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Beginning of a War

I have been staying around my street ever since last Thursday, when the vicious fight started between the military and uati-government grou.

. Some shops are open, but fewer compared to the normal time.
Last night, I went out to get dinner around 8 PM. There was only one phad thai (Thai fried noodle) stand open! Even phad thai was nearly sold out.
Usually, shops are open at least until 9 PM, some after 10 or 11.
I felt that maybe, in general, war or conflict  would begin like this.
One day, you see one shop closed, and next day, another couple of them disappears. After some more days, there are no shops to buy anything from.
I think that any war would not begin with a clear announcement. It must be a gradual process. And this series of incidents in Thailand allowed me to think of it.
In addition, I was thinking of the status of refugees.
Now that it is not safe to travel around in Bangkok, I cannot do any physical work for ARC, as it would risk volunteer’s, children’s and my own life.
But the most difficult part is that we cannot plan anything ahead, and this is terrible.
We live today because we think of tomorrow. What if we cannot see tomorrow at all, that tomorrow is out of our control? You may think that is’s over-statement, but this is how I felt this week.

I heard that many refugees stay in a camp for years, sometimes lifelong, waiting andd waiting.
It must be such a demotivating and sinking feeling.
Needless to say, my experience here is uncomparable to that of war survivers or refugees, but at least I learned something from being shut up at home for a week.

Three “Kamishibais” Have Arrived!

Today, I received a big box from Japan,
including three kamishibais in Thai language.
“Kamishibai” is a form of picture book, designed for a person to read a story
for many children at once.
In one set of kamishibai, there are many pieces of big and thick paper,
which has picture on one side, and letters on the other side.
So the story-tellers can show the picture to the audience,
reading the story part written behind.
You can imagine it like a slide-show which is done completely manually.

The three stories were like folk tales in Thailand and has lots of animals.
My friend, who used to work in the refugee camp
near the Burmese border in Thailand has donated them to ARC.
I can imagine the excited children
staring at the big pictures and stories behind.
They will be great assets for our caravan,
and I can’t wait to go out in villages with them.