Holidays water theme

As temperatures soar up to 40C  in the Northeast of Thailand in time for Thai New Year or Songkran -  also known as the water festival among tourists, water becomes a major theme in the lives of the Sarnelli House children. School holidays have begun and many children have now been picked up by relatives, caught the bus or been dropped off to their homes to celebrate the coming Songkran which falls on the 12 -15th April. It is a time when families are reunited so the big cities almost shut down while their workers head home to their villages.  At Sarnelli  House it is a time to seek relief from the heat and to be thankful for the volunteers’ generosity in sponsoring  day trips to the Water Park in Udon, visits to Tesco Lotus in Nongkhai for ice cream, KFC and shopping or visits to the Aquarium or Crocodile show in Nongkhai. 

Last week 95 children, 10 staff and eight volunteers descended on the water park at Udon Thani, a 45 minute drive from Nongkhai in two cattle trucks. For three hours the kids had an amazing time – splashing each other, noisily careening down water slides, and generally keeping cool in the pools, only breaking for lunch. No one was lost or drowned and all the swimming caps that had to be hired were accounted for and returned. A big thank you to Jim Snell for sponsoring the event! 

The pool behind House of Hope gets a big workout this time of the year.  Thanks to Vrienden van Sarnelli from The Netherlands - the pool’s filter and the shower room have been repaired,  and a new  water supply for the pool established and it is running like a dream. Thanks also to Fr Chuck from the USA for sending  over the foam noodles for the kids to play with in the pool and various donors who have bought goggles and swim wear for the kids. Such is the lure of the pool that some mornings  at 8am some of the little boys from Sarnelli House are dressed in their swim wear, clutching their towels all prepared mentally and physically be picked up at  2pm for their allocated hour of swimming!  

Continuing on with the theme of water a visit to the Aquarium and the crocodile show followed by lunch on the Mekhong River for the House of Hope kids proved to be a great outing – thanks again to Ben and Angelique from Vrienden van Sarnelli. The Aquarium tour took precisely 15 minutes to complete as the little kids saw open space, tunnels and sloping  concrete floors and just wanted to run giving a cursory glance to the things swimming in the tanks on either side of them. The crocodile show kept their attention for a bit longer, a few were too scared to watch, and others were too fascinated by the toilets to watch. Lunch on a floating barge on the Mekhong River was a great way to end to the day – eating grilled fish, papaya salad and sticky rice. 

Celebrating Songkran next week with three days of water throwing should be a great antidote to the heat as well … bring it on! 
7th April 2015