Day 1 at Bann Fueng Fah orphanage
This morning Facebook said, “Good morning, John! Clouds are clearing today in Pak Kret. Enjoy the sunshine!” Excuse my doubts but apart from seeing it above the clouds yesterday, I haven’t seen the sun since I left England!
But on my first morning in Pak Kret, I’m about to say, in just a few minutes, “one more volunteer reporting for duty, Nicola”. The trip from the airport yesterday reminded me slightly of a cross between Birmingham, UK and an American city – I can’t remember which one! Despite being a Sunday, the roads were very busy. Every so often, there were little clues that I was actually in Thailand, like the temples and the spirit houses and the horses looking out of their horse box. The condo that Nicola booked for me is very comfortable with air conditioning, a fridge, TV, large wardrobe and, of course, a bed and bathroom.
As I reflect, I’m so glad that I spent a few days in Hong Kong, not only for the sightseeing but mainly because I don’t feel jet lagged, despite yesterday’s jet flight. So I recommend a stop off for a few days if you’re coming out, somewhere within a couple of hours of Bangkok, if you can afford to.
Continuing this evening……
I’ve had a great first day – it has been absolutely lovely to meet the children that until now I had only seen photos or short videos of. And that certainly hasn’t disappointed. I have so much to learn about them yet but hopefully will have time to make progress with that. Nicola is … well, just Nicola! Together with Sally, she met me at the airport yesterday and has been the best guide, advisor and supervisor anyone can ask for. What more can anyone ask for than the charity’s Chair, Sally, and Founder, Nicola to look after you?
I was privileged to meet the Orphanage Superintendent on his way to a meeting. Hopefully we will have another opportunity to meet more formally during my visit. I also renewed acquaintance with a couple of the 2016 DAT group. And I met Jessica from Nicola’s church, who volunteers to help Nicola on Mondays. I’ve spent much of the time on the floor today, which is not my norm. But being at eye-level with the children, playing with them, supporting them, helping their posture and being surprised at some of their achievements, all under Nicola’s careful supervision, has been very rewarding.
The orphanage is set in more of an urban situation than might seem probable but once through the gates, the colour of flowers and buildings provides a surprisingly attractive setting. I didn’t have my camera ready for the flowers but this picture might explain what I mean.
And here are a few more action shots from today
Oh, and the sun did come out but it has been comfortable at around 29°C and reasonable humidity.