Today was our first day at the orphanage and was not a disappointment. For those of us returning there were many familiar faces, three new ones, and sadly a couple missing ones. We were thrilled to meet a German physical therapist who runs a foster home in the capital city of Shenyang, and comes to Chaoyang every couple months to work with children there. She had a young American gal with her who has come alongside since November. It was nice to get a little more insight and opinion on the children.
Toes and fingers were painted, walks were taken (some in wheelchairs), much laughter was made. Unfortunately the pump for the well at the orphanage went out a couple days ago, so there will be no water for a couple more days. This can be a bit challenging at times, but for us it is only temporary. We have to remind ourselves that many people live with this daily!
One extremely exciting bit of news is that the orphanage is installing an elevator! We had come prepared to install a lift for the stairway, so were shocked to learn they were putting in a real one. Evidently they had a shaft all along, but had never installed an elevator. They were rushing to get it complete before we came, but it did not happen. The worker is busy trying to get it complete in the next couple days, so hopefully I can post a photo of one of the non-ambulatory kids being able to come downstairs in a wheelchair, rather than one of us carrying him down the stairs!
Tonight was a wonderful personal experience for me. We hire a young lady named Juan to tutor one of the orphans. She had asked us to bring over a specific supplement to help with her grandfather's illness, which I was honored to do. Well the family insisted that I and Ying (he shopped for the product in China and had it shipped to me) be treated to a home cooked meal at the grandfather's home. That was quite a treat; the food was amazing and the whole experience was quite humbling. Juan even remembered how much I loved eggplant last year, so her grandfather made a huge dish of it, along with many other delicious foods, washed down with almond milk! The rest of the group went out to dinner and headed back to the square with our interpreter. Guess they were quite the stars when they handed out glow sticks and took polaroid photos!
Tomorrow we will work with Sa in planning to award the nursing contract. For now, enjoy the photos, and keep us in your thoughts and prayers.