We went to our first orphanage yesterday and today. Our new driver Seth has mastered the art of backing up a van full of people up the steep embankment of the dirt hill there…I’m quite proud of him. We lugged our supplies into the front of the office as the kids ran out to greet us. There are 11 children total here and there is really no need to tell you about their “adorablesness”…of course they are cute. We have partnered with an organization comprised of UVU students called the Child’s Hope group in this project for the next two weeks and they are awesome. Such hard working and sweet girls. The kids loove them. We are really enjoying our time with them.
I taught my first women’s health class today to the two oldest girls in the group. I have been designing this class for months now and was so eager to finally try it out! I was a bit nervous how it would go over but I was so excited with the results. Each girl responded differently but the language barrier proved to be nothing much and they had so many questions. Both girls had never heard of menstruation and what happens to your body when you begin to grow up before. They were amazed at the information I fed to them and I was so grateful to have made a small difference in their lives by explaining the basics of womanhood. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have those things happen to a young girl and not have a mother to go to! I have never taken my sweet momma for granted, but I most definitely do not do so now as I look into these young girl’s faces. I gave each of them one of our Days for Girls kits, taught them how to use the re-usable pads and how to take care of their kits so that they can last up to 3 years.
It took us two days, but we were successfully able to get through all of the social worker interviews with each child and also the separate interviews with the directors and house mother of the orphanage. It was long, it was hot but I’ve never had so much fun playing duck duck goose in my whole life. The simplest joys light up their faces and it warms my heart to have made my small contribution to those stinkin cute smiles.
Lately I’ve had the question of “why does God allow bad things to happen to the good and the innocent?” on my mind. I was thinking about it on the bus this morning after I heard one of the directors say that she had found most of her children in buckets or left in the bushes outside the orphanage and I just didn’t understand how that could happen. I also didn’t understand the reason for placing restrictions on big hearts, another concept on the brain lately. Before coming here I did some personal research and had trainings on the the negative impact of the stereo-typical white westerner who comes to third-world countries with that big heart and good intentions. Economically it is a simple band-aid effect over an infected wound that will not heal on its own. It takes some serious cleaning out to get that wound back to its healthy pink skin once again. God knows this. He knows that we use personal trials to help us shine. To become like Him. If he gave us everything we wanted or needed, if we never had pain, if we never learned disappointment, we would never learn nor grow. Sometimes God’s big heart has limitations so that we can widen our understanding. It is the same here. I cannot save every orphan here and I cannot give them everything I have. Someday it will be better. Someday the world will be at balance. But today is not that day and what I do in the here and now to help them can only go so far. But it is something. God does what He can and I am doing what I can do.
I am also learning quickly that our hotel manager is doing as much as he can do. So far, we have had the true blue African experience, complete with electricity on and off, running water on and off, no soap, overflowing toilets, beds falling apart, our door handle locking us on the inside, fans and a/c breaking, leaking roofs and wi-fi the pits. But, in his defense this place does have a a pretty spectacular view.