We got to start volunteering at the orphanage yesterday, as well. It was everything I expected yet still shocking. The children have nothing, they play with tires, plastic, and bottle caps, and receive 1-2 bowls of rice per day. They wear tattered clothing and many of them have sores and scars and have illnesses. Still, they are all SO happy. As soon as we walked into the yard children were climbing us like trees, hugging us and tickling us and laughing. I don’t think there was a second where we had a free lap or arm as the children constantly were sitting on our laps, holding our hands, and playing with our hair. My favorite part of the afternoon was when we put on some Reggae music really loud and we all started making up dances (as everyone, knows I LOVE to dance). I also found an old volleyball and played a mixture of volleyball/soccer/hackysack with the kids. Hand games are very popular, too, and I now know 3 new ones.
Apparently, there were four Aussie girls who paved the way for the program, fundraising thousands of dollars to pay off the orphanages debts, build a classroom, and buy a water tank for the orphanage. I have been told they still send money over. Ben (who found out yesterday he has Malaria, even though he has been taking Malaria pills, yikes!) is following in their footsteps by implementing and putting into action, with his own money, a project that will be able to give the children protein as well as provide some income for the home. He has built a chicken coop and puchased 100 chickens. The children will hopefully be able to eat one egg per day and the extras can be sold for profit.
Overall, I am very happy to be here. The running water situation is a bit stressful, but it feels so good to be making a different in a place that really needs it. I look forward to the rest of the week.
PS/ on an upbeat note, Steph and I bought fabric and just went to a seamstress to have dresses made. Mine is a wild orange print that reminds me of Africa, and I’m having it made into a tank dress that ends mid-thigh. I’m excited to see what it comes out like.
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