Halloween 2012

In the Sarnelli House time honored American/Thai tradition, Halloween was celebrated the weekend before school resumed. This year the new Mary and Joseph Hall was the venue and the kids arrived early at around 4pm for a farewell to the all male volunteers who were leaving the next week. After the farewell and supper, the makeup was circulated and some of the more artistic girls painted the faces of staff, volunteers and kids alike and made them as gruesome and scary as possible.

Each house had to pick out and dress and paint up a group of kids to represent their house. They had to perform on stage and were judged by the volunteers. Then one member of the group was interviewed by Ms Kung and had the stage for themselves to dance for 1 minute. A final parade of all the contestants was performed and then Fr Ole presented the results and the prizes. This year a surprise candidate was included and Cameron one of the volunteers, came out as a manic ghost and ran amok among the screaming kids. He took home the prize for the evening!

After it was dark the kids were divided up into 4 groups and then led over to the dark and candle lit cemetery. They had to crawl through a long tunnel made of branches and dirt and made by Br Keng and the volunteers. Eggs and fake snakes were scattered through the tunnel and when the kids where in the tunnel and there was no turning back - water and fermented fish sauce was thrown at them through the flimsy walls. Fire crackers were constantly going off and kids were screaming and it was dark and head splittingly noisy. By the time the first group had made it through and the girls had made their outrage felt at smelling like fermented fish, many of the other girls refused to go near the tunnel.  But the boys continued to run the gauntlet and tried to crawl through as fast as possible. After the smelly tunnel the groups were led to the enclosed cemetery of Sarnelli House all lit with candles. Then it was through another dark tunnel and on the way out talcum powder was thrown at the kids, the return home was a walk down a dark unlit road back to Sarnelli House with kids running as fast as they could to outrun the imagined ghosts close behind.

 When everyone was back in the hall Thai sweets and red colored drink were on offer and then the music was turned up and up and the lights turned out and the kids let it all out and danced on the stage until they dropped. By 9pm it was all over and everyone went back to their respective houses covered in smudged makeup and smelling like fermented fish.