October 1, time for the Grand Re-opening and to see off The Happy World Tour

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What a fantastic day October 1 was and what a fun and busy period we have had till the day with big D.
There have been frantic preparations to get everything ready in time, combined with our everyday life functioning normally despite everything else.

The main job is to get everything ready  has been on John Grendon and Barrie Buck, Barnhem’s heroes who started the whole refurbishment project for over two years ago and who from time to time must have wondered what they got  themselves into.
The part of completion that we at Barnhem have been most involved in addition to moving around again is to get our garden ready. First, a lot of sand was delivered that must be fairly flat before we could lay the grass, and just then, the weather may not have been completely on our side but after that, we really have been lucky. It is the rainy season now and to some extent it has been good but there have been occasions when you absolutely do not want rain.

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As we approached the big day friends from Sweden started to arrive.
September 23 Susanne Karlfeldt came, it is her second visit since she was a volunteer with us for less than a year ago. So she has undoubtedly gone from a volunteer to a family member.
She arrived just in time to be able to attend when Barnhem was blessed by Wat Muang Mai monks on 25 September. An incredibly beautiful and dignified ceremony. Perhaps it was this ceremony that gave us luck with the weather.

Immediately after the blessing it was time to lay out the first part of the grass and to our aid  lots of friends to Barrie, John and Barnhem arrived. While we were laying out the grass we did not hav a drop of rain, but just when we started watering the grass, it started to rain and the newly laid grass needs water.

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After a hard days work laying out the grass it was time to pick up the next long-distance friend – Tommy Gustafsson from The Happy Child Foundation. When he arrived the flooring for the sports area that he and Poker Wallenberg donated money to still wasn’t ready and we actually thought that it would not be finished by the 1st – but oh huw wrong we were.
Just a few days later they started with the floor about the same time as our brand new fantastic washing machines, donated by Electrolux arrived. Many thanks to Poker Wallenberg and Craig and Nook Electrolux Thailand.

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The same day as Tommy arrived in Phuket Calle, Eva Lovisa – The Happy World Tour – arrived in Thailand but it would take another few days before we got to enjoy their company.
Thai Airways, who has sponsored their travel to and from Thailand, created them with a great welcoming ceremony. They were welcomed as the heroes they are, and spent a whole day together with Thai Airways cycling team in Bangkok.
Finally it was our turn – late Tuesday evening, September 27 we went to pick them up at the airport and it was a very happy and tired bunch who met us.

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The day after, there were many happy children who wanted to hug and cling on Calle when he, Loviisa and Eva came to Barnhem, and slowly but surely they began to approach Loviisa and Eve as well, and eventually even clung to them.

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Thursday arrived and it was time to lay out the rest of the grass, that was about twice as much as what we had dona already and again we got a lot of help from friends – this time in the form of Barrie Buck and his team from SGS. So even though there was plenty of grass to lay out, we were ready in just over two hours. During the whole time we were working we hade sunshine but just a few minutes after the SGS had left us the rain started – that for sure is being lucky!

Thursday evening Neng came to Barnhem – our beloved son who makes his final year at university. We have not seen him in over two years so we were so very happy that he could escape from his studies to celebrate with us.

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And so it was Friday and only one day left until the big day – a day full of activity and lots to prepare. In the afternoon, Martin from Pura Organic came to deliver lots of organic vegetables that they donated for the celebration.
In the evening me and Hans had dinner with the Grand Re-Openings guests of honor – Peder Langenskiöld from Alba Care Foundation and his wife Angela. We are extremely happy that they were able to come to for the celebration as there had not been anything to celebrate if Alba Care Foundation had not decided to be a big part of the Refurbishment project.
After a very nice dinner, it was time to go home and to bed to get a few hours sleep before the D-day.

And then there it was  - the day with a big D when we would show off our fabulous home as well as wave goodbye to our heroes in The Happy World Tour.
For us it began early, at 07:00, preparations in full swing, and although I have lived with Barnhem for over 11 years now I will probably never stop being impressed and fascinated by the obvious collaboration that triggers when something will happen.
No, there are no lists of what to do or when, no, there are no lists of who should do what or how, but everything is done organically. Everyone, literally everyone, help where they see the need, both staff and children.

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At 9 o’clock our heroes from The Happy World Tour arrived and one in the gang had his birthday the day before so this one – Calle – was surprised with  cake and song from the children and staff.
Pretty soon after they had arrived their cycling buddies from Thai Airways came, what a lovely bunch!

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The party began at 10.00 am and slowly but surely Barnhem started to be filled with friends, many who have been directly involved in the project.
It was a great day filled with warmth, love and sunshine – yes, even the sun came and celebrated with us.

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Everyone was treated with the delicious food that Miaoo and Porn prepared with the help of our children and our staff. Everyone was enjoying themselves and our children danced for the guests as well. I, Barrie and John made a valiant attempt to thank all who have been a part of the project well aware that there are not enough words.

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And so the time had come – the time to see off Calle, Eva Lovisa – The Happy World Tour.
And I could not help myself as the tears came – and I was not alone.
One project was celebrated as it had reached its goal, and another project just started!

Today is October 4 and The Happy World Tour has already managed to Trang in southern Thailand, and they are not alone, today there has been about 100 Thai cyclists following them and they’ve got lots of attention both in the Thai press and Thai TV!

Do not miss the opportunity to follow them on their adventures around the world to the benefit of our children. You can follow them on thehappyworldtour.com, and The Happy World Tour on Facebook and Instagram.