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  • NEWS

    The long road to mercy

    Spectrum, Father Joe Maier, Published on 19/02/2012

    » Seven, she favours that number. She's seven times seven years of age and has been "Mother Gung" to our HIV/Aids kids under seven for seven years now. It's been, she says, "a long journey, and I choose to stay".

  • NEWS

    Miss Dao and her amazing feats

    Spectrum, Father Joe Maier, Published on 23/09/2012

    » She has mostly had to learn everything herself. Mum couldn't be there for her, and Miss Dao also has to take care of Granny, as she'd promised her mother. You know, things like mixing her betel nut chaw and holding her hand crossing the street. She has three older half-brothers and a half-sister, but they aren't close. Her half-sister is married, and Dao only saw her once at the temple for her mother's cremation.

  • NEWS

    A sprightly angel and a sacred tree

    Spectrum, Father Joe Maier, Published on 09/03/2014

    » Lovely Miss Sprite. Angel of the week — second year of kindergarten — winner of the colouring contest — elegantly going on five years of age. She has a voice pitched between the song of an angel and a chirping baby bird sitting on the edge of the nest, not quite ready to fly. Likes to put a leaf behind her ear — picked from that Sacred Tree behind their slum shack. Her mum used to do that too. Lovely features, she has a smile that could stop any herd of wild elephants that might be visiting the neighbourhood. As for her innate beauty? You would immediately pick her out of a crowd. There was a problem: orphan girls fetch a pretty price. But we dealt with that.

  • NEWS

    Slum pioneer swept away to victory

    Spectrum, Father Joe Maier, Published on 01/06/2014

    » Auntie Boon Mee looks and carries on in life pretty much how you’d expect a high-class Klong Toey slum pioneer woman to look and carry on.

  • NEWS

    Branching out in Klong Toey

    Spectrum, Father Joe Maier, Published on 09/08/2015

    » There’s a really big tree with roots all over the place and beautiful deep green leaves shaped like a Valentine’s Day heart. It's a nice tree, but it’s slightly unkempt. However, Auntie Gung and our children say it’s fine for a sacred tree to be unkempt. And this is a sacred tree with a sacred spirit, or angel. It's called a dhon pho tree in Thai and it’s in the back of the Klong Toey slum flats.

  • NEWS

    Gone to the dogs

    Spectrum, Father Joe Maier, Published on 29/01/2017

    » It's not one of Klong Toey's finest hours. In fact, it's an ugly moment -- a monster moment. Stray dogs attacked and almost killed a two-year-old child. This all began at midnight in a particularly dark alley of Klong Toey in Bangkok. Auntie Dang, a 62-year-old grandmum, got the call to go to work. "Come quickly," the voice on the mobile phone demanded. "The game is about to start. We need a dhon tang."

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