The day has finally arrived!
The day has finally arrived. The reason we have traveled as long and as far as we have. The children in Thailand and the Buddies Along the Roadside project.
When we arrived at the home, all of the children were at the front gates waiting for us. They seemed as excited as we were at meeting. One by one they walked up to us, to present us with necklaces and ornaments made of fresh beautiful flowers. The emotional feelings were so overwhelming. Such beautiful, innocent faces. Unimaginable what each child has gone through prior to their arrival.
As we continued to walk to the main gathering area, we were surrounded by bounding, energetic, full of life children. They covered our faces with a white liquid, which I believe is a customary way. They cooled us off with pouring refreshing water down our backs. All the while giggling as we went along. The sound was intoxicating.
We made it to the main gathering area. Introduced ourselves, ate lunch with them and played some games. I think the group of us had just as much fun as the kids did. We then got a tour of the grounds,to see all of the work that has been completed in such a short time frame. We were briefed on the projects we will be involved in, as well as some of the future goals. Once we finished the tour of this most amazing place, we headed over to the Mekong River to go swimming with the kids. What a sight to see. The boys and girls climbing the ropes at the rivers edge, skipping stones in the river and jumping in for a refreshing swim. It was amazing to watch the kids at play. Then one by one they all lined up as the ice cream cart showed up. Amazingly patient, well mannered, respectful children. I was fortunate enough to be involved with distributing the cones to each child. Every single one said thank you, either in Thai or English, each one with a genuine appreciation.
At this point we parted ways for the evening. The children back to their home, us to our hotel. I will never forget this moment in time. I feel so blessed to have been included in this journey. I look forward to many more days with the children and the events that will unfold.
– Joycelyn – LiveDifferent Hero Holiday Volunteer, Thailand, 2014