On this latest trip to the orphanage, I brought with me my aunt, Lynn Hebner, and friend, Bernard Petersen.
From about 7 a.m., my aunt would go to the house where the 11 babies stay. She folded laundry, helped bathe and dress the babies. While there are several House Mothers in that house, my aunt was able to fill a gap because one of the House Mothers was away and another had a flu that was making the rounds with the children.
When the babies were ready for the morning, my aunt would head to the laundry basins out back. In fact, all three of us, found ourselves at various points scrubbing children’s clothes. Every day, this was my aunt’s routine and she was commended by so many people at the home. They told me she works so hard and because of her they were able to be more efficient in their chores.
Bernard spent a lot of his time teaching Veronica how to use a computer that had been donated to the home. She’s planning to take a computer course next month and so those introductory tutorials will surely give her a head start in the class. He also got her online and showed her how to set up an email account. I left her some pocket money so that when she is in town, she can use the internet café and send us messages. She is a sponge for knowledge and was excited about learning, for the first time, about computers and the internet.
For me, I tried to spend as much time as possible with the students whom we will be sponsoring their education. I was able to interview each of them and learn more about their aspirations, families and likes/dislikes. For example, Veronica aspires to study overseas, Patricia is moved to tears when she talks about her mom who died of AIDS and Pelucy has a fun-loving spirit and especially loves listening to Top 40 music, such as Rhianna and Jay-Z.
I also brought a craft project for the girls, buying most of the materials from the community. We spent hours making beaded stars, which will be sold at Christmas for a fundraiser. It was amazing to watch their teamwork and creativity shine.
At the end of our stay, Auntie Milly, told me how encouraging it is to have visitors to the orphanage. It was also encouraging for us, and I think each of us came home resolved to continue supporting the orphanage in whatever way we can.
Volunteers are always welcome!