I would arrive in the late morning and often times we had adventures planned for the day. It was not always fun and games, I did conduct some business but for the most part, it was simply having fun and spending time with the children...
March 21st I spent the day at Promise Home, playing games and finishing up a new video for Promise Home. It will be debuted at our annual Peace Meal dinner so, if you are around plan on attending that on June 9th. More on that to come. After the dinner, the video will be put on our website.
After that, I went to lunch with Ann to Akha Coffee and spent some wonderful time there. The coffee is wonderful and the cook is superb. The owner, Arthur grows and roasts his own coffee and when I went to purchase two bags for myself, he sweetly asked if I minded if he gave me one for my birthday..
After Akha Coffee, Ann and I wandered around the mall until it was time to go visit my great friends at Baan Noi and celebrate with 22 (24 if you count the owner and her daughter) of my dearest friends. I was treated like a queen with a huge and beautiful birthday cake.. dear Ngow cut a huge piece for me which I did not eat most of but the cake did not go to waste. Cake is a treat for the children and they took full advantage of being able to eat as much as they wanted. After all, that is what a special occasion is for, right? Such a lovely evening.
March 23rd and 24th Ann and I traveled to Doi Mae Salong and visited the Lisu Hill Tribe where I was surprised with yet another birthday cake. Such a sweet and generous gift from many who have so little. We were able to visit for a while and then I shopped for goodies from 6 of the village women who had set up their "stores" for me.
We spent the night at Little Home with our good friends there. The bungalows are as quaint and peaceful as ever and it is simply so relaxing. Unfortunately Jermsak and his daughter Swanya were not feeling well so we did not have too many adventures the following day. It was best to get them back to Chiang Rai city and let them go home and rest. I spent that evening at Promise Home and got to meet little Porjai, the daughter of a young woman I originally met at Bethany and who is working for Youth For Christ with Palita and Nittaya.
Went to a new church on the 25th, where the guest preacher talked far too long for my liking but I was able to see some old friends who attend church there. The afternoon and evening was spent with Promise Home. I went with the children to play soccer but only four other children showed up so there was no real game. The boys had fun kicking the balls and trying to score anyway. It was a hot afternoon so perhaps that is why no one came....
March 26th we went to Huay Mae Sai waterfall- one of the favorite places for the kids. It is an easy drive and now a much easier walk for mom to get to the falls. The kids has a blast as did Big....... It is a good thing that we went when we did as it is getting to be a very popular place now that the weather is getting hotter.
March 27th we went to Mae Kok river by the original Promise Home (which is now a restaurant by the way) and swam for a bit. It is getting hotter so swimming and waterfalls are the places to be.. Soon it will be Songkran (The Thai New Year where you celebrate by dousing people with water for 3 days) and the waterfalls and rivers will be packed. So glad we went when we did.
March 28th was a simple day of doing chores at the home. Big had to go get supplies for a church camp at Big C and Fon is helping her brother prepare for his wedding on March 31st. But the day ended with a trip to watch Chiang Rai United play football. We sat is one of the major cheering sections and Promise Home did well in cheering them on. Unfortunately, they did not win but it was a fun evening anyway.
My last full day included lunch with my friend Ann then spending the afternoon and evening with Promise Home. We just relaxed, out of the sun and played card games after all of the children and family indulged mom and got their pictures taken with her. Our last evening out was spent at Hungry Wolf's a local restaurant that serves Western food and which was the choice of the children. They ordered two of the large pizzas and Coke. After pizza, they had all made sure to save enough room for ice cream. The owners of the location are some more good friends of mine and I am glad to see their larger and much more comfortable location. They are getting ready to close for a one month holiday so once again our timing was perfect. A truly special evening with the family and friends.
After Easter, all of the children will go home to their villages to spend time with family. Big and Fon along with their family will have a chance for a break and relax on their own.
So there you have the Reader's Digest version of my time here. It was filled with laughter, fun, hugs, kisses and most of all, love!!!!! I will give an update on each child once I return home. But suffice to say, they are happy, healthy, polite, caring, well fed and absolutely thriving. They fill my heart with tremendous joy and happiness. I am so proud of the people they are growing into and can't wait to see what the future holds for each and every one of them.
Thanks for following along.
Till next time......
Heather and the family at Promise Home