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Sunday 19th December 2004. 

Addís party for the Children at the St, Camillian Foundation of Thailand at Dok Krai Resort.

Right after lunch all in the pool
Some laid back sun bathers at the deep end

The blow up canoe was a big success

Where did that balloon go too.

This gentleman is my friend Kenny from Scotland he was less than one week later caught up in the Asian Tsunami.

He escaped with out a scratch but his very successful dive business is all gone. That is along with just about everything else on Phi Phi Island.

 Winter has definitely settled on Thailand early this year with the night-time temperature down to the low twenties centigrade, making the midday temperature seem even warmer but in reality only reaching about 33 degrees centigrade. So the morning began in the usual way at about 5:30am, with the pale winter sun putting in appearance at around 6:15am. Lately the days have been hazy with something of a heavy morning dew. The visibility being so low that you can barely see Koh Larn from the beach. My day began as always with my first bucket of coffee while watching BBC News then to my computer to see if any of my good friends out there were speaking to me that morning. The day before Noi was definitely in two minds whether to attend the party Mr. Add was giving for the children today.  

Some of this is due to sheer idleness but a lot is due to her not knowing people and being self conscious of meeting new people especially farangs. I was being given the thousand questions the night before when I turned around and said you are either come or not; itís up to you. As much as

I would like her to be there, itís for sure easier for me if herself and Black stay home not having to worry if they are hungry, bored and the never ending wait for whatever. This especially as I was responsible for actually getting the children there on this occasion.  Anyway there she was bright and early with everything in place early for once.

Mr Add really getting stuck in at the party.

They always have a new song

Every one got a Christmas present
All tucking into a good meal

 We set of for my friend Tonyís apartment as the sun was just melting away the early morning mist and from there off for the usual large English Breakfast. As you well know by now this tradition is just about set in stone. Tukta, Tonyís girlfriend, was not there at breakfast but we picked her up later on our way to get the children, the babble in Thai started immediately in the back of the cab so both Noi and Tukta were happy. We arrived at the orphanage about an hour early but this gave Tony a chance of a look around. The children were all in Mass so the place was almost silent apart from the singing that emanated from the chapel now and again. The first one to appear was Pop followed quite quickly by the hordes. They were all excited, no one had forgotten that they were in for a day out. I had parked my truck outside so as to make sure I could take off first so the other vehicles could follow. The 40 minute journey there was uneventful and we arrived right on time at the stroke of twelve.  

The party began the second we got there with lunch for the children and I was surprised too see Add stuck in sorting them out making sure they all got a good helping, but there he was. I even think I saw him once with a party hat on. Sorry, I have no photo evidence of this but you will have to take my word for it. The meal finished with ice cream. To follow they were all soon in the very nice pool and when John, from South Wales, the owner of the resort, appeared with an inflatable canoe they were all very happy. I was sorry for any of the other patrons of the resort that afternoon who expected the usual tranquil scene but that certainly was not going to be the case this afternoon. 

About an hour later the speed-boat turned up at the shore of the lake to give all the children a ride up and down the lake. But where was Add? According to John it was his job to take care of that? Add was flying Fr, G around the area and taking aerial photos of the Garden of Eden Centre. The Garden of Eden is a self-supporting establishment for the adult HIV/AIDS patents. They grow vegetables and make handicrafts  which are sold locally. The people who end up there are shunned by their familyís and village community.  

A speed boat ride for all including Mr Black
Captain John all he needs is an eye patch

Every child having had at least one boat ride, it was time for the presents, Add and his wife Ben had obviously spent a great deal of time picking out individual gifts from the list I had given him of all the childrenís ages and as itís very difficult for a farang to tell from the name it also listed the girls and boys. Little Pop was one of the last ones to be called up for her present and just at that time there was a little confusion among one or two of the gifts and the poor little thing thought she wasnít getting one. Well, you should have seen her face. I know she was because I had seen her name on one of the packages. However there was one boy who was left out; some fault with the list. This was very soon corrected by Surge a Belgian Airline pilot who lives in one of the bungalows at the back of the hotel.

It was the quick production of a few red bank notes and everybody had a big simile on the face.  

Shortly after little Pop came to show me the present she had and it was a Barbie doll thing. Tukta asked if she wanted her to put on the small silver cross I had given one of to all the children but the answer was no, tomorrow. This was going to go home first and be properly put in itís place. 

There was just time for a few songs before they had to return home, one was a Japanese song that they recently learned and very charming it was too. So back in the truck for the journey home. I am certain there would not be one murmur after lights out, there certainly wasnít from me.

   

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