Reflection after a visit to Sarnelli House by Tracey Sauer

Man U and Tracey & gifts

         It is hard to put into words the profound impact that this visit to Sarnelli House has had on me.  There were so many emotions - happiness to see the joy of the children; gratitude for the amazing work that is being done by so many people to help them; intense sadness at the stories of the children and the knowledge that so many of them are living with such serious illnesses; and love – this I did not expect after only a day with a child, but it happened.  From the moment little Man U took my hands as I helped him balance on his crippled legs to join the others in their game I was hooked and apparently, so was he.  We were joined at the hip for the rest of our time there.  He talked non-stop (I wish I knew more Thai!), pointed out all the colours he knew on my bracelet and counted the beads.  He did everything all the other kids did.  His crippled legs & frequent falls were no barrier to his being part of the group.  More moving than even his physical tenacity was his, and other children’s, incredible generosity of spirit.  When the candies flew out of the piñata they did not hoard the loot for themselves, they looked around to see who did not have one & shared theirs.  The humble patience and love that these children have for each other was truly inspiring.  The hardest part of the whole journey was not the 10-12 hour bus ride, it was leaving.  As the bus pulled away I could see Man U’s tell-tale rocking walk as he clamored to the rail to watch the bus pull away.  I thought my heart would break knowing that I may never see him again.  I kept thinking ‘who will hold his hands tomorrow?’ Of course, I know Man U and the rest of the children will be very well taken care of and given the support they need, but my heart said ‘it should be me’.

Kiet in the hay

Tracey Sauer
Elementary Literacy Specialist
Ruamrudee International School, Bangkok, Thailand
Dec 5-6, 2009

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