Mee Nooi

Mee Nooi’s  adventures!

Mee Nooi is a little Thai orphan who is going to be assistant navigator on our trip. Together we will all travel from the UK to Thailand!

Bernie Bear has been a friend to Ms Lucy’s Yr 2 class at Garden International School – Rayong, Thailand for two years. He spends his weekends at the homes of various students and staff who help him keep a diary of his travels. This summer he was worried about getting lonely so he asked to accompany Ms Lucy and her 3 children on their trip to the UK. At our leaving party Bernie Bear was very excited to meet Mee Nooi. Bernie Bear was very excited to hear about Mee Nooi’s adventure and asked her to keep a diary of her travels. ‘Of course’ exclaimed Mee Nooi ‘see you in Thailand!’.

Bye Bye London!

For the first section of her trip Mee Nooi went on a long train yourney all the way across Europe! It was great fun sleeping with Catherine and Liz in their tiny room on the train! They each had a bunk and there was a little basin to wash in. They had to get up many times in the night though as there were many borders to cross and each time they crossed a boarder they had to get their passports checked.

‘This is a picture of Liz in our cabin.. there isn’t much room is there?’

 

The Blue Mosque

Mee Nooi’s first real stop was Istanbul. Istanbul is the capital of Turkey. Turkey is a Muslim country and has many wonderful mosques. Mee Nooi was very excited to visit one of the most famous and beautiful – The Blue Mosque in Istanbul. To go inside she had to cover her head with a scarf as this is a sign of respect.

The Blue Mosque was built by Sultan Ahmed I between 1609 and 1617. He wanted to build it to make Allah (God) happy and to help him win wars .

 

The Fish Farm

Taking a well earned break from all that hard cycling Mee Nooi came across a fish farm!  Mee Nooi was astonished to discover that water from this waterfall is cleverly diverted into a series of smaller pools for the fish to grow in.  The local people used hollowed out tree trunks to channel the water from one pool to the other.  Ensuring the water is constantly moving and fresh is very important to help fish to grow.

 

 

 

 

Bee Keeping

Mee Nooi also saw how the local people make honey.  All along the mountainside there were tiny boxes busily buzzing with bees.  ‘mmm’ said Mee Nooi ‘I love honey, come on Liz and Cath let’s go and get some for lunch!’.

 

Georgia

After A LOT of cycling Mee Nooi, Liz and Cath finally made it into Georgia. The first place they stopped off was a town called Batumi and the first thing they did was go exploring!

‘oOOOoo look at all those funny box’s whizzing all over the place’ said Mee Nooi. ‘Those aren’t boxes Mee Nooi!’ said Liz ‘they are Lada’s. Lada’s were very popular in the USSR and even though Georgia became an independent country in 1991 there are still lots of things that link it to its past’.

 

‘What’s the USSR?’ asked Mee Nooi as she relaxed back on the bonnet of a lovely blue Lada. ‘The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was a whole collection of countries that where all lumped together and were controlled by a very big country, Russia. There were many good things and many bad things about the arrangement but most of the Georgia people felt that they would prefer to run things themselves; so when they got the chance, in 1991, they went solo’.

Christianity

As Liz, Cath and Mee Nooi cycled through the Georgian countryside Mee Nooi was amazed to see how many churches there were all over the place. She remembered that Georgia was a Christian country and that it even had its very own church – The Georgian Orthodox Church.  Cath and Mee Nooi decided to go and visit one of the churches and so they got ready by putting on head scarves; ‘just like going to the Mosque!’ Mee Nooi chirped!

It was clear that the Georgian’s take being Christian very seriously as there was a very big statue of a person holding a cross (a Christian symbol) at the entrance to their major city Tiblisi.  ‘Isn’t it funny how lots of countries pick a religion to wear’ thought Mee Nooi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Azerbaijan

Liz, Cath and Mee Nooi cycled long and hard and soon arrived in a country called Azerbaijan. ‘Salam!’ waved Mee Nooi as she crossed the border, ‘well remembered Mee Nooi’ said Liz proudly, ‘phew it is really going to be hard trying to remember all these different ways of saying hello!’

The first place they stayed in Azerbaijan was a very big, very old, building called a Caravanserai. A Caravanserai is a place where traders used to stop to feed and water their camels when swaying caravans full of silks and spices made their way between Asia and Europe. Mee Nooi could just imagine what it would have been like all those years ago – all that hustle and bustle, and the thought of all those spices made her nose itch.. but ‘Poo!’, she said, ‘with all those camels, I bet it really honked!’. ‘Maybe’ laughed Cath, ‘but remember that there would have been all the wonderful spice smells as well!’. That night Liz, Cath and Mee Nooi slept in a little room that felt a bit like a cave, Mee Nooi thought, and she sighed quietly to herself and wished Liz and Cath would try and be a bit more tidy!

 

One of the most exciting things about visiting another country is trying out all the delicious food that people eat. ‘yummy’ said Mee Nooi, licking her lips, ‘borsht. Mee Nooi loved borsht which was thick and slurpy and full of tasty cabbage, but her all-time favourite so far was Halva. She just loved to get her paws sticky with syrup and her whiskers nestled with nuts!

 

 

 

‘Sometimes’ Mee Nooi thought quietly to herself ‘waiting feels like getting your paw stuck in a pot of honey. It is frustrating because you can’t lick it off, but it is exciting because you know that at some point you will be able to… you just WISH that point was now! And, even though waiting can be very dull, it will end. Time always passes… I always get the honey… in the end.’  Liz, Cath and Mee Nooi had been waiting for 16 days in the capital city of Azerbaijan, Baku. It was very frustrating as they were itching to get back on their bikes!  To pass the time they played lots of games and read books and had fun chatting to each other about all the exciting places they still have to visit on their trip. They also went to visit some school children who live in Baku. It was really fun to spend the day talking with them and making lots of new friends!

Each country has different rules about who can enter and how many bits of paper they have to fill out to be let in. It can be terribly confusing and made Mee Nooi’s head spin so much she just had to sit down and have an ice cream to recover!

Some countries will let you in at the border (the front door), some will ask that you have an invitation from someone who lives in the country, and some will not let you in at all! Luckily for Liz, Cath and Mee Nooi the country that they were waiting to enter finally said yes and they were all given a visa. ‘A ‘visa’ is like an entrance key, it tells the people at the border that the holder is allowed to come in and it tells the holder how long they can visit for’ explained Cath.  ‘Hoorah!’ said Mee Nooi, ‘let’s go!’ and off they went; through the door, into Iran …

Iran

‘Phew!’ said a wilting Mee Nooi, ‘what a BIG country Iran is!’

Liz, Cath and Mee Nooi sat sipping cool glasses of water after a long hot cycle through the dusty desert.  After many days on their bikes they had finally arrived in the ancient city of Esfhan

‘Please come and drink tea with me and look at my beautiful carpets!’ bellowed Ali, the Carpet King. ‘Why would we want to look at some old carpet?’ grumbled Mee Nooi.  ‘Mee Nooi!’ Liz exclaimed, ‘Iran is world famous for its amazing carpets. They are woven by hand, by women in the villages in the hills and mountains of Iran.  It takes weeks to make just one carpet!’ Mee Nooi sat enthralled ‘and’ Liz continued ‘the weavers do not even use a pattern, they make it up from their head!’  Mee Nooi pondered this for a while…. ‘they make up a carpet in their heads?’.  ‘Not just any old carpet’ said Liz drawing closer, ‘The carpets have pictures woven into them; pictures of animals or plants, or the seasons. They weave in images from their everyday lives’. ‘Wow!’ whispered Mee Nooi ‘So if we made a carpet it would have pictures of our bikes and tents on it?’ ‘Indeed it might’ cut in Cath ‘later on we can all have a go at drawing our own Iranian carpets. But right now Mr Ali the Carpet King is waiting to show us his carpets, come on you two!’

Entering the Carpet Kingdom was like entering a shimmy, shinny Aladdin’s cave of carpets. All around the room were great high stacks of carpets. Mee Nooi climbed right to the top of a pile of carpets ‘gosh it’s high up here’ she gulped. ‘Be careful you don’t fly away’ warned Mr Ali ‘these carpets can be quite unpredictable!’  Remembering the story of Aladdin and his flying carpet she gingerly climbed down.

Mee Nooi and the Nomads

Mee Nooi couldn’t sleep, she was so excited about visiting the nomads! Especially after hearing so much about nomads over tea in the carpet shops.

‘Cock a doodle do COCK a doodle DOOooooOOO’ screeched Rakin the Rooster – ‘Wake up Mee Nooi and come and say salam’ sang the farm animals. Farm animals? Thought Mee Nooi, confused for one hazy minute – where was she? suddenly remembering she snapped open her eyes ‘Mr Abas’s farm! We are staying on Mr Abas’s farm!’

She sprung out of bed and rushed out to say ‘salam’ to all her farm friends.  ‘Salam dizzy ducks, salam happy hens, wake up Dawud the dog!’ chirped Mee Nooi as she skipped around the farm ending up at Ela and Druge’s house – ‘Ahhhhh!!! You are SO cute’ gulped Mee Nooi, ‘Liz, Cath, can we put them in our bags and take them with us?’  Liz smiled at Mee Nooi  ‘Ela and Druge live here and I think they are quite happy where they are, we on the other hand have nomad’s to visit so let’s shake a leg!’

 

Ela and Druge

‘Phew! What a stink!  These goats are really smelly’ Mee Nooi said and held her nose as she ran to catch up with Cath and Mr Abas. ‘You honk a bit yourself!’ bleated Ghazie the grumpy goat as Cath, Liz, and Mee Nooi sped off in Mr Abas’s car.

‘Nomads are travelling people who move around, they don’t have a fixed home because they look after animals, and in the summer the animals feed on mountain pastures and in the winter, when it’s cold and snowy in the mountains, they take their animals to the warmer hills by the sea’ explained Mr Abas, ‘come over here Mee Nooi and meet Raul’.

‘Salam’ beamed Mee Nooi, ‘salam’ returned Raul shyly. ‘I am a nomad’ Raul told Mee Nooi. ‘Does that mean you don’t have to go to school?’ she asked, ‘I go to nomad school’ Raul explained proudly,  ‘I go to school with other nomad children, school travels with us when we move, it’s great!  When I am older I might go to boarding school in town, my older sister is there now and she misses being at home with us.’

‘Would you like to come to my house?’ asked Raul, ‘Your house? But I thought nomad’s didn’t have houses?’ Mee Nooi looked confused, ‘My house is a tent, so that we can easily move it with us where ever we go, come on!’

‘Wow – this tent is made from carpet’ exclaimed Mee Nooi – ‘just like those carpets you bought in Tehran, Cath, only without all the lovely patterns’.

Mee Nooi in India!

‘HmmmmMMMmm’ purred Mee Nooi ‘India is so hot and snugly. It reminds me of Thailand!’  Beep Beep shrieked an impatient autorickshaw ‘Wow! Liz look – a Tuk Tuk! Are you sure this is India and not Rayong??!!’ Liz smiled – ‘well Southern India certainly has many similarities with Thailand, you are right about that. If you look at this globe you can see that it sits on the same latitudinal line – if you put your paw on India and follow it round, round, keep going.. see, you hit Thailand! Come on, let’s go and get lunch’.  Mee Nooi was so excited about her first Indian meal that she dropped the globe, jumped off the bed and rushed out the door.

Dosa, thoran, fish curry, tomato fry, okra curry, chapatti, parotha, lassi… there was so much to choose from Mee Nooi’s head began to spin with all the choices. ‘Let’s start with a veg curry shall we..what about okra curry?’ said Cath. Mee Nooi had never tried okra before so she immediately said yes please! ‘and what about fish curry, as we are in south India’ continued Cath.. ‘ooooh yes please’ wriggled Mee Nooi. Earlier that day Mee Nooi, Cath and Liz had stopped by the side of the road to watch the villagers catch fish using big fishing nets that they lower into the water from the bank of the lagoons. Mee Nooi was thrilled to be eating fish that might just have been caught in the very net they had been watching!

Mee Nooi meets the gods

‘Hang on a minute’ hollered Mee Nooi as Cath whizzed by a brightly coloured building ‘who are they?!’  – Mee Nooi had spied a large statue of a blue man with four arms and another blue man with two ladies next to him…. ‘Let’s stop and have a look shall we’ said Cath as she slammed on her brakes and shouted to Liz to stop.  They were outside a Hindu temple, ‘mmmmm and what’s that smell?’ sniffed Mee Nooi.  Liz rummaged out some small bananas for them to share, as Mee Nooi and Cath settled on a wall in the shade and Cath began to explain Hinduism.  ‘Most of the people who live in India are Hindu; Hinduism is a religion that is very very old.  In Hinduism there are many gods and goddesses – and that’s who you can see on the temple – let’s take a look.  The one with four arms holding a shell and a flower is Shiva; Shiva is a god for doing good – so if you pray to him and give him offerings he will help you to be good. And we could all do with a bit of that sort of help couldn’t we?’, Cath peered meaningfully at Mee Nooi.  ‘And my favourite’ cut in Liz ‘ is that chap in the chariot, there is another picture of him with the ladies, his name is Krishna. He is a bit of a prankster and it is believed that he is the human form of a god – so he has many special super powers’.  ‘And my favourite goddess is Kali. Look at how tough she looks! She is known as The Destroyer’ Mee Nooi looked a bit worried ‘but don’t worry she is the destroyer of ignorance and will help you to learn things properly’ said Cath. ‘Phew’ said Mee Nooi ‘what a lot of gods and goddesses!’

Mee Nooi has a GREAT idea..

‘Phew!’ Mee Nooi wrinkled her nose up in disgust ‘this road is very very smelly! I wish it smelt nice like the temples’ She slumped back against the handlebars. ‘What a good idea, Mee Nooi’ grinned Liz, ‘let’s get some incense for our bikes!’ Liz whisked Mee Nooi up and off they went to the market.

‘Sandal smells best’ murmured Mee Nooi ‘but I also like patuli and rosehip – can we get three flavours please Liz?’  ‘Well how much money do you have?’ asked Liz.  Mee Nooi looked closely at the notes and counted  ‘mmm, ten… twenty… thirty.  Hang on a minute – who’s this old man on the 100 Rupee note? – he looks really sweet with those round glasses’  she exclaimed.  ‘Ah, That is Mr Mahatma Ghandi, he was a very important man in India’s history… do you know why?’ asked Liz.  Mee Nooi, shook her head and snuggled into Liz’s lap waiting to hear more.  ‘Hundreds of years ago British men came to India to make lots of money because India was rich with natural resources like spices and rubber.  Like many Indians, Ghandi was not happy with this situation. So Ghandi wanted to find a peaceful way to get the British out of India so that India could be run by and for Indians. He encouraged people not to fight the British to change things.  Instead he asked that people have peaceful protests.  He asked people to ‘be the chance they want to see in the world’, in this way he helped India to gain independence from the British.  That is why Indians think he is great and they put him on their money.’  ‘wow!’ sighed Mee Nooi ‘ I KNEW he looked lovely! can I afford all three incense sticks then?’

 

 

Going on a bear hunt

‘we’re going on a bear hunt [we’re going on a bear hunt], we’re gonna catch a BIG ONE [we’re gonna catch a BIG ONE], and we are NOT NOT SCARED!’ sang Mee Nooi loudly as she packed her chapattis and fried rice ready for a big day in Bardia National Park, singing also helped her to cover a few secret nerves that were wobbling away inside her tummy. ‘We might see bears, wild boar, deer, wild elephants, even rhino… or maybe a TIGER! They all live here’ said Cath ‘Now, Mee Nooi and Liz, do we remember what Indra the guide told us? – if we run into a rhino we have to run and climb up a tree, if we bumble upon a bear we have to huddle together and make ourselves look as BIG as possible, and if we tumble towards a tiger we have to stand very still and look her right in the eye! Ok?’ Mee Nooi nodded her head solemnly and gulped. They were about to walk right into a forest where some very big and very dangerous animals live… this was all a little bit scary, but also very exciting.

Once in the park they had to walk very slowly and very quietly and always do exactly what Indra their guide told them to the very minute he whispered anything. It was not long before they came across scratches in the mud – ‘look here’ said Indra ‘these are tiger marks, remember that a tiger is really only a big cat and they always scratch the earth after they have been to the toilet’. Mee Nooi peered nervously into the tall grass all round them, knowing there could be a tiger hiding there right now, watching them. *gulp*

Mee Nooi tripped into a big footprint in the sand of the river bed – ‘oooh these are rhino prints’ said Indra as he sniffed the air ‘ I think there may be a rhino close, we all need to keep very quiet’… so Mee Nooi, Cath and Liz all crept along behind Indra as quietly as they could creep. Suddenly Indra stopped abruptly and spun round ‘quick!’ he whispered in an urgent tone ‘move back, climb that tree, QUICK!’  Liz, Cath and Mee Nooi hurriedly pulled themselves up into the branches of a big tree and as they did so they saw the rough hide of a HUGE rhino, just a few meters away from them , and skipping along behind her was a small baby rhino! ‘shh’ whispered Indra, ‘although they have bad eyesight, they have a super sense of smell but luckily for us we are downwind of her so she probably won’t even know we are here!’ Wow! Mee Nooi was so thrilled to be watching a mummy rhino with her baby in the WILD, that she couldn’t stop grinning. They stayed in the tree for some time and watched the rhinos as they grazed and went to drink in the cool river. Once they were out of sight the gang could climb down and continue on with their walk.

They saw many exciting animals as the day went on – they saw snapping crocs in the river, majestic eagles perched in the trees, cheeky monkeys swinging high above them, galloping spotted deer, and right at the end of the day, as they were wearily walking home a huge herd of wild elephants came crashing out of the forest and plunged into the river to drink and splosh about! ‘WOW!’ thought Mee Nooi (not for the first time that day) ‘we have had so much luck! We have seen so many amazing wild animals AND we have not been eaten by a tiger!’ Mee Nooi was quite glad that they didn’t tumble into a tiger but as they wound their way home she glanced behind her to wish a secret good night to all the wonderful animals she had seen, she was sure she spotted a large cat like shape slink off into the trees.

Mee Nooi in Tibet!

 

‘Welcome to Tibet!’ said Cath ‘look at this Mee Nooi – this barley and wheat is a traditional offering of good luck and welcome in Tibet’.  ‘OOOOooooOO’ said Mee Nooi ‘But why are so many things in Tibet red?’ she asked ‘this beautiful box is red, lots of the houses we have passed on the road are red, and when we’ve seen those monks they are wearing red!’  ‘Well’ began Liz ‘the religion of the people in Tibet is Buddhism, a type of Buddhism that is called Tibetan Buddhism.  In this religion there are three significant colours, do you know what the other two might be… do you remember the other colours on the houses?’ ‘hmmm’ thought Mee Nooi ‘well they were white houses and they also had black on them’. ‘That’s right Mee Nooi!  Red, black and white are the three significant colours of Tibetan Buddhism.  Red is for wisdom, black is for peace and white is for kindness.  By painting their houses and monasteries in these colours the Tibetan people are reminded about these special qualities so that they are kind to each other.’  ‘WOW!’ Mee Nooi cooed as she started jumping up and down in excitement ‘can we go and visit the monastery now?’

‘Well yes we can indeed’ smiled Cath as the three of them walked down the road together.  When they arrived Mee Nooi stood still as a statue at the monastery door, her mouth open in awe.  It was very dark inside and there were huge paintings on the walls and all around were the biggest candles she had ever seen. She wrinkled her nose and sniffed the thick air, ‘those candles are called butter lamps’ explained Cath ‘they are burning yak butter, that’s what the lovely smell is.  And as the pilgrims visit the monastery they add more yak butter to the lamps to keep them burning.’

Mee Nooi, Liz, and Cath soon wandered out into the bright day light once again and Mee Nooi spotted a row of very big, VERY shinny cylinders all round the outside of the monastery… ‘Wheeeeeee’ squealed Mee Nooi as she spun one round,  ‘Now show some respect’ laughed Liz ‘these are prayer wheels, pilgrims spin these wheels to get good luck, they are not toys for playing on but special religious items.’  ‘Ok’ smiled Mee Nooi cheekily as she whipped the wheel round once again, for luck! She loved it here.

Mee Nooi and the banana road

‘Wotcha’ screeched Cath as she slammed on her brakes ‘look what those people are up to Mee Nooi’.  Dismounting from her perch up front on the bike, Mee Nooi set off to have a little look around.  There was a whole crowd of people laughing and a VERY big truck.  ‘We saw the bananas growing in the trees earlier, didn’t we’ began Liz ‘mm-hmm’ murmured Mee Nooi, enthralled.  ‘Then there were the men carrying the big heavy loads of green bananas on their backs down the steep mountains, and we even saw those donkeys carrying baskets of fruit down too and all those bananas were piled up beside the road – waiting.’  ‘mm-hmm’ murmured Mee Nooi once more.  ‘Well this is the final step in the process, a whole group of villagers gathered to pack the bananas into boxes and load them onto this huge lorry where they will be driven for hundreds of miles to be loaded onto a boat and shipped around the world for us to eat when we are back in London.’

‘What’s this for?’ asked Mee Nooi as she clambered up onto the lorry.  ‘Well this is straw that is wrapped all around the boxed bananas – it protects the fruit on its long journey keeping it cool, so that the bananas don’t turn yellow, or brown too early – so that when they reach the shop they are perfect yellow.’  ‘That’s when they taste good, yum yum’ grinned Mee Nooi as they pedalled off.

 

Mee Nooi on the Mekong

‘I am so excited we are sooo nearly there’ sighed Mee Nooi ‘Look at it! Thailand is just over that big river’.  ‘Wooh there little Mee Nooi’ Liz chuckled, ‘Thailand is a pretty big country and even though we maybe be close to it we are not yet close to Ban Chang, AND remember that we have to go and meet lots of girls and boys in Ho Chi Min City first. As we have been cycling in Laos we have been

Ooh what a rickety boat!

very close to the border – so close we could see Thailand across the huge river but we still have one more month of peddling’ explained Liz.

‘And do you remember what that huge river was called Mee Nooi?’ asked Cath.  ‘Hmmm’ thought Mee Nooi ‘the Meerkat river?’  ‘Nearly … but not quite…It’s the Mekong river.  The Mekong is very, very long, over 4,000 kilometres long and it starts in Tibet – where we were at Christmas time.   It passes through 5 countries – all of which we are visiting on our ride; China, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand.’  Cath explained gently as Mee Nooi and Liz watched the sun setting over the mighty Mekong river.  ‘And we’ve crossed it a couple of times by boat now, haven’t we?’ asked Mee Nooi.  ‘Yes we have – and once more again in the morning, so you’d better get some rest to be ready for a big day tomorrow!’ said Cath as they walked back to their little wooden hut to go to bed.

 

Mee Nooi in the rice fields

Can you see the bent one? that means it is ready to harvest!

‘Guess what we learned today’ grinned Mee Nooi excitedly, as she and Liz bounded into the bamboo hut where they had left Cath to rest for the afternoon.  ‘I’ll never guess – you’ll have to tell me… but I think it involves mud’, Cath laughed as she looked at Mee Nooi’s muddy paws.  ‘Yep, we’ve been in the rice fields today’ she began ‘and we saw lots of rice growing in the paddy fields.  Did you know that usually the farmers only grow rice in the rainy season?  But we still saw rice growing even though it’s the dry season because the Cambodian farmers have special rice seeds that grow quickly so that they can harvest the rice before the rains come.  And we saw the farmers gathering the fully grown rice from the fields and taking it to a machine to separate the small grains from all the stalks didn’t we Liz?’  Mee Nooi gushed out her story excitedly.  ‘We sure did, that machine was called a threshing machine and they made big full bags of rice to be sold in the market.’ Liz continued ‘do you remember what the next stage is before you can actually cook and eat the rice?’ she asked Mee Nooi.  ‘Oh yes’ gulped Mee Nooi ‘you have to de-husk the rice, because the little rice grain is inside the hard shell, which the ladies take off before they cook it.  I even got to have a water fight with the farmer’s children in the paddy fields – that’s why I’m all muddy!!!!’  Mee Nooi grinned as Cath whisked her off for a shower.

 

Mee Nooi and the tunnels

‘I can’t believe we are back in Vietnam again, how funny to have started at the top of somewhere, have cycled into TWO OTHER whole countries and then end up back in the first country but this time at the very bottom’ exclaimed Mee Nooi.  ‘Indeed’ smiled Cath, ‘today we are going to visit the Cu Chi tunnels.  There are lots and lots of tunnels built deep underground by the Vietnamese.  About

doorway to the tunnels

60 years ago Vietnam was controlled by the French. But they were very unhappy with this and so they fought with the French to make them leave and go back to their own country.  All of these tunnels were dug by hand, some of them are 10 metres deep – that’s as deep as 6 grown women standing on each other’s shoulders!!  The Vietnamese people used these tunnels to get to school and to work, during times of war.’

When they got to the tunnels, Mee Nooi took a look down a ‘door way’ which was a VERY VERY small hole where people could get in and out of the tunnels.  ‘ummm’ gulped Mee Nooi ‘It’s dark and scary down there… argh!!!!’ she shrieked ‘there’s lots of spiders, I don’t want to have to go down there – there

Don't fall Mee Nooi!!

wouldn’t be any air to breathe.’  She jumped up and ran to Liz for cuddles, ‘who used these tunnels then?’ she asked.

‘Well, first they used them to fight the French then there was a very long war fought in this area of south Vietnam between the north Vietnamese, the south Vietnamese and the Americans.  The tunnels were used by the villagers of Cu Chi to get about their daily business and to fight against their enemies. It was a great place for the fighters to hide.’ explained Cath.  ‘I don’t think I would have liked to have spent any time down there at all’ gulped Mee Nooi nervously as she took one last look down the hole.  ‘You don’t have to’ laughed Liz ‘let’s go and eat some of the food they used to eat when people were using the tunnels.’  ‘Ok’ sighed Mee Nooi, relieved to be walking in the fresh air of the forest.

‘What is this?’ she asked as they sat down to drink tea and eat some yellow looking stuff.  ‘This is yam, it grows in the forest nearby to the tunnels, and the villagers used to boil it up and eat it like this with ground nuts, salt and sugar to give it flavour.  It gave them lots of energy to keep fighting the war.’  ‘Yum yum’ grinned Mee Nooi as she eagerly scoffed down a whole plate full all by herself!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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8 responses

29 08 2010
Mrs Shiells

Dear Mee Nooi,

It looks like you are having a fantastic journey. Keep updating us on your travels. It’s very exciting!!!! I can’t wait to meet you!!!
Mrs Shiells
Garden International School, Thailand

29 09 2010
Year 2L (Garden International School-Thailand)

Be careful Mee Nooi, don’t fall of the bikes!

Is there nice ice-cream in Iran?
Do you like Iranian food?
What is the temperature?
Are you having fun?
Is it hot in the bag?
Are you excited about coming to Thailand?

Love from Year 2L

1 10 2010
oneproject

Hello Year 2L!!!

Wow, thanks for all those questions 🙂

My job is Assistant Navigator – this means I have to ride up front on Cath’s bike and help her to work out which road we should be on (sometimes she gets a bit confused!). It can be scary if we are going fast down hills or if the big trucks rumble a bit too close.. but when I’m really scared I just close my eyes and cross all my fingures and all my toes! I don’t spend much time in a bag as I might get bag sick.

I haven’t been allowed to eat ice cream here yet :-Z but I’m really looking forward to trying some as the Iranains LOVE ice cream – they have whole shops just for sitting in and eating it! mmmmmmmm….

Food is a very strange thing in Iran. When we eat in a restaraunt ALL you can buy is Kebab.. basically grilled chicken and rice – it’s very nice but not when you have to have it every day!!!! I love it when Irannains ask us to eat with them in their homes.. my most favourate food was camal burger.. yummy.. and they eat A LOT of pomegranates which are super nice and sticky!

‘Liz!! what is the temperature in Iran?’ (mumble mumble) .. Liz says that because Iran is such a HUGE counrty the temparature feels different depending on where we are… when we started we were by the sea and it was damp and wet and hot (35-38C) and then in the dusty desert it has been dry and windy and hot (38C) .. mostly about 38C.

We are having SOOOOSOOSOSOOOSOOOooooooOOOO much fun! We are getting to meet some really lovely people and making lots of new friends. Though [whispering] I think Liz and Cath get very tired cycling all the time and it can be quite scary as we don’t always know where we will sleep at night or where we will be able to get our dinner from! But I always tell them to stop worrying as something always turns up!

I am VERY VERY VERY (x a million) excited about coming to Thailand and seeing Miss Lucy and all the children at the Camillian center and all of you!

Thanks for all the questions!

Big hugs from a little travelling bear

Mee Nooi 🙂

29 09 2010
Year 2 GIS Thailand

This is a second try, not sure why the first isn’t showing.

From Year 2

Hi Mee Nooi, we hope you are ok.

Is there any nice ice cream in Iran?
Are you enjoying the food there?
Don’t fall out of the bike bag!
What is the temperature there?

Love fro m year 2

5 11 2010
Year2l

Dear Mee Nooi,
Are you in India now? Do you think that Indian food is yummy? Is it smelly there? Lots of love from Year2L

5 11 2010
oneproject

Namaste Year2L!!

Yes it’s true I am now in India. I’ve been so busy eating spicy curries *YUMMY* that I just haven’t had a minute to think. But don’t worry hopefully I’ll be able to fill you in with all my exciting adventures in the next couple of days *In hushed tones* if Liz and Cath will ever take a break!!!!!

lots of love
Mee Nooi
xxxxxxxxxx

8 03 2011
year 2L

Dear Mee Nooi,
Are you enjoying your trip? Are you hot? It is getting very hot here. How are Liz and Cat doing, are they enjoying themselves?
We can’t wait to see you.
Love from Year 2

8 03 2011
oneproject

Hi Year 2!!

We are now cycling along the coast of Cambodia – so if you can see the sea then it’s the same sea we can see!!! Cambodia is SOOOOooooOOO cloase to Thailand but cycling it takes longer than going by bus or car so it will still take us a few weeks. And boy oh boy is it hot – we have to get up and start cycling as soon as the sun gets up so that we can cycle as far as possible in the cool of the morning! Cath and Liz are real sweat bags and I try and encourage them to wash their clothes EVERY DAY *as they are getting a bit niffy* 🙂
see you soon
xxxx Mee Nooi

Ps – tomorrow we are off to see how pepper is grown.. I’ll take lots of pics and tell you all about it.

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