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Supporter blog: Jenny Mitchell visits Thai alumni

May 2013

Jenny Mitchell was born in Battle and has lived in Sedlescombe for 43 years, where she is now on the Sedlescombe Parish Council. She tells us about her family’s connection with some of our Pestalozzi Alumni in Thailand.

Early group of Thai students at PestalozziI went to school with some of the first Pestalozzi children and my daughter Deborah became friends with other Pestalozzi students in the 1980s, including Prapapan and Amornrat from Thailand. We invited them to picnics and one year for a traditional English Christmas, with a big roast dinner and presents under the tree. We’ve kept in touch since then. When Deborah celebrated her 40th birthday, her husband had a surprise – unbeknownst to us, he’d arranged for Prapapan to come to the UK! After that, Prapapan and Amornrat hinted a few times that we should visit them, so my husband and I decided to escape this winter and go to Thailand.

The elephant writes its name!Prapapan showed us around Bangkok, how to use the Skytrain and get to places on river boats. When we went to the Grand Palace, she recommended we hire a tour guide, which turned out to be a great idea. The palace is beautiful and absolutely vast. I loved seeing the mosaics made of tiny blue stones from Italy, the huge reclining Buddha and the lamp post that was a gift from Queen Victoria! We saw so many amazing things as we travelled around the country, like an elephant that painted a picture of itself and signed its name.

It was fantastic to meet up with Prapapan and Amornrat. I wish we could have spent more time with them, but we had some trouble with our flights and they are busy people. Prapapan worked for the UN for ten years, but she now has three young children to look after. Amornrat has two teenage daughters and runs a children’s nursery. We probably wouldn’t have gone to Thailand if the girls hadn’t said, "You must come!” but we had a wonderful time. Prapapan and Amornrat still remember our picnics and Christmas dinner from all those years ago, and they were delighted to be able to return the favour.

This article first appeared in our Spring/Summer 2013 Pestalozzi Newsletter. You can sign up to our mailing list and have the Newsletter delivered direct to your inbox just over here.