On a Saturday morning, we set out to explore our village and its beautiful surroundings.
We left Baan Unrak before sunrise, in order to assist at the ritual of almsgiving to monks. Walking in single file with begging bowls, barefoot in their orange robes, the monks receive offerings of food, flowers and incense.
Later in the day, under a warm and bright sun we enjoyed a boat tour on the lake. We had a lot of fun speeding on the water, feeling its freshness with our hands, with a gentle breeze and a smile on our faces.
The boat took us to the sunken town. As you might not know, our beautiful lake was created when a dam became operational in the 80s, flooding a great portion of land and creating this beautiful body of water, which is actually a reservoir.
The flood submerged the original town of Sangkhlaburi, of which only the “Sunken Temple” remains visible today, with its bell tower emerging in the middle of the lake.
Then, we stopped on a faraway shore and ventured up a hill, where a temple lies hidden in the jungle.
After our adventure, we walked back across Wooden Bridge, the signature of our beautiful village. It is the longest handmade wooden bridge in Thailand, spanning over 4oo meters.
The view from its top is stunning, for the lush natural scenery and the floating houses clustered on the water.
Plenty of tourists come to Wooden Bridge on weekends, and here we come too to meet them, inviting them to our cozy Bakery, Vegetarian Restaurant and Cafe.
Handing out leaflets, our children suggest tourists to visit us and enjoy a healthy meal, take a look at our weaving products and – why not?! – come to meet us at the Home.
The children learned quickly how to approach people, being kind and polite as they are. They also learned not to be afraid of an occasional “no”, smiling back anyways and moving on to the next potential clients.
We are already seeing the first encouraging results, as some tourists came to our Bakery after we met them on Wooden Bridge.
This gives us the strength and confidence to persist in this effort, which benefits our Bakery and, ultimately, our Children’s Home.