Songkran is the most important and loved festival of Thailand. It is so fun AND FULL OF WATER GAMES.
It marks the Thai and Burmese New year. Even the most laborious person will stop their work to play water games with friends and neighbors.
Baan Unrak is no different. Everybody wants to go out everybody wants to play. In a house of 120 children suddenly all the systems crake down. No guard, no cook, not cleaner, no office stuff, no baker, no regular income from our small bakery and weaving program. It is a drama.
A few children had the luxury to have someone from their expanded family that will pick them up to restore family ties during the holiday. Still we have many children in the home. They still need to eat, safety and overall care.
So this can be a chaotic and challenging time.
It is not possible to endure without the sacrifice of very supportive children and volunteers that work tirelessly to ensure that we make enough money, that make sure that we have our meals and we have our fun.
Giuliano, Flavia and their sponsor child Anantapat
The two who have made the biggest sacrifice are Giuliano and Flavia (volunteers from Italy). They took over the management of our bakery, cooks, trained children, fixed recipes and cleaned nonstop. They made sure that every night the market had enough fresh baked goods and pizza to sell. The two of them did a job of 10 people.
Tan War and his care giver Htway Yee
The second honor on sacrifice would go to Htway Yee the care giver of Tan War. While several caregivers stayed behind and took turns caring for small children, Htway Yee, completely forsaking the festival to make sure that the little 5 month old Tanwar was safe and well taken care of.
Other remarkable services:
A team of children took turns making sure that we had a clean kitchen and meals for all of our children. They worked very quietly in the Kitchens where they went almost unnoticed. Very few realized their sacrifice and commitment to the home.
Our Yoga Group and Little Dancers at Baan Unrak trained tirelessly missing many of the water games to be ready to perform at the Sangkhlaburi night market. Our Creative Assistant, Krate, was there every step of the way. Overall the show was very successful and much appreciated by the community.
Our little sellers in the evening, assisted by volunteers, did a lot of good work. During the day they were able to play but by early afternoon they had to get ready to head to market. They worked on selling our baked goods to market goers during a very busy time in downtown Sangkhlaburi.
Our volunteer drivers never got tired to go out on errands. Going back and forth between town to play water, bring children to the night market for performing and for fun. They tirelessly were driving everywhere they were required to go.
All volunteers were tired but the children sweetly surprised all of them with a water blessing ceremony. The sweet-scented water was offered on each of them and the volunteers were whispering blessings and wishes to each child. In the end, the remaining water was poured one everyone. Soaking all!