Halloween Party 2009

Viw from Viengkhuk with her ice cream

Halloween was celebrated at Sarnelli House on the 31st October 2009 and was a scary success. The evening started with all the kids coming over to Sarnelli House for a meal. Shows were then put on by all the houses – St Patrick’s boys did a skit which raised a lot of laughter, the Viengkhuk little girls danced in Halloween costumes made by Sister Lek. Halloween masks and costumes were given out and the finale was a parade by an enthusiastic child or children representing each house in full Halloween costume. Surprisingly behind the scenes a few hours before, at Nazareth House all the girls put their names in a container and Pi Nok the house mother, pulled out three names to represent Nazareth House in the finale. What followed were tears, hysterics and flouncing off by the 3 girls whose names were pulled out. It looked like the night would be a disaster for Nazareth House. Mut from Sarnelli House did the same with silent tears and a downcast face. I am not sure how the staff handled this but whatever they did was successful as on the night all the previous drama was forgotten. The chosen kids got up and strutted their stuff to the cheering and the roaring of the crowd, the accompanying music and the enthusiastic introductions by Gung.



The winner of the night was Man from the Jan and Oscar House. Dressed in flowing skirt and blouse complete with long blue hair and a walk on him that would do any catwalk model proud, he shimmied and shook and wooed the boisterous crowd. Amazing to think that Man has been at Sarnelli House for only 1 year, and was sick and thin from AIDS when he first arrived and is now winning Halloween contests!

Man(winner), Boy and Kung

Judging the finale

The runner up was Boy from St Patrick’s who was dressed in true cross dresser style with a bare midriff complete with tattoos, a flowing skirt, abundant bosoms, open blouse, a bald headed wig and makeup that looked like a cross between a pirate and a clown.

After the show all the kids were divided into 4 groups and each group set out on the Halloween trek. Walking out the front gates of Sarnelli House with a group of clinging, shrieking kids into the dark night was an experience I wondered if I really wanted. The first stop was to light candles and incense sticks before entering the cemetery next to Sarnelli House. The goal was to place a candle and incense at a grave and say a prayer before moving onto the next designated meeting place. There was almost a full moon so luckily it wasn’t completely dark, but not light enough to see the boys hiding behind graves ready to pounce on the next petrified yet excited kid. After much screaming we made it to the next stop.

The start of the trek

In the cemetry

We were directed to walk the dark, dirt track around behind Nazareth House. Screaming masked boys popped out of the undergrowth clutching at our ankles, and the path was uneven and sandy. Every now and then there were trip ropes at our feet and we all screamed as we tried to regain our footing. We stopped at a small mound of sand with about 20 lighted candles glowing in the middle of the track. We had to form a circle and the music was turned on and we danced until told to stop. The bigger kids dressed in black costumes danced on the roof of a truck close by and occasionally jumped down into our circle complete with bloodcurdling cries.


We then had to walk the rest of the dark, sandy road down to 9 Rai or the orchard. Figures kept appearing out of the darkness and kids ran petrified and squealing down the road, or very nearly tried to get inside my clothes they wanted to be so close. Gung was waiting there in the dark dressed in her vampire costume, beside a tunnel made from spare tyres and covered with a tarpaulin. Everyone had to crawl through not knowing what was in the tunnel Kids came out appalled that they had to crawl through what they thought was buffalo poo. Then it was the big walk back in the dark around the side of Sarnelli coming in by the side gate. Some older girls that were ahead came screaming back to us because there was a village guy wavering all over the track drunkenly singing, and they were more frightened of him than ghosts. So we all walked crisply past him and he seemed astonished to see so many kids at this time of night that he stopped singing and stared.

Boy from Sarnelli

Thai sweets and chocolate milk were dished out to the kids on arrival back at Sarnelli House by the staff, and the excitement and adrenaline began to fade, and was replaced mostly by yawning and sleepy kids wanting to go home. That is except the kids from Sarnelli House who never seem to get tired, I was glad I wasn’t the one who had to settle them down for the night.

Fa and Mulay

The night was so well organized, and the staff did such a great job they are to be commended. Even the husbands and wives and children of the staff came to help out and experience the fun of Halloween. It was a great night.


November 2009

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