On a beautifully sunny and clear day, 21 children aged between 2 – 15 and their families gathered with great anticipation outside Ocean Dream Samudra in Ancol, Jakarta’s largest waterpark. The children, all patients of Rachel House, have looked forward to this day with great anticipation; for many of them, it would be their first trip to the Ocean Dream and Seaworld. The trip was made possible through the kind and generous sponsorship of Kate Brown.
The day started with a group photo, with so much glee and fun as everyone – the patients, their families, the nurses and caregivers – all posed in the midst of bubbles of excitement everywhere. There was a sense of anticipation in the air as the patients were super excited to see what was coming. One little girl was running all over the place in excitement as she just couldn’t contain it! Luckily she did not have to wait too long as the Ocean Dream opens up before her eyes of wonder.
After the initial buzz of being at Ocean Dream, the group headed towards “Scorpion Pirates”, a live action show by the water with stunts and jet skis. The children were thoroughly fascinated by the jet ski stunts, especially when it went under water. One little boy was so mesmerised that he did not blink once, eyes glued to the show.
Following “Scorpion Pirates”, the children were treated to the sea lion/otter show and the dolphin show. Laughter was never far from the children’s lips as the seals leaped through hoops and the dolphins performed tricks in the air.
During the penguin show, one of the children wanted to get close up to see the penguins that she sneaked over the barrier! She had the most amazing time of her life watching the penguins being fed, and diving in and out of the water. Rachel House’s nurse, Ribka, accompanied her throughout the show, taking her by the hand to see the fish display nearby, much to her delight.
The adventure at Ocean Dream was capped off with a group of photo of all the children with the dolphins. For almost all the children, it was their first time seeing dolphins up close and touching them. A truly unforgettable experience they will cherish for a long time.
The last stop for the day was Seaworld, where the children were treated to a smorgasbord of colorful life in the sea. Even though many were tired by then, having walked many hours, the sheer delight and wonder were still shining bright in their eyes. In the end, it was this – the ability to bring a little slice of fun and play in their challenging journeys – that give us all joy. For we may not be able to add days to their lives, but we definitely aim to add life to their every day. Our grateful thanks to Kate Brown and all our donors and supporters for joining us on this mission.
To find out more about the work of Rachel House please visit www.rachel-house.org