Thai Youth Soccer Team Trapped in Cave Sends Handwritten Notes to Their Families: 'I Love You'
"[They] have a long list of food they want to eat when they get outside," the soccer team's joint letter read
The 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in a Thailand cave since June 23 have finally been able to communicate with their families via handwritten letters.
On Friday evening, a Thai Navy SEAL shared the collection of notes retrieved from the soccer team on Facebook. “The kids said ‘don’t worry,’ everyone is strong, they have a long list of food they want to eat when they get outside,” the Navy SEAL said of the team’s joint letter, according to translations provided by TIME.
“They ask that their teachers won’t give them much homework when they come back,” the group’s letter reads.
And each child’s letter was a stark reminder of just how young they are as many of them worry about homework and talk about the foods they wish to eat.
Fifteen-year-old Nick expressed his love for his families in a letter that was signed with a heart drawing. “I love you mom, I love you dad, and my brother too. When I get out, I want to go have a pork barbecue,” he wrote.
While teammate Tum hopes to eat fried chicken again. “Mom, Dad, Don’t worry, I’m OK, please tell brother Yod to prepare to take me to eat fried chicken. Love you,” he wrote, according to CNN.
And 14-year-old Bew reassured his family of his return. “Don’t worry, I just disappeared for two weeks. I’ll help you with your shop everyday, I will hurry out of here,” he said.
The 25-year-old coach also wrote a letter to the concerned families.
“Dear all the parents, All the kids are fine. There are people taking really good care of them. I promise I will take care of the children the best I can. Thank you for your support. I’m really sorry to the parents,” Akkapol Chanthawong said.
And one of the boys even spent his birthday (on July 3) in the cave.
“I’m fine, but the weather is quite cold. But don’t worry. But don’t forget my birthday,” Dom wrote to his parents.
The soccer players (ages 11-16) and their coach were found late Monday after rescue teams, including members of the U.S. military, had been searching the flooded cave for the team since June 23, Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osatanakorn said, according to the Associated Press.
In a video posted by the Thai Navy SEALS on their Facebook page Tuesday, the soccer team is seen inside the partially flooded cavern wrapped in foil blankets. As their faces are lit by a flashlight one by one, each boy introduces himself by folding their hands and saying they are healthy, according to the New York Times.
A doctor sitting with the soccer team also asks, “What do the 13 of you want to say to your fans? Everybody in this world has been following your news.”
Rescue teams are now working to determine just how they’ll get the children out safely as monsoons threaten the area.