Shining our halos
Trip Start Sep 01, 2010
142Trip End Jun 18, 2011
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We have had loads of things happening at home recently, so here’s our list of family congratulations: happy birthday to my mum and elder sister Rachel, I miss u both so much and can’t wait to see you. Best wishes to Tom’s dad who, after 27 years of searching, has finally been reunited with his birth mother. Amazing news! And huge congratulations to my beautiful younger sister Sarah, who got married on 4th March, you looked absolutely stunning. We love you all so much and are looking forward to see you when we get home.
Today was our final day working at the charity in Phuket
The money which is raised by HALO will be used to help a local orphanage called Home & Life, here in Southern Thailand in a place called Khao Lak. Some of the children at the orphanage lost their parents as a result of the 2004 tsunami, while some were placed at the orphanage because their parents can no longer afford to adequately care for them. We got a chance to visit Home & Life during our time in Phuket and it was not what we were expecting at all. It sounds silly but whenever I think of the word ‘orphanage’ I think of something along the lines of the film Annie or Tracy Beaker… I couldn’t have been more wrong about this place. Home & Life is more like a giant care home than an orphanage; the children are cared for as a family, they all go to school and live and play together like brothers and sisters. There was a really positive atmosphere at the orphanage, but despite this they are really really struggling to fund themselves. They are trying hard to raise enough money; they have a great coffee shop on site which brings in a little money from passers-by, they sell cookies and bread that the kids have made at the local market, they have volunteers who come and help care for the children and maintain the buildings and they sell t-shirts decorated by the children
After our time with ChildTRAC came to end we went out for a goodbye meal with our supervisor and the other volunteers; we enjoyed a beautiful sunset down on the beach and then settled down to a great meal at one of the seafood restaurants on the sand. We had a big surprise when our supervisor pulled out a thank you gift for us! She had made us a scrapbook with full of photos taken during our time in Phuket. She had filled the book with photo, quotes, images and written a thank you letter on the front page. We were so shocked and overwhelmed that we really had to choke back the tears; it was so thoughtful of her, we will always be grateful for such a wonderful gift. It was the perfect end to our time with ChildTRAC.
Over the following few days we decided to take some time out to relax and recuperate in Phuket before we started travelling through the rest of Thailand. We have another 30 or so days left on our Thai visas before we need to leave and we intend to make good use of them… but first we needed a few days to catch up on all the sleep we’d missed and to plan the rest of our time in Thailand
It feels very strange doing ‘travelling’ things again because we have been static for long, but the time is definitely right to get back on the road. To get the ball rolling we booked ourselves onto a day tour of some of the tropical islands around the Krabi area for the following day and then went out to celebrate with our first meal alone together in ages. We went to a really nice seafood restaurant nearby that is set in a treehouse and has vines and waterfalls tumbling down into the restaurant. They also have a huge projector screen and they show nothing but music videos by ‘divas’ like Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Cher, Shakira and Celine Dion
Home & Life: http://www.homelifethailand.net/