Just realised I haven't written at all in my final 4 weeks so sorry for that, we haven't had internet and somehow going to write my blog at the internet cafe never quite happened....obviously!!
Today was my last day which means that in 3 hours i'm going to be heading to the airport with a rather full bag but unfortunately no children...smuggling really wasn't an option! As I will be seeing you all shortly I'll be brief in this message of the last 4 weeks highlights. For anyone who will listen I will natter away in person about these wonderful kids i've had the privelege to work with over the past 10 weeks.
So in the last 4 weeks we've had Song Kran (Thai New Year). This basically was a 4 day water festival, if you left the house you could guarantee that you would have buckets of water (warm and ice cold) chucked over you and white talcum power paste smeared all over your face. We braved 2 trips up one of the roads and being white we attracted lots of attention and even had to pose for a few photos!!
Last week we went on Rainbow Camp, organised purely by and for CCD. We went to a huge centre about 4 hours away by the seaside. It's an opportunity for all of the projects to get together, for familes at the community rehabilitations projects it may well be their first holiday, for some of our girls it was the first time they'd seen the sea. We each had a child who was our responsibility 24/7. I was looking after a lovely girl with cerebral palsy called Wasana who's 11 years old. She needs a wheelchair to get about and has to be carried the rest of the time so it was quite heavy work and i was exhausted at the end of the 3 days. Each day had activities organised, a swim in the sea and then evening entertainment when the kids sung songs, danced around. Wasana hated the sea on the first day but on the second day was splashing around...very cute!
Aside from these bits it's been pretty standard days with the kids at all the projects. This week we've done a couple of extra trips, taking a few of the girls swimming on monday and then Ben and I took Somsak swimming on Tuesday. Somsak is normally quite hyperactive in the day centre and i find him really hard to feed as he generally just spits it out again. On the trip, however, he was so well behaved, he seemed to really enjoy himself and then calmly went in the taxi with us and back to our house for dinner, which he gobbled up. Seeing how differently he acts outside with just a couple of us just makes me hope that one day soon he finds a family to love him and give him the attention/stimulation he needs.
I'm not sure really how to sum up my last 10 weeks. I feel so blessed to have been able to meet these girls and boys and the adults who work so hard at the projects and without whom the projects wouldn't be possible. I've met wonderful volunteers, some who feel called to be here long term and it's that consistency that these children need.
What gets me is the injustice of it all. There should not need to be homes like these, there should not be hundreds of children in each home, staff should not be so overworked, each child should have a loving family to hold them, cherish them, encourage them and help them to reach their full potential in life. Unfortunately, that cannot happen overnight so I pray that workers come, volunteers come....come serve these kids...they're awesome!!!!
Love and hugs...see you all soon!!!!