Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Incredible Day....

Each day's experiences seem to be outdoing the previous days experience. I need to come up with more and more adjectives to describe each day!

Group photo at the entrance of Choayang Park
This morning we took the children to the "park." Mind you, this is an amusement park we have been to before, and not one a person easily forgets. The rides are completely outdated, in fact, probably not even legal in the states. Regardless, the children have a blast (well, except those who don't enjoy spinning), and we feel like the Pied Piper with the crowd that follows us around. The media joined us today also, so I'm guessing we should be in a newspaper soon.

Several of the kids were wearing Easter bonnet type hats to
protect them from the sun, no matter the sex. DengDeng didn't seem to
I banged my knee trying to squeeze into this ride!
Sa is wonderful with the kids. This little guy held on to that
potato chip for at least 1/2 an hour.
Tracie, Wu Jei Wei and Jing shooting targets as they gently
moved around the targets.
more water play

We followed up our adventure with a trip to KFC, something I don't even normally do in the states, but if it makes the kids happy, then I'll even eat there!

next stop, KFC
Lovin' those fries!
She wasn't so crazy about the spicy chicken nuggets
first one asleep on the bus ride back
Then another...
Then another...
and yet another

A few members of the team spent the morning at the orphanage working with the physical therapy equipment and preparing to train the nannies. Following lunch, we joined them and spent the afternoon checking in on the kids who were unable to go with us in the morning and enjoying more play time. In the afternoon, Mark and a couple others had a meeting with some local government officials, trying to get the go ahead on organizing local volunteers for the orphanage. So far they seem receptive to the concept, and tomorrow the plan is to have some local nursing students come to get some training in working with the kids. This is a long-term plan that could have major impact, so be remembering us as you go about your day.

This evening we returned to church for what we thought would be an evening Bible study, but this was not so. We were greeted by the pastor and a few other members with some snacks and drinks, but then we were quickly whisked away to what they told us was to meet some elderly people. I assumed they meant an older Bible study downstairs, but they took us outside, around the back, and up a flight of stairs to what was a live-in nursing home. Their church cares for 56 elderly people on mostly a volunteer basis and donations. Incredible for such a poor community!  The best part is that they brought many of the residents into a tiny room to meet us. They were so thrilled to meet us and wanting to be in photos with us. I think we were probably the first western foreigners that most of them had seen. Unfortunately most of us had left our cameras in the original room we began in, because we had no idea we were going to be meeting these people. This one lady sat by me for a long time just holding my hand and grinning ear to ear. I had an english speaker near by tell her that she reminded me of the love of my grandma! It really was a heart warming experience. Hopefully I can get photos later from a couple of the team members who had their iPhones on them.
Friends forever!
We've been buddies since 2007, but never has she been this snuggly to me

On our way back to the front of the building we stopped and danced with some of the older church members who were doing some type of choreographed dances. When the group reassembled in the original room, Mark told the director of our desire to involve more of the church with the orphans, and after the interpreter finished speaking the pastor responded with "Okay, yea." to which we all laughed and clapped. We spent another half hour speaking with others in the room. I conversed with Mary, a gal who runs an english school. Among many topics we spoke on, she was shocked by my response that "No, you don't have to be a Christian to be President of the United States."
You should've seen the floor after all the kids and us enjoyed
the watermelon!
She squealed with delight when I placed these on her. I'm going
to try and buy her some of her own later today.
My new friend Mary. She asked some deep questions that were
difficult to answer without a translator.

Well once again I am exhausted. If there are no photos yet, check back later when Mike has an opportunity to post them. Thanks for thinking about us....two more days with the kids!

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