(delayed post from Sunday)
After a Long but smooth flight we land at Bangkok International to be greeted by James, Lizzie and Lily – James and his wife Rachel are long term CCD volunteers and are in the process of officially adopting their daughter Lily, who was a resident at Rainbow House (CCD’s children’s home). Lizzie is James’ sister and another long term volunteer – she’s brilliant t have around.
Then a long drive I two taxis to Pakkred, via Rachel and James’ house to pick up Rachel, to arrive at Rainbow House, hidden away behind a main street. It’s amazing – a beautiful place with really good facilities – much better than I was expecting. A gym suite and big soft play room, classrooms for the kids and good volunteer accommodation. The best bit? Air Con. It was 29 degrees when we landed and very overcast. Cooler than expected but with hot sticky air that makes you feel clammy all over.
Time at RH for a good sit-down and a chat with James and Rachel – plus some play time with Lily, who is completely gorgeous and surprisingly good a Angry Birds in the iPhone. They are such a lovely family and very happy to act as our hosts for our stay here and to give us travelling tips and assistance for the last week of our stay. They will probably be here for the next two years while they finalise their adoption of Lily, who suffers from cerebral palsy and deafness, though her disability doesn’t hold her back at all from being very engaging and sociable.
After the chitchat and sit down we decide it’s time to grab a bite to eat and make our way down past the wat (temple) to the river, where there’s a big restaurant with live music – all western songs sung in English, to an ok standard. James knows what’s good on the menu so orders a range of dishes for us all to share. The food is wonderful. There’s Tom yum soup, chicken with cashews, pak pak and more rice than you could imagine.
A great first day – it certainly hasn’t been the culture shock I was expecting. I instantly felt comfortable where we are – the people are lovely, the work of CCD is inspiring and I can’t wait to become a part of it.
Tomorrow – Induction!