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Baan Feung Fah

Today was a really good experience, though perhaps a little strange. We arrived at Baan Feung Fah around 10am and were guided to an outdoor stage area where we were to hold a ‘concert’ for the children. In reality, this meant playing some songs, doing some actions and dancing about with the kids. About 100 children were brought out to see us and Ruth, Matt, Sarah and Tim did a simply amazing job, performing song after song after song. In an hour we covered everything from ‘Jesus’ love is very wonderful’ to ‘if I were a butterfly’ and everything in between.

And the rest of us – Louise, Jim and I (as well as the others when they weren’t playing) danced and we danced hard. Jumping about with the kids, singing, clapping and swinging them around – great fun. Most of the children were very excited to take part and seemed to have boundless energy in the heat. We ended up Dripping. With. Sweat. Ick.

BFF is a government orphanage housing disabled children from birth until 7 years old, so it was strange to see so many seemingly ‘normal’ children in an orphanage for disabled children. While some have obvious physical disabilities (and obviously there are many disabilities that aren’t visually apparent), many of them didn’t seem to be disabled in the way we might define the term. Tan, CCD’s volunteer coordinator, explained that it’s difficult to come to England and talk about attitudes towards disability in Thailand, when then British understanding is so different. It’s not unusual for a child to end up in BFF or the homes for older disabled children simply because they have a cleft lip or a port wine birthmark. Unfortunately, once they’re in these institutions their development often becomes seriously delayed and their problems become more pronounced as they grow older, making it more difficult for them to live a ‘normal’ life. All I can say is thank God for the work of CCD.

CCD also run a daycare centre at BFF, where some of the residents go for physic, fun and to get fed and showered. We were there for lunchtime and helped some of the children who aren’t able to eat independently – noodles on the menu, followed by ice-cream – yum!

Them it was nap time and time for us to grab a bite too – we had a great lunch at a restaurant in the nearby Centre for Deaf People (Thailand seems a bit random like that – I love it!). When we got back we washed our CCD t-shirts ready to do it all again tomorrow at Rajawadee Girls – a home for older disabled girls and women from the age of 8 onwards.

We had put the washing out to dry on the roof and just sat down to dinner only for the heavens to open in an epic downpour. Drat. Let’s hope things dry overnight…

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About annamdrew

I live in Rochester, Kent and am married to the wonderful Jim. I am a bit of a theologian and a complete film fanatic. I work for the Methodist Church of Great Britain as Lead Media Officer, but anything said on my blogs represents my own opinion and not necessarily that of the Church.

6 responses to “Baan Feung Fah

  1. Ros Oliver ⋅

    Great to get your news. Do you have mosi repellant and is it a malaria area and if so are you taking the tabs! Did you get any sandals? Are you all well and happy! Jessica had her baby. All well.
    Love and prayers.
    Mum and Dad

  2. Lynne ⋅

    No need for Davina then Anna? Sounds like you are getting plenty of exercise and doing some valuable work with the lovely people out in Thailand. Hope Jim is taking lots of his fab photos.
    Weather here yesterday was supposedly 30degrees, hot, muggy and rainy – sound similar? At least we weren’t all singing, all dancing like you. Hope the tee shirt dried. Take care..

  3. Araby ⋅

    Thanks for writing this, Anna. It’s great to here what’s going on in detail esp if Tim & I don’t connect! Glad to hear it hasn’t been too much of a culture shock even if it’s been tough in places. Keeping you all in prayer.
    Araby

  4. Cath Ball ⋅

    I had to comment on what you said about the differences between how people define disabilities in England and Thailand because some of it sounds similar to what I am experiencing in the Gambia. Things that we take for granted as being part of everyday life are thrown up as being “abnormal” and supposedly require people to be treated in different ways (i.e. the cleft lip and birthmark comment). Disabled people and children can be kept in their homes over here and there are many traditional beliefs surrounding how people become disabled and why they are disabled. As a consequence people with disabilities rarely have access to education and the services which could support them in building a life for themselves.
    It is great to hear about you dancing and singing with the children – sounds like great fun and really beneficial for the children too. Oh and I can also relate to the dripping with sweat – seems to be getting worse here as the humidity rises with the start of rainy season!

  5. Ros Oliver ⋅

    It seems my old comment is waiting for moderation, whatever that means! So I suppose you didn’t get it. Worried for you with mos’s. Hope you have repellant. It sounds as if you are having an exciting time.
    Love to you both.
    Mum

  6. annamdrew

    Hi everyone! So sorry for the delay on comments – I’m still getting used to the moderation system for WordPress and was thinking they’d all go up automatically – doh! Thanks for all your encouragement and concerns.
    Mum – we’re fine – don’t worry – not a malarial zone and lots of spray handy.
    Cath – can’t wait to catch up with you properly and hear all about what you’ve been doing – sorry we’ve been so out of touch. Hope Rob’s havign a great time visiting you xxxx

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