Another busy weekend!

The holidays are entering their final week and the activities continue here in Don Wai village. Saturday was a typically busy and fun day for the children of Sarnelli House. The previous week had seen lots and lots of badminton being played as each house held its own tournament. This was the second Sarnelli House badminton tournament and it gives the kids exercise and the experience of competition. Games were played in the Joseph & Mary hall every morning and afternoon of the week (and some evenings too). The tournament began with group games, so that every child could play at least a couple of matches, before the knock out games took place on Thursday and Friday.

But Saturday was finals day and there was a lot of excitement as all the children gathered in the hall. All eyes were on our badminton court and there was great support for the players. Each house had its own trophy to be won, with Sarnelli House for boys having two categories, so great is the number of boys there. One of these boys who won his final is a very shy and quiet kid and this was a great day for him, as he stepped out from the background and had his moment in the limelight.

The standard was very high throughout the day and all of the finals were really close, including one which featured an almighty comeback, greeted with shrieks and cheers from the watching housemates. Two of the winners retained their trophies from the last tournament but there were four new winners. Each losing finalist got a small prize as well. It is important for our children to have little successes like these and to build their confidence. But already the other kids are asking when the next tournament is to be held so the new champions had better not rest on their laurels!


Following the badminton finals, the children had a special treat. Leon and Henriette Castermans have been travelling to Sarnelli House twice a year for over a decade now. They, with their friends Ben and Angelique Ummels, run a charity in the Netherlands, Stichting Vrienden van Sarnelli, devoted entirely to raising funds for Sarnelli House. The have helped with a clinic, farm machinery, walls and farm buildings among other things and all four are very much loved by children and staff alike. Leon and Henriette like to put on a French Fries party for the children on each visit and it took place for lunch on Saturday.

It was a sweltering day and standing over woks of hot oil for two hours can't have been easy. but Leon and Henriette weren't deterred and cooked 36 kgs of French Fries for the children, before serving them in paper cornets (transported all the way from the Netherlands!), with plenty of ketchup, as is the way in their home town of Maastricht. The children hungrily lined up for their portions of fries and ate them with great relish. Even some of the 'senior staff' got to eat some!

Thanks to Leon and Henriette for their effort on the day but more so, for their love and commitment to the children of Sarnelli House. We wish you well over the coming months and very much look forward to your next visit. Just don't forget to bring the paper cornets!

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