Holiday activities for March 2010

Aquarium Visit

A visit to the aquarium in Nongkhai was a must as part of the school holiday activities for the kids of Sarnelli House. We left mid morning in the big school bus on what was to be a hot and blistering day and drove to Nongkhai and to the Mekhong River. There everyone got out and had a walk along the promenade and enjoyed watching the river and visiting the temple. After this it was a longer stop at a big park in Nongkhai for lunch - BBQ chicken, sticky rice and papaya salad as well as lots to drink. The kids fed the fish in the lake and explored the park. Then it was on to the aquarium.

At the aquarium Boy Lek had a slight mishap. He thoroughly enjoyed the aquarium, whirling from fish display to fish display bashing on the glass. The outraged cries of “Boy” would follow him from the older kids who were mortified at his behaviour. One of the volunteers found Boy locked in the toilet. We could see small fat, dirty bare feet under the door. We tried coaxing Boy out but we got no response. So I climbed up on the top of the toilet in the next cubicle and leant over and looked in. There in the toilet bowl was his blue undies floating about and next to the toilet was Boy, his shoes beside him on the floor, the floor wet and dirty, he was holding a wet pair of jeans that I presume he had been washing in the toilet. He looked up with such a sorrowful look like” I ‘m sorry I’ve done it again and I can’t make it better”. I told him to unlock the door and I would help him and not to worry as he hadn’t done anything wrong. There was a moments silence as we held our breath, then the lock turned and the door opened. Poor little fellow he had runny poo all down his legs. Typically in Thai toilets there is a disappointing lack of toilet paper, in fact there is usually none and soap seems to be a rare commodity as well. Luckily we had a packet of wet ones and they saved our lives. Boy was cleaned up as best we could, his jeans rinsed, and put back on him with his wet shoes and we flushed the undies away.  We left the toilet and found a gang of kids waiting for us, or more specifically waiting to tease Boy about his escapade. He walked the gauntlet in dignified silence and we found a clean pair of pants for him and he was back to his usual self, terrorising what looked like a rabid dog before we hauled him into the truck for the drive home.


A previous volunteer Tommy Kelly who had visited in October 2009 and bought with him money he had raised for, among other things bikes for the kids, visited again in March 2010. He participated in the International Mekong River Triathlon and the boys from Jan and Oscar House went into Nongkhai to watch him complete the course. They saw the swim in the Mekhong River, the cycle and the run, and waited  for Tommy as he ran to the finish line. Tommy is hoping it will inspire the boys to take up one or all three of the sports. The boys really enjoyed their day and out and hope they can watch Tommy compete again next year.

English Teaching

Lorcan and Laura did a great job of teaching English to the girls from Nazareth House, the boys from Jan and Oscar and St Patrick’s and the Sarnelli kids. They used creative ways to get the kids participating and their knowledge of Thai from their time teaching in Thailand was also a bonus for everyone.

Art and Craft Activities

Card making, mask making and clock making all were part of the activities that had the kids kept busy in the holidays. Making plasticine figures and hanging out in the playground as well as walking to Pi Si Tong were popular pastimes and the kids couldn’t get enough of any of them.

Visit from Habitat for Humanity

A group of Japanese volunteers from Habitat for Humanity visited the children at Sarnelli House and spent a morning with them teaching them origami, card games and other fun things to do. They are spending 1 month in Thailand helping build homes for the needy and poor. Despite having no language in common the children touched their hearts and there were tears from the volunteers when they had to say goodbye.

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