A Day in The Life of Shan Refugee Boy

Written by Sai Jing – Resident at the Koung Jor Shan Refugee Camp

I am Sai Jing. I am 10 years old and living in the Koung Jor Shan Refugee Camp. I have no parents so live in the boarding house with 19 other friends and my teachers Sai Oo, Sai Siri, and Nang Hsam Noom. My father died at the Camp in 2003 and my mother died in 2012. So I have to stay with my teachers at Koug Jor. I have two big brothers who also live with me. Living at the Camp is a safe place for me. I can go to school like other children.

The following are my daily activities:

  In the morning, my teacher sets the alarm clock to wake us up at 5 o’clock early morning. But we often don’t get up immediately. I usually can’t get up until my teacher, Sai Oo, takes off my mosquito net.
After he calls, “Wake up!” many times, I can finally get up and say, ”Good morning, Teacher!”. My teacher says, “Good morning, Sai Jing”.  I have to fold my bed as usual and be ready for school.
  After folding my bed, I begin getting dressed in my school uniform. It is still dark in the morning.
Then I have my breakfast with my friends.
We all eat together. Twenty friends having breakfast under the solar-powered lights.
Now I am ready to wait for the school bus.
While we wait for the school bus, some of my friends are watching cartoons. I also watch for a few minutes before the bus comes.
Now the bus comes and we line up before getting on the bus.
The bus arrives at school and we get off. You can see the school sign on the right of the bus.
I am in the classroom and preparing my desk.
We greet our teacher: “Sawa dee khrap Khun Kru”.
We start to study.
We have break time to play.
At noon we have a break time for lunch for one hour.
I play with my friend.
Then I have to wash my face to enter the class.
We start the class again in the afternoon.
We have play time at break time and we usually have fun.
We love each other.
My friend and I have to clean the classroom.
Our teachers give us school milk so I drink it.
After that, we make a line to sing the national anthem and salute the Thai flag before we go back.
I get on the bus to go back home.
I get off the bus and walk to my house.
Then I arrive home and have to wash up and clean my rice carrier.
After taking a shower, I read for my English class.
After dinner, I have to study English in the Camp. I learn Burmese at this time on Fridays and Saturdays.
After English class, I have computer lessons with my friends.
I finish at 9 o’clock and return home to do homework. I go to bed at 10 o’clock and sleep soundly after a long day.