While most foreigners in Pattaya were enjoying the Christmas festivities on December 25th, for the majority of local Thais it was just another normal day. Schools were open and most children living at the Father Ray Children’s Home set off for school as usual before the sun was up.
But this year instead of staying in school for the whole day they returned home at lunch time and, for the first time ever, all the children and teachers went out for Christmas lunch.
Father Peter presented gifts to all the children.
After learning about the importance people put on having that one special meal with their families and loved ones on Christmas Day, the manageress of the Children’s Home decided that it would be good for her children, her family, to have a special meal together. Most days meals at the Home are hurried, with children rushing off to play sport or do their homework and chores.
With so much food to eat, sometimes help was needed.
On the afternoon of the 25th, eighty six very excited children and teenagers travelled to the Vientianne Restaurant for Christmas lunch.
There was not a turkey to be seen, no stench of Brussels sprouts and no Christmas pudding was served, instead the children enjoyed a delicious meal of seafood.
For many of the children it was the first time they had ever eaten in a restaurant. For newcomers to the Home it was the first time they received a Christmas present. But for all the children it was the one time they could all eat together, enjoy a delicious meal, receive a gift and have fun without worrying about school work, homework or anything else.
This is the start of a new tradition at the Father Ray Children’s Home, and one young boy asked if he could visit the restaurant every week, but he will just have to wait another year.
Even the fresh fruit tasted better on Christmas Day.
Searching for the last prawn.
For many of the younger children it was their very first visit to a restaurant.
Not a turkey in sight, and the food was delicious.