when i left for this trip, my intent was to donate my time. while it would have been great to donate a good amount of money for things like food, soap, and school supplies as well, i honestly was a bit short on cash and just couldn’t swing it. before i left, though, a few people had asked about ways they could help out. space was limited in my bag to bring things with me (although i did fit your supplies Nancy) and there was no way i was going to check a bag, so i went with the plan of getting here, finding out what they needed most, and then letting people know back home ways they could help.
fast forward three weeks or so, and thanks to the generosity of a few close friends, coworkers, and my family, i have been able to help the orphanage purchase new uniforms for their upcoming school year, new shoes for all the children, all the text books needed for school, and a bunch of food! even as i write this a day later, i’m still in awe of the kindness shown by those of you back home.
MON, we headed out to do a little shopping. first we stopped off at the local shoe shop to get new white kicks for the boys which they need for school.
after we finished up there, we made our way to the tailor shop to get all the children measured for their school uniforms (which includes one pair of black slacks and two dress shirts). the shop is pictured at the start of this post, and seemed to be the nicest place in town.
and a picture of us walking home – i always hang back just a bit so i can watch all the boys which never fails to make me smile.
i was so proud of how well the boys behaved themselves while waiting for their turn, and how polite they were to the shop owners.
yesterday, Rabindra and i went back into town to buy some food. it was neat to see the wheeling and dealing involved, and even though i couldn’t understand a bit of what was said, judging by Rabindra’s smile afterwards i’m guessing he got a pretty good deal.
Rabindra hired a truck to get the food back to the house (for about $2.00). i tried to offer a hand loading, but they were having none of it.
i was finally able to help out back at the house – below is Santa trying his best to give a hand as well. in the end, we were able to get eight bags of rice, two bags of red and black lentils (for soup), and two bags of cooking oil. it’ll be enough to last them for the next two months, and although he couldn’t really find the words in English to express it, i could tell a huge weight had been lifted from Rabindra’s shoulders. they were down to about a days supply of rice, and i don’t think he had any money to buy more. and being the man he is, Rabindra would have never let me know and wouldn’t dare ask for help.
so proud (and happy i’m sure), Rabindra wanted a photo:
this coming MON, the kids start school and i’m going with to buy the books. i don’t think their uniforms will be done until a few days after i leave, but i asked Hana if she could snap a picture and send it to me. if she does, i’ll post it up.
to close, i can’t express how much the funds have helped the home, and thank you so much to those of you who helped out. asking for money was never my intent for this trip – and please don’t take this post as a request for you to give. simply giving my attention, guidance, and support to the children was always my intent for coming here. but people offered on their own will, and this has made my experience here so much more. more importantly, it has helped the orphanage so much. thinking about the kindness shown leaves me without words. it also has me overwhelmed with joy and a bit choked up.