See our Block Party Post for More Info… These are just a couple of other little stories that don’t quiet fit elsewhere…
Food: At first we were thinking about something small, maybe 50 people, then we talked to Iris and they said they imagined something a little larger, then we talked to the Grandfather of Sanam Luang (a community elder who seems to have his hands in everything – especially parties!) and he said we needed to prepare for 250 – a feast, chicken drumsticks, special eggs, stir-fried pork, rice, water – no problem – mats, a sound-system, games, location – no problem, he’d take care of it! All we needed to do was get him the cash and a sign, saying that the Christians and the people of the neighborhood were throwing a party together and he’d ensure a success! (In the 30 minutes we sat with him talking details, no less than 20 people stopped by to give him gifts and say hello). When we later asked our landlord about him she said, “Ohh… your working with the Gangster… you will have a very good party!”
Invitations: Grandfather told us to make a sign, and invitations would be good too. He said we needed to write that “Rak Teh in partnership with the people of Sanam Luang (the neighborhood) are throwing a party for fun and unity. It will have games, food, prizes and a gift for free.” So the day before the party, together with the Iris team, we put together 250 hand-made invitations. Ribbons and roses went to the women who were working on our streets, more manly cards for the men who are homeless. While handing out invitations one working woman in her 40s whom we had just met asked Kashmira incredulously, “Can someone like me who has a job like this really be welcome?” It was a beautiful opportunity to respond wholeheartedly, “Yes, of course, this party is for you. We are Christians and we know that Jesus has a special invitation and love for people who have hard lives like yours and who other people look down on.” She said she’d come, and even though we didn’t’ see her at the party the next day it was clear that she was struck by our response – so different than what she had experienced before. Later that day Iven got a call from our local Grandfather – he’d printed up another 200 flyers and was handing them out – he wanted our party to be a success!
Games: Grandfather also told us we needed to have some good old fashioned Thai games – like musical chairs and balloon stomping. And we needed prizes. Like money! When it actually came time to party he led us in a rousing good time of game playing and yes, made us give away prizes too. Our team provided some really cool Thai Christian Issan Worship music that is in the style of upcountry party music, that said, “Come, come on lets dance, sing and praise” but the Grandfather’s helpers kept changing it out for Thai pop… it was pretty funny actually. The balloon popping game was a kick, and it was all together a good time!