Harp and Story

Dok Mai

Dok Mai, which means beautiful flower, is ready for school
Dok Mai, which means beautiful flower, is ready for school

Dok Mai

Shabbat afternoon I was sitting on my front porch veranda enjoying the quiet, (I think most of the kids had slipped off to the village), and trying not to do one more thing than was necessary, (the day was very hot and sweat rolls down ones forehead and stings the eyes if too much exertion is required, not to mention the stickiness of skin and clothes to skin – anyway, you probably get the picture!) when precocious 4 year old DokMai comes to visit.  “Hi Teacha,” she shyly calls from behind the porch railing.  “You want to come up?” I ask.  Eagerly she nods her head, “well, come up then.”  In an instant the shoes are off and she is on the porch veranda cuddled up next to me.  In only a few moments she moves away with, “it’s hot,” as she fans her face with her hand.  We end up spending the afternoon looking at pictures on my computer – all the ones I had of Bamboo School from previous years and with still an appetite for more I begin showing her pictures of my family.  She giggles and laughs and asks me questions, some pictures she wants to look at several times, especially the ones of my grandchildren, quickly she learns their names and can identify them as she sees them come up in the slide show.  One particular picture she has me go back to several times; it is of Dylan, my 8 year old grandson.  I think Dylan might have been 5 in this picture.  We were at cousin Lonnie’s house for the Rees Family Thanksgiving reunion and Dylan is riding a miniature version of a John Deere tractor with front loader and trailer.  After studying the picture intently for several seconds she announces to me in all seriousness, “I want to go there!”

Tears came to my eyes as I hugged her for she is a beautiful, inquisitive, intelligent (she already speaks 3 languages fluently), child without a country.  She is from a tribal group of people that are constantly living in some level of fear for their lives; pushed from their native country of Burma, most now live as refugees along the Thai border.  DokMai was only 400 grams when she was born, abandoned by her mother, she was given to Momo Cat of Bamboo School when she was just a few weeks old.  There have been many in DokMai’s short life that would have eagerly and most willingly adopted her and taken her to live in some well-developed country, but she has no papers with which to legally leave the country or to be legally adopted, so she stays at Bamboo School as one of Momo Cat’s kids and all the rest of us are her adopted auntie’s and uncles.  I guess that will have to do!

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