Well, the day has been wild and wonderful. After an early breakfast, we took nearly 100 of the kids to the Maesa Elephant Camp for their world famous show. The kids squealed with delight as the elephants danced, played soccer and painted (yes, painted).
After the show, we headed back to the hotel so I could tend to my ailing stomach and travel-weary body. After lunch and a short nap, Dr. John and I met with Tutu for about three hours to discuss financial and strategic details of our ministries in Thailand. We ran out of time and energy long before we ran out of issues to discuss, but I feel like we got a lot done.
Meanwhile, the kids all got an installment of vaccines -- two shots each.
We headed out to the main Doi Saket campus for a dinner of sticky rice and grilled chicken. After the meal, we attended an assembly for all of the Doi Saket orphan homes. The kids sang and danced for at least an hour. Bob gave a few words on encouragement, and then Tutu and I handed out prizes to the kids, who were still wincing from their injections.
The honors ranged from “most helpful” to “best student.” Most of the prizes came in the form of cookies and snacks, but one kid received a guitar for his academic achievements. About two thirds of the way through the ceremony, the lights went out and a wind blew through the room. All of the children danced and sang as the thunder rolled, lit only by an occasional flash from the sky and the dim glow of cell phones.
Eventually one of the staff produced a box of thin, yellow candles. The children gathered in circles and placed one candle in the center of each group. The staff passed around plates of cookies, and the fun continued for at least another hour. Eventually the power came back on, and the party ended and all of us old, tired farangs (Thai for “gringos”) headed back home.
It’s about a quarter after midnight now – I had wanted to post this along with some pictures tonight, but the internet is down. I will try tomorrow.
Speaking of tomorrow, we’ll be heading out of town to our farm up north. We’ll kill a pig, hang with some friends, have a meeting or two and stay the night. We’ll be back the next day.
Thank you all for giving me this incredible opportunity. I can’t tell you how blessed I feel to be able to serve these kids. If I get an opportunity to write when I’m not completely exhausted some day, I’ll try.
God bless you.