Going to the Disney on Ice show
Well we are going to the Disney on ice show here in Pakkred Thailand. We organise a trip and take twelve children with the help of wonderful expats from the local area every year. Each year involves a different set of twelve children and all the children will get a chance to go. This year many of the children are smaller.
This is not an easy trip to prepare for and involves several tasks…
*There are the tickets to get that are suitable for wheelchair users and negotiations about prices. We thank NNR (a local charity) for covering that cost and the local expats for volunteering to be one-to-one supports for each child.
*Sorting out how we will travel there and back and which child goes with which volunteer. The logistics of who can be in their own chair and who will need to come out and sit on a chair must be planned. We are blessed this year to have use of the Boys’ Home hydraulic tail lift bus, so that we can keep some of the bigger children comfy in their chairs as we travel. Also one of the volunteer ladies has hired a bigger van to make travel easier for those not in the bus.
*Working out the timings for going with the children. Thankfully this year the team of volunteers is very enthusiastic and they are willing to come in good time so that we can beat the traffic. One of the volunteers has offered to pay the gas costs, which takes that stress away too.
* Sorting out a food bag which is able to be given in the best way for that child to eat. Some are tube fed, so we need to make sure we have the medical milk tube and water to administer it. Others are bottle fed, so again we need to get the milk, but theirs needs to be thickened a bit. We make sure we have got a bottle for each child in that group and then the soft food eaters need suitable snacks which can be mixed with milk to the right texture and a mini bowl and spoon. God has blessed us with someone wanting to pay for the milk and snack foods this year, which is wonderful.
*Sorting out feeding clothes and dribble clothes, more for the messier children and less for for the cleaner.
* Choosing which twelve out of the 48 children in the ward to take.
* Preparing the outfit and spare clothes for each child.
* Working out a suitable stroller/ wheelchair for their special needs.
I was blessed this year to have help for these last two tasks. Katie and her daughter from my church offered me some clothes a week or so ago and it was perfect timing to make out kids’ costumes for the trip. I was then able to rope them both in to help with the clothing and wheelchair checking session. Dressing and undressing twelve severely disabled children and finding them a chair that would support them was not an easy task. We needed to record the information about what suited them best and which outfit was their size. These children rarely go on outings, apart from going to the hospital, so getting a pretty dress or a smart shirt and jeans to wear that fits and is comfy and special just makes the trip that bit more amazing. We need to consider the temperature too as the show is cold, but with Katie and her daughter’s help, I was blessed and we managed it.
A week after they helped me, Katie sent me a message of what the experience was like as follows:
“Maylei and I were blessed with the opportunity to be a part of the rehearsal dressing session with Nicola for Disney on Ice for children from Ratchaprut ward. We truly enjoyed this quality time spent dressing them up for this special event. The smiles it brought to each one of these children’s faces brought tears of joy to my eyes of which I had to hold back. Each one of their personalities began to pop as we dressed them in unique colorful combinations for both the boys and girls. It was heartwarming to see how something we consider a daily chore of picking out the right outfit was such a thrill to them. Even Maylei who is quite young jumped in to help and was quite touched by these children and even made some friends by the end of the day. Thank you Nicola for sharing this special day with us. It truly was a blessing. ‘
Maylei was only five, but once over her shyness, she was helping put on socks, wheel the children round the patio to check if they were comfortable in the chair and helped to run and get diapers for us. She was playing games with them as they sat in their chairs and got many of them laughing. They loved having a new buddy to socialize with.
We worked steadily through the children, sorting their outfits and chairs, getting more and more involved and not realising lunch time was well past. Katie and Maylei were truly a blessing, as I would have had to work through till late doing it on my own. I was caught up like Katie on how quickly the shirt or dress changed a child from the orphan to the little person with energy. Many of the strollers we are using this year are from the last container and they support the children so well. I’m so pleased to see them in use.