The 21st June seen me on my travels to the far east once again, I arrived in Bangkok in the early hours of the morning on the 22nd followed by another flight on to Chiang Mai – north of Thailand.  On arrival to Chiang Mai I was greeted by the Thai Educational Committee who drove me another 2 hrs by 4×4 Landrover deep into the chiang mai jungle, on arrival to the village I was shown to my  accommodation  (a bamboo house) made by the  villagers. I rested the following day followed by 8 full-on days, physical as well as emotional.

The needs I found in this village which is deep in the Northern Jungle was lack of food, i.e. rice, transport for children going to and from school which was an 18 mile round trip. This isn’t an easy task as I found out when I accompanied the Pom family on this journey early one morning!   

One family in particularly the Pom family had nothing but a mud hut to live in and Mrs. Pom would work in the rice fields for 12-14 hours a day.  I actually joined her in the paddy fields (rice fields) very early one morning this was back breaking and very, very hot, working in these conditions.  I was more concerned about the snakes than the heat which eventually got to me after only doing an 8 hour shift in the paddy fields.

After watching mothers with babies strapped to their backs working long tedious hours in these fields, along with their other children walking for hours to and from school with very little food touched my heart, these children never complained but were obviously very tired so to make a difference with a new home, more food, and transport for the less fortunate family seemed the least thing to do.

After consultation with Karen and the board of trustees from Nicole’s trust the board agreed to help this village.

Nicole’s Trust purchased a bamboo house for the Pom family See photo:  the pom family lived in their mud house for many years after Mrs. Pom lost her husband to malaria.

I travelled 3km down river on a raft to purchase rice for the pom family, (see photo) however when I seen the price of the rice I had funds to purchase rice for the whole village for approximately 4 to 6 months, I had this delivered free of charge to the village. We also purchased 3 bikes for the pom family (see photo). This will undoughtly put a smile on the children’s faces, and I am sure they will be giving lots of backers ( lifts ) to and from school on their bikes.

One evening around a camp fire my heart felt this was the most appropriate moment.

Along with my Thai interpreter informing the villager’s what kind of a strong thoughtful young women Nicole was and that without her help they would be struggling through the winter months.  ‘The villagers are very thankful to this young Canadian lady even after her departure from this world’ (their words).

I am really honoured to have contacts within the Thai Education Foundation which has opened up a lot of doors regards to net working.  I will continue with my work in spreading Nicole’s name around Asia to which I know she loved so dearly.

Peter Burns