we’re here! its not quite what i imagined, i have to admit when i think about an orphan i think about a little kid in rags who needs lots of help, but instead i find that the children are very happy, very healthy and don’t look like they lack for anything. Gai (the lovely lady who runs the orphanage) is a wonderful and inspirational woman. she teaches her children the importance of eating healthy food saying ‘the chickens eat good food, lay good eggs, so we have good bodies!’ she just seems to get it. she also genuinely loves them calling them ‘my children’, there is easy laughter and affection.
Gai also shows a genuine interest in their future, there is a garage out the front for repairing engines for the boys who don’t do great at school but love to work with their hands, she hired them a teacher to teach them how to be mechanics, and one of the older girls works at a nearby hotel where they also buy her organic eggs.
All the kids either work or go to school- in fact school expenses are the only reason she doesn’t have MORE kids. there is always plenty of food, lots of arts and crafts and toys, some of the boys are very fond of playing soccer. they also have access to the internet whenever they want most of the older kids have facebook pages, and there is a swimming pool being built close to the soccer feild, so that the kids can learn how to swim. the work on the pool has stagnated waiting for some more money from the gentleman who was donating for it. they get no help from the government but do amazingly well with what they have. Gai would love to eventualy have 40 children (she currently has 14 between the ages of 9 and 18), she hates to turn any away, in fact there are 4 waiting to come now but she only has enough money to take on 2. the biggest problem seems to be school fees, she has to know that she can afford this child until they are old enough to take care of themselves, if only more families out there felt the same way.
The other thing that is exciting and surprising Julz and i so much is all the things we have to learn here. they are amazing gardeners, everything is organic! they have chickens, geese, ducks, fish and pigs so organic fertilizer abounds! they have no waste, everything is re-used and made into something else. from extra fruit into wines or jams and soaps. they use their coconuts to make thier own coconut oil. they use the empty grain sacks to make grocery bags, she hand makes gorgeouse skirts and uses the cut offs to make tissue containers, they even make thier own detergent with papaya/pawpaw. their is so much for julz and i to learn and we are enjoying it a lot.
Gai’s soaps are wonderful, we are using some now and we watched as she made some last night after dinner. the kids and Gai package the soap, which is very well presented and then sell it. I’m sure there is a market for it in australia, if anyone was interested in helping out….
Meanwhile julz, adam and i are helping out around here starting with feeding the animals before breakfast, we have also cleaned out the chicken coop, helped make bamboo grates to keep the cats from eating the fish, and made a cement slab to keep the area around the chicken coop from getting muddy. lots of hard work, but made easier doing it with friends.
Myles is also somewhat entertained- he absolutely loves the chickens, even picking them up and hugging them when he can get one. when we get down to the chicken coop he insists that we let him into the cages with them, and he has helped to get the eggs. we have also come accross millipedes, fish, frogs, tadpoles, and of course spiders.
Also i can’t go without mentioning how amazing the food is. i can’t remember what any of them are called but thai curries, stir fries and rice packages have all been deliciouse, if a bit hot for me most of the time, adam and julz are loving it though, and myles has worked out that if he says his mouth is hot, Gai will give him ice-cream!