the area:-
Ko Dut Mon Ethnic School
Ko Dut Government Primary School
Ko Dut Government High School
Kot Cha Mon Ethnic School
Kot Cha Government School
Fel Gu School
Ku To Seik Mon Ethnic School.
We then drove to our final distribution of the day at the small Drop In Centre at Mot Ka Nin which I'd visited before. We were given the usual cordial greeting and all passed off smoothly.

Mok Ka Nin Drop In Centre.

Back in our car, we travelled back through La Mine to Ku To Seik Mon Ethnic School where various donations have been made in the past to assist in building completion. This was closed for the holidays but one of the teachers showed us around so that we could see the progress on the building.

Ku To Seik Mon Ethnic School.

I think I first visited Ku To Seik Mon Ethnic School in 2014 (as described here) and I returned in 2015 (as described here. This time, after inspecting the buildings, we didn't visit the nearby fishing village but instead returned to our accommodation in Ko Dut. I was relieved that the persistent drumbeat was not being played but the combination of heat, hard bed and my own joint pains meant that I still didn't get a very good night's sleep. During the night, there was a noisy thunderstorm then, after a delay, heavy, tropical rain for a while. By morning, there were only damp patches on the ground witnessing the earlier downpour.

Related Posts on this Website

Next post describing this trip.
All 2017 Trip posts.

My Pictures

Where necessary, clicking on an image above will display an 'uncropped' view or, alternately, pictures from may be selected, viewed or downloaded, in various sizes, from the albums listed:-
Around Ko Dut.
Distribution at Ko Dut Monastery.
Mot Ka Nin Drop In Centre.

All my albums for Burma 2017.

[Photos added to text and minor changes: 16-Jul-2017]