The Christmas festivities started at the Father Ray Foundation on the morning on the 24th December, Christmas Eve, with gift giving at the Vocational School for People with Disabilities.
This was followed with the arrival at the Father Ray Day Care Center of Father Christmas. And as he arrived most of the assembled seventy toddlers ran away, screaming in fear as the man whose photos they had all seen was now standing in front of them. But they soon got used to him and ended up climbing all over him and having a great time.
Later that morning the children at the Father Ray Children’s Village joined together for an ice-cream and doughnut party, thanks to a sponsor from Singapore. This meant the house mothers could all take a break from cooking lunch as the children never stopped eating until every crumb of doughnut and every drop of ice-cream was gone; though the mothers did have to do an extra load of washing as most children seemed to be wearing more ice-cream than they ate.
The following morning, Christmas Day, a special Christmas breakfast was served at the Drop-In Center where all the young children were celebrating Christmas for the very first time.
When you are living in poverty celebrating Christmas is not a priority. This Christmas may have been their first, but one they will never forget.
They wanted to eat lots of fruit, so that is what they got. Pineapple, watermelon, cantaloupe, blueberries and, to everyone’s delight, several punnets of strawberries. Can you believe that some of the children had never tasted a strawberry? Apart from the fruit there were a few tins of chocolate biscuits; well chocolate does grow on trees!
For the children at the Father Ray Children’s Home they were once again treated to Christmas lunch by a school in the Australian town of Bendigo, and once again Vientiane Restaurant in Nongprue provided a delicious meal and every child received a gift.
One the evening of the 26th, Boxing Day, the children and students from all the projects came together and joined the staff for the annual Christmas party. More than one thousand sat down for dinner and performances by the children, which this were subdued following the passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol in October. Many children also paid respects to the late king in their performances.
A very Happy New year to all the readers from the children and students at the Father Ray Foundation.