A little girl trying to chatch soap bubbles at Children's…
Making friends in Thailand.
A little girl trying to chatch soap bubbles at Children's Village Nongkhai, Thailand.
So far I haven't had any stories from the wonderful people who raise money for the charity. I thought I would fix this today by telling you about two guys who travelled by motorbike across Asia. As well as making money for the chairity they visited villages along the way and made friends in Thailand. Here is the story of their time in Indonesia:
Two Austrian biker had a fascinating time in Indonesia. At the beginning of March they spent three weeks sightseeing in Singapore and Malaysia before reaching Thailand were they spent a week on the paradise beaches in the south. This was just the kind of relaxation they needed before heading off again into the turmoil of the city of Bangkok. Thailand's first SOS Children's Village is located in the south of the city, far away from the noise and pollution of the centre.
The travellers were overwhelmed by the welcome they received when they arrived at the village. The say "We were met by over fifty children with flowers and SOS Children's Village flags, all waving and cheering. During our trip, we have learnt that the customary greeting is not the usual handshake: instead you put your hands together just under your chin and bow to the person opposite you."
The National Director of SOS Children's Villages Thailand and Laos gave a tour through the garden and around the village houses. Then they had lunch in house number 8 with the mother and her eight children. The lunch was fried rice with and fresh mangos were served for dessert. The SOS mother told a story about one of her boys who likes the ripe mango fruit so much that she can hardly get him to come down out of the mango trees this time of year.
Later on in the afternoon, the bikers met two youngsters, who grew up in an SOS Children's Village in Laos and happened to be in Bangkok to collect their visas for England. Both of them will go and study at Cambridge for two semesters next year. Because they speak excellent English, they were able to tell us all about their childhood in the SOS Children's Village and how happy they are to have grown up there. The bikers said "we were sorry to have to leave and set off once again into the Bangkok traffic the atmosphere was so pleasant and calm in the SOS Children's Village".
Children who attend the Social Center Sucre, Bolivia. They are dancing Thinku, a typical regional dance.
As well as traditional dances at the Social Center Sucre, the children play traditional games, sometimes with SOS supporters (or SOS freinds as we prefer to call them) paying a visit. Here is an example of how SOS staff have organised events so that children and village visitors both have a great time and learn from each other:
When some SOS friends visited the social center in Sucre, the SOS organisers planned a little activity for the day. In the activity the organisers picked the most popular traditional games from the region that children still play and games the SOS friends remember from their childhood. The activity for the day was that both children and guests had a competition showing their talents at playing the selection of games.
The two most preferred games of the competition were:
This is the equivalent of 'spinning top' in English. It is a sort of round shaped piece of wood with a metal pointed bottom that allows the top to spin. "The top is wrapped with a string and thrown to the floor fast," says Walter (nine), one of the participants. "Normally, we use different techniques to launch the top."
This is the particular name given to the game of "marbles" in Sucre and Marcos. "Among the most preferred variations of this game in the village is the one in which we [the players] place our "tinkas" (main marbles) two meters apart from one another. We try to get close to the other player's tinkas so that we can make a "chutis" (a touch of the opponent's marble). This determines who begins the game." says one keen player of this game.
In reflection of the activity day one visitor commented: "I thought I had forgotten how to play pepas, but I didn't do it too bad. Lots of memories of my childhood came to my mind when playing. I used to enjoy playing these games with my family, and remember their love and support. These children here are lucky... they have a second chance, the chance to have a second family, and a very large one, by the way."