Huahin Trip 2016

Last month was a very special time for 12 of our children as they were chosen to accompany Kate, staff member Kru Noi and our German volunteer Anja, on a six day trip to Hua Hin, about 200 km south west of Bangkok. This is the 8th year of this trip and each time, it is courtesy of Christoph Leonhard and his team at the Amari resort. Christoph is a long time friend of Sarnelli House and over the years, his generosity has allowed over 80 of our children to have the holiday of a lifetime.

This year, the 12 lucky ones were made up of eight girls and four boys and for all of them, it was their first time on an airplane. All of the children were nervous as the plane taxied to take off and Maggie, the youngest, was frozen in her seat for the first 20 minutes of the flight. It was the quietest she’s been in years!

The Amari Hua Hin was very luxurious and the children loved the big comfy beds in the air-conditioned rooms. They couldn’t believe the choice of TV channels, the size of the bathrooms and the complementary laundry service!

Each day was filled with exciting activities. Having arrived and checked in on day one, everyone went down to the seaside. It was the first time any of the children had seen the sea and the little ones held on to Anja’s hand, squealing with a mixture of fear and delight as they danced over the incoming waves. They loved the feeling of the sea on their legs and spent ages daring each other to go further and trying to keep their balance if the wave was a big one. Dinner that evening was pizza and BBQ chicken by the pool.

There was a trip to a safari park and the children watched shows involving elephants, crocodiles and snakes (not all at the same time of course!) Two of the boys, Puerk and Bas, were invited to join in with the elephant show and the rest of the children held their breath as they watched the elephants wrap their trunks around them. The boys were very relieved to get back in one piece. The snake show was very exciting and it led to one startled teenage girl jumping out of her seat, darting up the steps and out the door before her feet hit the ground. Another day involved the gang played at a playground in the morning and after lunch, visited a huge water park. The children adore water parks and there were shrieks of delight as they flew over ramps in rafts, slid down enormous slides, toiled against wave machines and generally splashed about. Even the littlest ones loved some of the bigger water features. That evening was spent at Christoph’s house eating and even more swimming. All 15 collapsed into their beds that night and slept soundly. Recovery was quick however and the following morning was spent at a rehabilitated mango swamp to celebrate Earth Day. The children were given a tour of the swamp and the importance of sustaining the environment was explained to them. After a quick lunch at KFC, the children went ten-pin bowling. It was the first time for many of them but they took to it well. Some of the boys got quite competitive and stayed on their lanes longer than anyone else. Dinner was again at Christoph’s house and there were more hours of swimming in his pool.

On day 5 the children waved goodbye to Hua Hin and were transported to Bangkok and the day was spent at Dream World, an adventure theme park where shrill screams filled the air as the children looped, swung and plummeted in gravity-defying rides. The ghost train caused some hands to be clutched (and a tear or two to be shed!) but the day was very memorable for the kids as they had never had such an adrenaline pumping experience before. In the afternoon they were transported to the Amari Don Muang Airport hotel, this time in Bangkok for their final night. They were given a tour of the kitchens and met the hotel staff. The next morning it was back to Udon Thani on the plane and the van ride to Sarnelli House. A stop off for a lunch of som tam, sticky rice and grilled chicken was the prefect ending to another fabulous week.

A huge and sincere thank you to Christoph and his team at Amari for being so wonderful to all the kids who have holidayed at Amari every year. It is with sadness but gratitude we say good bye to Christoph - he is off to manage the Amari Havvoda in the Maldives. His generosity, care and compassion for the children at Sarnelli House has been extraordinary and he has given these children an experience both inspiring and filled with fun and laughter. Thank you P Chris and wishing you every success in your next adventure.