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Monday, 25 January 2010

January 24th 2010


Left the comfort of the hotel in a mega rainstorm. The car aquaplaned its way out of Bangkok - don't seem to do storm drains here, water was up to six inches deep in places. Was just praying that the brakes weren't being affected.
Arrived at Fr Ray foundation two hours later. Sun shining and lush green vegetation in the grounds. Shown up to my room - no dormitory,but single room ensuite! Assume this was one of the original buildings of the Redemptorist monastery as the room is very cell like with a very small window, but does have air conditioning! No flushing toilet though and the shower is just a hose pipe - I'll be wondering why I need so much space when I return home.
Arranged to meet up with one of the volunteers who had offered to show me round the complex, but another deluge prohibited this. Prepared to settle down in lounge with a book when Denis, the assistant director and Redemptorist brother asked if I'd like to go with him to visit the children's village.This is situated just on the outskirts of Pattaya and will eventually be a complex of 20 houses. At the moment just 4 houses are up and running. Each contains 7 or 8 children with a housemother. Much better than a large institution. 6 more houses are almost ready to open and work will soon begin on the other 10.The stories of the children is heart wrenching.Some, as young as 3, were literally found abandoned on the streets. Others are there because parents have died of HIV, or are drug addicts.
The idea of putting the children in small units is great. It has a real feeling of family and the children look out for each other. The older children have lists of chores to do and the rooms are spotless.And all this funded through donations.
Denis then invited me out to dinner with some of the full time staff ( all Brits ) and a couple of visitors who had come to see the children they are sponsoring.
Humidity is high and will take a lot of getting used to, but now and again you catch a gentle breeze. So it's off to bed at 10pm. Looking forward to meeting my fellow volunteers tomorrow and being shown around the campus by Derek, the co-ordinator of the volunteers.

6 comments:

  1. Good luck cuz, sounds like you'll settle in nicely.

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  2. So will they get you building houses too? Love the sound of the toilets! I'm thinking we should start fund raising now , never mind waiting for Lent. Is there anything specific you can see to go for or should we look at sponsoring children? Your pal Gary Neal is coming down this week so I'll give him your blog ad too. Take care x

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  3. This is my 3rd attempt to get to you--I would have been the 1st to reply to your first epistle--but I had to have lessons off Carol. See how good my tutor was!!!??? Then I'll say more

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  4. That was easy--I owe Carol some fizzy maybe!! Thanks for the update at this rate you will beat Laura's journal. I like the sound of your room ensuite you lucky thing. The toilet fascinates me and shall I send you a shower head? We love the photos and your diary is improving every day!!! Now get down to some real work now all the tours are over and the meals out!!! Bed at 10pm, what time do we get up? Can.t wait for more lots of love

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  5. Hello you,
    I think what you are doing is amazing. A once in a life time experience. Your pics are great look forward to hearing more as your trip unfolds. Sounds like you have some real luxuries though, especially the ensuite!! Take care of yourself.

    Love and hugs Tarah xxxxx

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  6. Sounds like this is a real experience. The support they provide for these youngsters is so important. Are they well supported financially? The idea of the smaller family units sounds a positive development. A priest I know in Uganda has the same system, with all the children taking responsibilty for keeping house and supporting one another.

    Your pictures are great. Hope to keep popping in and out of the blog now I know what to do!!

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