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  1. #1
    The cold, wet one
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    Mermaids, orphans & monkeys off the Pranburi coast

    Last Saturday (7th March), Barry Stone the owner of Mermaid Cruises here in Pranburi and his colleague Abel took the kids from the local Mercy House Orphanage in Pranburi out for the day for a cruise on Mermaid's large boat, The Peacock. He'd asked for volunteers to help out, so I went along (with littl'un, as it was a Saturday).

    There were 24 kids on the trip. 2 stayed at home - a boy aged 3 who was slightly sick and a girl of 21, who is still with the orphanage while she finishes her university studies. The other kids and the house Mum and Dad all joined us.

    The first stop, before we got to Mermaid Cruises' jetty in Pak Nam Pran (on the Pran river) was a Chinese temple, high on a hill, with some gorgeous views of the river.





    We got the kids to line up along side this croc, with house mum & dad



    My littl'un's the one on the far right, trying unsuccessfully to keep out of the picture...

  2. #2
    The cold, wet one
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    After a short stop at the temple, we went to the jetty and the kids boarded the boat



    To get to the Gulf of Thailand, we first had to exit the Pran river and go past the fishing fleet



    Not the cleanest water in this part of the river, as you can imagine...

    Here's another pic of a couple of the kids as we headed out of the river


  3. #3
    The cold, wet one
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    The kids could really spread out on the boat & took full advantage of the sunloungers


    Once we were out to sea a bit, some of the lads took turns driving the boat



    Others just wandered over the boat or admired the view (or posed for photos! )


  4. #4
    The cold, wet one
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    We headed out to the area of water off of Sam Roi Yod, past 'Monkey Island', which we returned to later, so the kids could try their hand at a bit of fishing. The House Mum takes a couple of the lads and one of the girls to fish in the klong, but this was the first time they'd tried sea fishing



    And here is the 'first catch'! Sadly, a crab net with a few very dead crabs in it.



    Things did get better, though. The girl who goes canal fishing caught 2 fish. The lad who caught the crab net did get a fish, as well...



    My littl'un tried his hand...



    ...and managed to catch a tripod fish - the only one to get thrown back. I told him how proud I was that he managed to catch the only fish that went back to swim another day



    Prize for the biggest fish of the day went to this young lad...


  5. #5
    The cold, wet one
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    The kids had been kept well fed with crisps, fruit & drinks all morning, but it was now time for lunch. I thought it was time for me to actually do something. The children were so well behaved and polite, there was no actual watching to do, so I thought at least I could help serve lunch. Wrong!!! As soon as I had taken one thing up to the upper deck, there was a queue of willing helpers taking things out of my hands.

    Anyway, here's a picture of lunch


    It was extremely tasty. And none of the kids touched a thing until told they could do so! OK, I'm lying. I found my littl'un with a chicken leg before anyone else had started eating... *sigh*

  6. #6
    The cold, wet one
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    Next, we went back the way we had come, towards Monkey Island.

    We passed our fishing spot...


    and anchored off this beach


    while the dinghy took a few of us in at a time


  7. #7
    The cold, wet one
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    I didn't know KW and his family had a holiday retreat in the Gulf of Thailand...

    Do you like watermelon, Kingwilly?





  8. #8
    The cold, wet one
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    A couple more monkey pics...



    The kids playing 'piggy in the middle' with a monkey...



    We did some tidying up of the beach, removing plastic, glass and other harmful objects and headed back to the boat

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    The cold, wet one
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    Barry & Abel really had thought of everything. On the way to our next stop, the karaoke was switched on...



    Next stop was Kao Kalok for those who wanted to wai nam or play on the beach. I went across with those that wanted to go.

    Here's the beach from the dinghy


    I was so pleased there was some shade! Guess who had sunburnt shoulders???



    The girl in the orange top & I had a nice converstion while sitting in this rockpool. She's just finishing high school and will go to Uni next school year with a view to becoming an English teacher. Her English is really quite good. She's one of two girls I talked to that day of approx the same age & the same ambition. I think it's wonderful that these kids are allowed to stay at Mercy House to get further education, not forced out to get the first paying job they can. In fact, the other girl said they were a big family, and that's exactly the impression I got, watching and interacting with them all day. They love their House Mum & Dad and each other and get the support that a family would give.

  10. #10
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    Nice way to spend your Saturday NR and the young bloke looked happy enough.

    When I have done things here with the orhanages and foundations the kids are so well behaved it is humbling. Out of what must be a terrible start to their lives they build a unity which gives me personally such a lift.

    Good on ya for caring and sharing!

  11. #11
    The cold, wet one
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    This is the youngest girl who was on the trip


    And here's my littl'un again (front) with his new best friend


    Littl'un loved the day & playing with all the kids. He was in his element.

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    The cold, wet one
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    Back on the boat it was time to dry off, more karaoke, jelly & ice cream (!) and head for home.

    Some were tired out after such an exciting day


    Heading back into the inlet of the Pran, the monstrosities (as mentioned by Sabang in his thread http://teakdoor.com/thailands-travel...-pranburi.html (Pooper scooping in Pranburi) )



    Some fishing boats in the late afternoon sun



    and back through the fishing harbour to the jetty


  13. #13
    The cold, wet one
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    The last photo of the day at Mermaid Cruises' jetty



    I was overwhelmed by these children. They were well-mannered, helpful, genuinely loved each other, kind and sociable. They really enjoyed their day out and I'd like to help out with them a lot more, now I've met them. I think Mercy House is a wonderful place, giving fantastic opportunities to these kids for their futures.

    If anyone visits the area, they're always in need of dry food (noodles, rice, milk powder etc), toothpaste, washing powder, soap, shampoo, all the things every household needs. I'll also get their bank acct details and post them on this thread, should anyone want to donate.

    As Barry said - it was the best day he'd ever had on his boat. I'd tend to agree. Not only did I enjoy myself (and littl'un loved it), there was an added enjoyment in watching others have fun. A great day out!

  14. #14
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    Looks like great fun, NR. The kids look like they are having a blast. The views are lovely, and the monkey pics are cute. Where is this monkey Island? I don't think it is the same one that I've been to before. Your little one is a doll.

  15. #15
    pompeybloke
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    Done well NR. Good soul!

  16. #16
    The cold, wet one
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loy Toy
    Nice way to spend your Saturday NR and the young bloke looked happy enough.
    It was a lovely day & he loved it.

    Quote Originally Posted by phuketbound
    The views are lovely, and the monkey pics are cute.
    Thanks.



    Quote Originally Posted by phuketbound
    Where is this monkey Island? I don't think it is the same one that I've been to before.
    Off the coast of Pranburi/Sam Roi Yod, just south of Hua Hin. I don't know the island's real name & I reckon there must be dozens of 'monkey islands' scattered around Thailand.



    Quote Originally Posted by phuketbound
    Your little one is a doll.
    Cheers. I think so, too.



    Quote Originally Posted by pompeybloke
    Done well NR. Good soul!
    Not me. I just went to help out and got a great free trip. Barry & his wife Tan and Abel organised it.

  17. #17
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    great thread, i almost missed it, thanks for the link NR.

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    Mercy House.

    Well done Barry and all concerned.
    The kids certainly seemed to have enjoyed the trip.

  19. #19
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    Great thread NR, good to see the kids enjoying themselves

    PS - where the picture of the mermaids then

  20. #20
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    Thanks NR. Yes, I think you tend to get more fun out of those trips than the kids do. Really great to see the kids with poor starts in life looking so happy, the orphange is obviously doing a good job. Points to you and the owner of that beautifully presented boat.

  21. #21
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    Lovely thread. I want past this Temple a couple of times, but never called in. I obviously missed a nice view.


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