Friday, December 23, 2011

A colourful Christmas in an orphanage :)

Dear all,

Mission accomplished!

Today, we dropped off the bedsheets to Sinthamani Divine Life Ashram and lo' and behold!  It transforms everything!  If you don't believe, check out the photos below :)

This is the living area - big space for children to run around.  But they are generally very quiet and well-behaved :)

One of the caretakers, Selva rang a bell and all these children just lined up in a file!  Hehe, in accordance to their height!  Reminds me of my childhood in school because I'm always the first few :P And we gave one bedsheet to each children and taught them how to fit them on the bed so that they'll remember :)

This is the boys' room, which is really quite cramped.  Because there were a lot more boys than girls, 3:1 perhaps.  The beds are placed side by side so, in a way, you could roll from the first bed across all 10 with no complications.  Hehe.  Quite cool huh.  That's definitely wayyyyyyyyyyy bigger than my bed :Pp

So this is their sleeping condition.  They've got a wool blanket each (strange, because it's really too warm for the kids even though they have ceiling fans) and pillows.  Some have bolsters, some don't.  Some come with cases, some don't.  As you can see, all of them have no bedsheets :( Till...

TADAAAAAAA!  It's quite awesome isn't it.  One little unassuming item but transforms the whole environment.  I was kinda... touched actually.  I suppose they don't get new stuff often (though they seem to have a lot of donated stuff), so they seem kinda excited in opening the packaging and fitting on the new sheets.  And one little boy, was so aware that this is new, he was very careful in removing all the flint his blanket unintentionally left on the bedsheet.  You see, maybe it doesn't seem much to anyone, but for me... this is a sign of hope.  The little boy (maybe he was 8?) knew this was precious and appreciated it by taking care of it.  And I think that's the most important thing we need to teach the kids.  It's not about having.  It's about appreciating.  We didn't even have to tell them to appreciate it, they're kids but they know. Seriously, just looking at these beds taught me one thing today.  We, adults need to show by action and not just advice.  Because when we do, instinctively the kids will emulate :)

And this is the girls' room.  Smaller in size and a hell lot neater :P no surprise there.

TADA!  Omigosh, aren't the beds pretty?  And a lot better colour-coordinated according to my Elf.  Haha, yea well... I suppose it comes naturally for girls.  

To be really honest with you, I've never done this before.  I've done Christmas carolling in old folks' home before when I was living in Japan (which totaaaaaaally made me a teary wreck cause it was just so... heart warming) but this is really something different.  Maybe I still have a thing for kids, I've taught them in Japan, I've played with them in Kenya and now, my own country.  I felt really awkward initially, cause they're so shy.  Which makes me so shy too.  Hehehe, yea I know, like wth right?  How old am I again?  But... you know, it takes two to play.  I hope I can get to know them better next time :) And I wanna tell them that they may be born in the slum, but the slum is certainly not born in them.  Did I mention one of their 'first' boys whom the caretaker took in from the road side is now studying medicine in Russia?  Yea.  God's awesome :) I hope they grow up to be wonderful wonderful people, full of ambition, full of hope, full of love.  Well... what do you know?  I think I just found my Christmas wish! ;)

I know I sound like a broken record, but thank you once again for the donation, you've just coloured Christmas vibrantly for some really deserving kids.  And thanks to my Elf for helping me or I would have... still reach there, except took a long detour to Timbuktu first.  Haha!  But more importantly, for the invisible sense of encouragement :) 

Promise to self: I will be back.  This is not an orphanage.  This is a home.  And a warm home is one made out of warm beds and a warm kitchen.  I will definitely be back :)

p/s: If you're from Dentsu and happen to read this.  No, don't worry, I'm not gonna do another 'teaching stint'.  Yes, I'll be back at work on Tuesday.  No, I won't run away to another country.  Yes, I'll complete that presentation deck by New Year.  Haha!

And have a very Merry Christmas y'all! Xx
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