As I sat in the taxi with tears in my eyes I reflected on what this move meant to the family and how much they meant to me.
Saturday 1st September 2012, by Samantha, a Life Raft advocate in Thailand.
As I sat in the taxi with tears in my eyes I reflected on what this move meant to the family and how much they meant to me. We were all very happy, although we were probably more nervously excited at what lay ahead from this day on. There were 5 of us in a taxi on our way to a new home and the promise of a new life; Mum, daughter, 2 family friends who had helped with the moving and me.
It was just past 9 in the morning and Bangkok traffic was fortunately on our side. Moving to the opposite side of the city wasn’t taking as long as I had expected, so our 7 a.m. start had paid off and the family had the rest of the day to get unpacked and settled into their new home.
So, how did we get to this moment? It all happened quickly, as a result of the youngest daughter getting a place at an English-speaking international school. When I first met the family a little over a year ago, the 12-year-old daughter was very limited in her reading, writing and understanding of English. The family has been in Thailand for 3 years and this was the girl's first chance to get educated.
The journey to school took 1½ hours and two buses each way from where the family lived. For reasons of their personal safety, this situation was far from ideal, but the opportunity to study was felt to be worth the risk.
Her 19-year-old sister would go with her and wait until the school day ended. Without much to do but wait, she took it upon herself to search the local area and find suitable accommodation for them all. Eventually she found a place.
While I was desperately trying not to get my hopes up for them, my stomach was secretly doing somersaults. But the moment I saw it I was instantly reassured! There were 3 rooms with a separate kitchen, bathroom and big windows that could be opened to let in a breeze and an outstanding view. There was so much space and at last each member of this family could have privacy.
After 3 years of living in one room, finding this place was life-changing. I felt so in awe of this young girl who had defiantly spent so much time finding the right place for her family. ‘Moving Day’ was momentous. This was a day they were in control and there was no fear.