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The water balloon dilemma

By Greta Wray Clarke 4 years ago
Categories Chiang Mai

To overfill water balloons or not overfill water balloons? That is the question. There’s a whole science behind the equation of how much water should be in a balloon to get the desired effect, which is, soaking as many staff as possible. However, our two teams mastered this art pretty well and it proved an amazing finale to our ‘Kids Day’, seeing these brightly coloured balloons form a rainbow of water chaos when being thrown at our targets.

The activities beforehand included a balloon and spoon race, a modern take on the egg and spoon where there were some questions raised about fair placement of thumbs on the spoons. There was also a tug of war, a tense ball-through-hoop throwing contest and another soaking game of apple bopping. The day itself was organised by two of our volunteers Neil and Andreas who did an incredible job ensuring the energy was high and the competition fair. Even though at times it appeared to be only a few GVI volunteers who cared which team was actually winning.


It’s difficult working out the best way to carry a water balloon on a spoon!


A personal favourite activity was the limbo competition where the children of Huay Pakoot put a lot of GVI members on both teams to shame. It didn’t matter though as the overzealous crowd cheered our staff on anyway. Another highlight also had to be the long jump where base manager Andy set the bar high with his superior demonstration (did somebody say ‘Olympics’?). Once again though the children proved to be fantastic athletes in both leg and arm power as they gave our judge many tough decisions to make in the bean bag throwing challenge as well. A lot of the bean bags disappeared into the bushes behind and small search parties had to be sent out.



The children put staff and volunteers to shame in the limbo competition.


The most nail biting event of the day had to be the sack race. Both teams stayed consistently neck and neck until one suffered a damning fall and lagged behind. All hoped seemed lost until staff member Sateesh brought back glory, gliding over the sand in a sack like pebbles skimming over a lake. The three legged race also proved dramatic, again both teams doing equally as well until three girls on one team destroyed the competition running along so in sync with each other it was like they’d been training for this all their lives. At this point the volunteers couldn’t help but leap in the air with their last ounce of energy!

We finally got to the moment everyone was waiting for, lining up the staff and selecting balloons to haul at them. I’m sure the team system went out the window at this moment as balloons were being shared and passed frantically in order to hit any dry patch visible. This concluded an incredibly successful day, volunteers exhausted and our young athletes calling truce as they shared sweets between them. As we all left covered in dust, hands burnt from tug of war rope and soaking from the balloons we discovered how unnecessary it had been to discuss the best way to mass soak the staff. Turns out the secret science of mass soaking:  get a bucket.



Organiser Niel decided to show the kids the most efficient way to ensure the staff were thoroughly drenched.