Real fast, I posted this on Christmas day, so if you missed it be sure to see the teaser to the RPTE 2009 trip. I’m getting SO excited about the the next one!!!
I love visiting orphanages. At least well run orphanages. One of our last days in Cambodia, we all visited an orphanage that Lindsay and I had been to before. To our pleasant surprise, they had moved from a bamboo hut in the jungle to a real building in the city! Not to mention that they were about doubled in size! This is great since it’s a great orphanage.
One of the reasons I wanted to take everyone to the orphanage was for perspective. It’s such a normal part of life for so many of us — being raised by parents — that it becomes quite easy to forget how great a gift it is to have parents as children. Not only that, but seeing an orphan without parents living life happily (in very conditions) sure is a smack in the face when you’re complaining about your cell phone bill or your car needing new tires.
Visiting an orphanage can be a very emotional event. The temptation for many can be that you feel guilty for going just for a day — almost like you’re using the kids to make yourself feel good. I’m too big of a pragmatist for this. As a group, I’m guessing we left enough money for food for the kids for an entire month. That’s a net gain, in my opinion. As a group, we danced an entire night away with these kids — all of them smiling, laughing, and wrestling their little hearts out. That’s a net gain, again, in my opinion.
So we weren’t miracle workers, I know that. But we got perspective on life, the orphanage got much needed money, and the kids got a fun night of playing. These are all better than not going because you feel bad about not being able to be a bigger help. I’d rather help a little than not at all. It was such a great evening :)
I love this image because as it was happening, there were other kids performing on stage. He was supposed to be quiet — paying attention, I assume — but instead he’s making funny faces with me. I’m kind of a bad influence, huh? :P
One thing I love about visiting orphanages is that no matter how long or short your visit, there’s almost always one kid that becomes your shadow. Here’s Katie with her shadow :)
Megan with her shadow.
Richelle with her’s.
Lindsay grabbed the following ones of me with the kids. Being in the middle of a ton of happy orphans — just yelling for no reason — is honestly a little slice of heaven!
Don’t challenge like 7 Cambodian orphan boys to a wrestling match. Especially when you’re in the hot rain forest! That’s what’s happening in these…
I eventually lost.
Josh was the next victim.
And a HUGE thanks to Richelle for getting this photo. I freaking love it!