2017 will be the 7th year I am returning to these children.
It doesn't get old. I have never once gotten sick of it or thought it a bore or chore to return here. Not even during all the hours of prep in anticipation of the trip do I find it mundane.
I still get the same butterflies in my tummy walking up the gate.
Although, this time, the gate....it's a bit different.
Six months ago they moved all the children from baby orphanage to peace village.
They joined all the typically developed children together with all the disabled residents.
I was very unsure of this move and thought it could end in disaster like some other places I have frequented. It will take a good manager to ensure it does not fall apart and that neither one are disadvantaged.
My fears were alleviated as the awesome director from baby orphanage was chosen to take on both and direct both sides. This is great as she is wonderful and caring and not corrupt. She actually cares and she has a lot of connections and influence and this has been good for peace village and the disabled residents. They have been getting more donations and support now too.
Showing up here was a different entrance: the buildings are spread over huge land and everyone spots me from the different sides. So my entrance is not so much a 'surprise' as they can see me coming a mile away. Who do I go to first? The disabled are clumsily running out of their rooms for me... they spotted me first so I veered towards their buildings. Many cuddles and happy greetings for my return.
I then turn and walk in the rain towards the baby orphanage buildings. Just as awesome to see them and much exuberance and joy at seeing me.
One little boy, around 2.5 years old.... who I've known since his baby days, spots me and stands in the rain waiting for me to reach him. His wave, smile and hug are nothing short of a miracle. I feel like my heart could burst in these moments....
Time flies whilst here and I feel like it's never enough. I'm here for six weeks this time and already I feel like I'm running out of time with them and it's only been 10 days!
The last 10 days we have already been out to the play land and a restaurant with baby orphanage, peace village went for lunch too at Mrs Hanh's restaurant.
We have had games nights and art and craft afternoons on rainy days.
I get so much happiness from just sitting back watching them engage and be involved in doing things!!!!!
If I wasn't there, they sit around with no stimulation.
I brought new games this trip like leaping frogs, fishing games and new card games and my heart wants to burst at their smiles and banter when someone loses or wins.