Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Every action in our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity. ~Edwin Hubbel Chapin~

Usually, it's the girls that come running out first. But this time, the boys burst past them, running at me at bullet speed shouting my name. The orphanage already felt quieter and I wasn't even up the front steps yet.
About a month ago I found out that they were moving 16 children to a different orphanage. I know of and have been to this orphanage and my heart plummeted at the prospect of having my beloved little souls go there. The place is horrible. It's kept at a very low standard so tourists go through, see the state of the children and donate money. And none of this money ever reaches the children. They beat the children there, don't let them out at all not even for the three months during the summer break, and don't really feed them either. It's a heart breaking place and I was devastated when I heard.

What broke my heart the most was getting secret messages from some of the kids who were told were going to move. I was in utter turmoil for them. The fact that they also had no one else they could turn to and were messaging me for help really broke my heart. I wanted to get on the next plane over there. But of course I couldn't. Not even my connections in local government could help. Once they decided, they decided. It's not like there wasn't enough room at baby orphanage anymore!!!! I wanted to scream at them. Has no one the sense to even consider their social and emotional development and what this move would do to them?!?!

I wanted to send the ones who had families home instead of going there. I would find a way to come up with funds to support them to send them back home. But this is not something that can be done on a whim. I would want to make sure that if I sent them home I could afford to support them until they were 18. Otherwise it would be horrible to pull them out for a year and then say 'sorry, got no funds to keep supporting you. You can go back to the orphanage now'.

3 children went home and 13 got moved. About 10 babies got adopted so it definitely did have a quieter feel, even though there are still 59 children there! I love how I have become accustomed to a group of 80 ish and 59 is quiet!!!

So my return was awesome. They were expecting me this time so I didn't have the element of surprise. I did get the sad pouting face when I said I was only here for three weeks. Toooooooo short!!!!! I know, I know. But better than nothing right?!

It was already prearranged that my first day there I would take 31 kiddies to the swimming pool. It's summer holidays. That means they are at the orphanage 24/7 for three months now. I would go stir crazy there with nothing to do. The director said that no one has taken them out. They haven't been anywhere. The last time they went swimming was with me a year and a half ago!

So after an 8 hour delay and arriving at Tam Ky at 2am, I was up and ready to go with two buses and 31 children between the 4-12 years of age.

The smiles on their faces!!! The older ones tried so hard to keep afloat and practice their swimming. I was taking the little ones one by one into the big pool.

Their pure joy of being there and watching this on their faces is a feeling I don't ever want to forget. Joy for the little things.

And then after working up an appetite swimming we went to a local restaurant to have nem nuong. Meat on a stick. You pull the pork off, add it to salad leaves, cucumber and mango or banana in a rice paper roll and dip in peanut sauce. Yum!!!

I could not believe what the skewer tally was at the end for the bill: 565 skewers of meat!!!! Granted, we bought 100 skewers of meat for the mothers left behind at orphanage to eat dinner, but that still means 31 kids ate 465 skewers of meat!!

A great first day back.....