At Bangkok Worldwide Airport, 17 Thai nationals touched down after two months in captivity.
Some sporting sun shades, maybe to cover their feelings, these whose eyes you would see appeared subdued, exhausted, relieved and bewildered.
Amongst them was Nuttawaree ‘Yo’ Munkan – the one lady within the group.
Per week in the past, I spoke to her mother, Boonyarin. She wept as she talked about her “indescribable disappointment”, craving for information of her daughter being held in Gaza.
This time, I noticed her face stuffed with pleasure as she waited for her daughter on the ultimate cease of her journey residence to Khon Kaen.
Yo got here residence to northeastern Thailand together with her boyfriend, 45-year-old Boonthom Phankhon.
Yo instructed me: “We have been captured collectively, however then we have been stored individually. I didn’t know the place he was.” She solely found he’d survived when she was launched.
I requested them what circumstances they confronted.
“They gave us meals and water as soon as a day. They handled us properly,” Boonthom stated.
However Yo stated there have been limits to what they may say about their time in Gaza: “I used to be requested to not speak about it,” she instructed us.
And it was clear she carried the burden of her expertise. “There are nonetheless the photographs that stick in my head,” she stated.
Yo, like so many within the rural heartland of northeastern Thailand, went to Israel to earn cash for her household. She hasn’t been again for greater than 4 years.
On the residence her cash helped construct, she was greeted by elated kinfolk.
“I’m very blissful. Very, very, blissful that I’m coming residence lastly,” she stated.
Regardless of her traumatic seize, she was nuanced in what she stated about Hamas.
‘I thank myself on a regular basis for getting via it’
“In Hamas – there are each good individuals and unhealthy individuals. The nice handled me properly, gave me meals, so I may survive. They sorted us.
“However there are additionally the unhealthy those that put me in that scenario.”
That scenario, she says, was being held with two buddies who have been additionally Thai nationals. Her boyfriend stated he was held with six different Thais.
There have been some media stories the Thai hostages have been handled extra compassionately than the Israelis, however Yo and her boyfriend stated they didn’t see this.
The fact is, few had eyes on anybody else – trapped in a spot that they had no means to flee, as a battle raged round them.
“I thank myself on a regular basis for getting via it, my physique, my energy, on a regular basis,” says Yo.
Regardless of what she’s endured, the small print of which can take a really very long time for her to share, Yo adores Israel and desires to return.
“I wish to return,” she says.
“If there’s a probability, I’d. I don’t wish to take into consideration the scenario, however I really like everyone there.”