After our children left to go to the sea in Rayong to have the time of their life (see article), and while other lucky ones left for their families, we still had a group of 40 children and some caregivers that remained at Baan Unrak.
The house still needed to have all the chores done. It needed to be kept clean, we had to cook, we needed to have guards at the entrance gate, and we also had to go sell the products of our bakery at the market. All our staff was gone, only the director and teenager in-charge and a few very committed volunteers remained.
The children that had chosen to remain knew that there was work ahead. Very important to them was to perform a sacred rite of Songkran: to venerate and give their respect to the elders. And that’s what they did.
After that, they could go out and enjoy but still, they didn’t forget their chores and duties. The children needed to do many things but we had fun together and we had a pleasant time too. It was very quiet indeed. In fact, because there were so few people it seemed a paradise. We also had our very committed volunteers.
When everybody else goes on holiday every year our volunteer Flavia arrives. Ready to work, ready to serve.
While every volunteer takes time to see something of our beautiful township, she is only committed to work and to train our staff. Flavia has been a tremendous source of inspiration for many children. Her tenacity and her unstoppable work have inspired our children enormously. At Baan Unrak, she is the one that has taught us to stay committed to work and sacrifice. She chose to come during the holiday and she knows that it is a difficult time because everybody leaves to celebrate, but those who don’t have anybody will be left behind.
We also know that the children that are left behind are sad, and that is why we have a different program to go to the sea with Pavitra, and when he came back Our Director went immediately to Bangkok with another group for a different kind of treat.
This time we had also other volunteers: Giuliano, Flavia’s husband, which helped us a lot with the bakery and public relations; Lucrezia, or Lulu as the children called her affectionately; and Manolis. They were so nice to the children. Our volunteers sacrificed everything just to see us smile.
We did the duty and chores but somehow everybody had their share of Songkran fun.
The little ones did go out and had chances to throw a lot of water. And the big ones did also go at a different time, and finally were rewarded by the teenager in-charge Aye Mew to go at the Three Pagoda Pass, where the festivities were at the wildest and culminating point.
A lot of paint on the faces, a lot of water thrown and dancing and singing.
It was great.