Norwegian and Swedish ladies from Singapore visited Baan Chivit Mai in Chiangrai in the North of Thailand on 28 February to 3 March 2011. The visit was organized by the Swedish and Norwegian church in Singapore. The main purpose of the trip was to visit the famous institution, have fun activities and bring gifts to the children in the orphanage.
Arrival in Chiangrai
Diana Wiking and Lise-Beate Ringsby from the Church of Sweden in Singapore arrived with the group of 19 ladies at Chiangrai International airport on 28 February and checked-in Wienginn Hotel. They were met by Madeleine and Inge Ekelyck of Baan Chivit Mai who personally greeted the ladies at the airport and took the group to their hotel. After having refreshed themselves, the group had dinner at Baan Chivit Mai Bakery in town.
Sightseeing Tour and Campfire
In the morning, the group visited the second location of Baan Chivit Mai in Mae Chan district. Most of the children there are kindergarten or elementary school students. After the visit they went on a sightseeing tour around the beautiful North of Chiangrai.
It was interesting to see the Long Neck Village, fun to go shopping in Mae Sai – the border of Thailand and Myanmar, and the boat trip to Golden Triangle was beautiful.
In the evening, the ladies shared a remarkable night together with the children at Baan Chivit Mai in Hua Doi district. The teachers and staff had in cooperation with the children prepared BBQ and some Thai food for the ladies.
After dinner there was a campfire where all the ladies and children sat in a circle watching the children’s performance. The ladies sang Swedish and Norwegian songs and had an easy choreography so the children could learn and dance with them. Although the two groups spoke totally different languages, all enjoyed the show, laughing, smiling, and dancing.
On 2nd March, the ladies visited the local school named Hua Doi School. Every morning all students gather to praise the Kingdom, Buddhism and Chakri Royal Family. The ladies were amazed that all children paid full attention to the ceremony.
After the group had seen the school they went to Wat Rong Kun (The White Temple) built by Chaloemchai Khositphiphat, a famous Thai artist.
In the afternoon, they took about an hour up to the Doi Chang Mountain where the premium coffee is grown. The ladies tasted the fresh coffee surrounded by hill on the windy day which added to the wonderful flavour.
Then the group went to a new branch of Baan Chivit Mai in Mae Suai District. This is brand new house facilitatin up to 32 children where will officially open on 5th March 2011.
Last Day in Chiangrai
The last day of the visit, the ladies visited a Karen Village by boat and after that went for a ride on elephants in the morning. They had lunch at Baan Chivit Mai Bakery in town where they came on the very fiurst day of the visit and eventually in the afternoon they had to leave back to Singapore.
Diana Wiking who had arranged this trip said:
“Apart from the fun of the sightseeing tour in Chiangrai, I can feel that all the ladies had a wonderful time with the children. We will all remember their gratefully smiling faces.”
“It is not because of our donation but we brought our love to the children and that was the most important part of this trip,” she added.
Elisabeth Froeyshou Danielsen, Assistant at the Norwegian Seamen’s Church in Singapore confirmed that she had indeed enjoyed her time with children. She started to work at the church in August 2010 and will there for the next 3 years.
“I had really looked forward to this trip, said Camilla White, another of the participants.
“First time I heard about this trip, I knew I have to come because I love children and I have never been to Thailand before. The Children took me around to show me their house even I can’t understand their language, but I could see the happiness through their eyes,” she added.
Madeleine Ekelyck and and her husband Inge, who is working for Baan Chivit Mai based in Sweden, said:
“Back in Sweden, I am very busy with contacting people and raising funds for Baan Chivit Mai so I can only come here a couple of times a year. This time I came to greet this group because they continuously come to visit us every year. They are very supportive to children in Baan Chivit Mai”
“Our new branch in Mae Suai will open on the 5th of March so now the teachers, staffs and children are all helping with the ceremony,” she added.
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