December 05-07 2014
For the 10th occasion since 2004, the Rotary Club of Koh Samui was delighted to welcome ‘their orphans’ from the Mercy Centre in Klong Toey, Bangkok. 36 children aged between 3 and 14 years old, with 5 chaperones left Bangkok late on Friday 4th December in three minibuses, and travelled overnight to arrive at Donsak by Friday 5th December. They were met by John Braznell, a friend of Rotarian Gary Byrne who lives in Kanom, and who willingly agreed to escort the children to Samui.
They all boarded the 9am ferry to be greeted in Koh Samui by Past President Adele Smith and Rotarian husband Wally, who then escorted the party to Chaweng where they were to enjoy a lunch at Prego’s. They were greeted by Chef Marco and his delightful staff. The children enjoyed Spaghetti Bolognese and Pizza, though Prego staff were needed to demonstrate the art of spaghetti twirling! Lunch was concluded by a delicious selection of ice cream, before the children said ‘thank you’ in their own unique way, before heading off to Ozo Resort further down Chaweng Beach Road. This resort has not long been opened, but GM Ingo generously offered to sponsor enough accommodation for the entire group.
The children were presented with ‘designer’ T shirts, name badges and a gift of snacks and a special ice bucket donated by Makro. The children could not immediately check into their rooms, so in time honoured fashion, they changed into swim suits and enjoyed the large children’s swimming pool, entertained by pool toys. Then they had some ‘time out’ to relax in their rooms before setting off for their next experience!
They travelled to Bar Ice in Chaweng where they were entertained with amazing balloon sculptures and then acrobats. They enjoyed an amazing buffet, followed by delicious desserts. Then the children took turns to dress up warmly and venture into the Ice Room. The entire party, including Rotarians returned to Ozo Resort to join with a candle lighting ceremony to honour the King on his 87th birthday.
Day two found the children having their breakfast as soon as possible so that they could spend time in the hotel pool. Then it was off to Frisbee Golf in Maenam, hosted by ‘Barbeque King’ Nigel Mills. After trying out the course, or indulging in badminton beneath the trees, they all enjoyed a barbeque lunch, cooked, of course, by Nigel. Then they returned to Ozo to rest before their Christmas Party, for the third consecutive time in Samui Shamrock, Lamai.
There they received a warm welcome to from their host, Danny Kelly, and his staff. They were served a delicious meal, during which the resident group Ovada set themselves ready to entertain the children. The group soon had the children up on the stage with them, dancing to the toe tapping numbers. Then they were invited to show off their own skills with dancing and a Taekwondo display.
Then a familiar figure of Father Christmas appeared accompanied by a green clad pixie. They were enthusiastically greeted and he soon dispensed gifts for all the children, having time to have a word with each of them. Santa departed with a cheery wave. Once the children had recovered from the excitement of Father Christmas, they were escorted to Uncle Don’s Ice Cream Parlour next door from where they returned with their particular favourite.
The final day of the holiday was spent at Ozo Resort, where staff from Four Seasons Resort kept the children occupied with beach games, rounded off with lunch provided by Four Seasons. With the weather threatening rain, the party stayed in the restaurant and produced some creditable art work with materials donated by Lorraine Clark. Khun Ratana and the chaperones from the Mercy Centre were then presented with baskets packed with goodies, courtesy of Four Seasons.There was some time left to enjoy the Ozo’s beach again, but all too soon, it was time to ‘say goodbye’. But before they left, the Mercy Centre party said ‘thank you’ to Rotarians present with a gift and their own touching way of giving thanks. They were waved off their sad hosts to begin their long journey home.