This past Sunday we were at a church in town who had invited us to tell them about our Nampu-Fountain ministry.(mistry to ladies who have an unexpected pregnancy. ) Over lunch I got to chat with a lady in her fifties, Mae Nee. In Northeast Thailand older women are referred to as mother rather than auntie, granny or older sister like in other parts of the country.
Mae Nee pointed at a two year old toddler running around, “This is my grandson, my daughter had a surprise pregnancy and split up with her partner while she was still pregnant. Neither of them cares about the little boy, they left him with me.” Later, a 9 year old girl came up to her. “This is my granddaughter, she has been with me since she was a baby, her mom drowned when she was just a few months old. My son, her dad, works in Southern Thailand, he comes along once in a while to visit.”
Mae Nee is eager to tell people about us in her village, she knows that surprise pregnancies happen all the time. Her niece is a volunteer health worker in her village and Mae Nee will leave our leaflet with her.
What I have written here in a few sentences is an ongoing life story not only for Mae Nee but for many grandparents and aunties. These women often raise children whose parents are not able to or do not want to do so, in most cases it is at their own expense.
Mae Nee has invited me to visit her village and I will take her up on this kind offer in the near future. It will be an opportunity and an experience and will help me to better understand not only the people of the Isaan region but also their life situations.