December 4-6 2010
For the seventh consecutive year, Rotary Club of Koh Samui prepared to greet 30 children and their chaperones from the Mercy Centre, Bangkok. Unusually, the children set off late on Friday evening from Bangkok, and arrived Saturday morning at Donsak Ferry Pier after travelling all night in 3 mini buses. They were met by Rotarians Philip Parker, Adele Smith and Wally Smith, who had their ferry tickets ready for them. The children’s ages varied from 5 to 21 years old, with the older children taking charge of the younger ones. Ahead of them was the new destination of Imperial Resort and Spa in Chaweng Noi, and a fun packed programme. There was also concern about the weather, as the rainy season had been exceptionally violent, with the Imperial losing part of its beach! More worryingly, the rains were continuing!
The children were greeted by GM and staff of Imperial, Rotary members and Friends of Rotary, all anxious to make this a ‘weekend to remember’!
The children were overwhelmed by their luxury rooms, and were reluctant to leave them, even to walk along the beach to neighbouring New Star Resort who had laid on a lovely lunch for them.
During the afternoon, the children met students from nearby Panyadee School, and with them shared beach games and also a trip to Panyadee School, where members of Samui Pirates and Dark Knights were ready to give them rides on their impressive ‘Big Bikes’, much to the children’s delight. Several begged for more than one go, and the bikers were only too happy to oblige.
The afternoon drew to a close with a BBQ supper prepared by the BBQ King, Nigel Mills. The children then staged a concert, first with children from Panyadee, and then the children from the Mercy Centre. Then they all combined to sing the King’s Anthem. The concert ended in Tod Lavalle keeping the audience enthralled – and involved.
Magically, Santa Claus then appeared, and proceeded to give gifts to all the children present. Finally, the children went off to bed, clutching their gifts.
Sunday followed the accustomed Day 2 pattern, with a visit to the Namuang Safari Park, where the children enjoyed a stroll through the zoo, and a chance to pet the animals. That was followed in turn by an elephant show, monkey show and crocodile show. By this time, the hungry children were ready to be taken to Samui Shamrock, Lamai where they were given a splendid lunch followed by an Ice Cream dessert in next door ScoopS.
There was time in the afternoon to relax in the swimming pool or on the beach, until it was time to go to Tropical Murphys, where a supper and party games awaited them.
The final morning was spent in a villa high up in the mountains overlooking Bophut, where the children were given lunch and gift bags.
Sadly, all too soon it was time to pack their bags, swollen with all the gifts, and board their minibuses for the journey back to Bangkok. Sad members and friends of Rotary waved goodbye to these adorable children once again, but resolved to greet them yet again the following year.