Renewal meant crossing over into Myanmar (erstwhile Burma), spending a while shopping and then crossing back again to get a new stamp in my passport, granting me another month's stay in Thailand.
(Note, the rules have changed again since then!)
A Burmese trader selling fried beans and nuts.
We then travelled on to the Maekok River Village Resort, owned and run by friends of Glynn, Brian and Rosie. This luxurious resort also runs an Outdoor Education Centre where schools go to experience a range of outdoor activities to 'learn new skills, develop the ability to work as a team, to test leadership qualities and ultimately to learn about themselves'.
Their website is http://www.mrvproject.com check it out for yourselves!
Rosie kindly took us on a tour of the facilities. The students' dormitories and recreation rooms are separate from the guest cottages, so there is no disturbance for people wanting to enjoy the resort.
On the way to the resort we passed this procession of happy people on their way to present the money they had collected for their temple.
This week I was also very privileged to attend the ceremony, at the regional education offices, to present the FERC Scholarship Awards, for the second semester, to six rural children. These children would not be attending school at all were it not for these scholarships, as their families are too poor to pay for the uniforms, books and materials. Every one of these students has done well in their studies and they all want to go on to university. They were quite charming and so grateful for the help they have been given. It was very touching! (The photo shows a student thanking Glynn for presenting him with the scholarship money to continue his studies.) If you would like to see what FERC does, please check out http://www.thai-rural-education.org
The students and their teachers, together with the education department officials and Frank, Glynn and me, at the FERC presentation.