The first time I visited Thailand was 30 years ago. I was just a teenager. I immediately fell in love with this country, its people, food, and weather. After a few days of exploring Bangkok, we went to Pattaya to visit an old friend of our family from Switzerland. He introduced us to Father Ray, an American priest, who had built an orphanage. It was still relatively small at that time. Father Ray proudly showed us the orphanage, which consisted of a few bungalows for the children, a vegetable garden, and even a small rabbit farm. I couldn’t help but seriously like this man, especially when he gifted me one of the rabbits.
Fast forward to 2012. Although Father Ray has died in 2003, his work lives on. The Father Ray Foundation has grown tremendously during the last three decades. It now takes care of about 850 orphaned, abused, and disadvantaged children and students with disabilities. One of its projects is the School for the Blind in Pattaya on Naklua Road, Soi 16. I visit this school a few times each year at special occasions to sponsor lunch or dinner, bring snacks, and spend some time with the students.
Yesterday was my girlfriend’s birthday and we therefore stopped by to visit the children during their dinner. As always, it was a touching experience. Check out the all photos from this special day.
If you would like to visit or make a donation to this school, or any other project run by the Father Ray Foundation, check out their website.