Hope is the Spark that Changes Lives

Day 4...

While three people lie in the home recuperating out of the heat and snapping shields for feminine kits, Morgan handwrites names on certificates for the Mini-Mending Class, Denis and Reilly paint the school. Kathy sorts clothes while Juju, Jeanie, Erica, and Siobhan lead the sewing class. Aiden sleeps and I make the rounds, learning what goes into the green lentil stew, taking photos of various projects, and finally ending up at the school painting.  The day grows hot quickly and I am grateful for my hat and sunglasses. Before you know it, we are surrounded by children and it is time to take photos!

The sweetest moments are when I show a child a photo of their smiling face and they laugh and laugh. It makes me laugh, too, and before you know it, there is a group of us laughing in a heap on the grass and I feel hot and I can’t breathe and we laugh some more.

Lunch time comes.

mckeeper partyIt’s party time! A rented canopy and a sound system are set up in the barren area in front of the school. Balloons are blown up, t-shirts and water bottles are given out, games are organized, music is played, and a huge amount of prizes are given out.  It is sheer chaos with 150 students and adults present and I just have to chuckle as I watch Morgan and Denis trying to organize a massive game of Musical Chairs which just doesn’t seem to work out.  Kids bunch up, they don’t know what to do and it is madness.  Kathy and Reilly are surrounded by another gaggle of kids, trying to work out a game of Egg and Spoon.  On the side, older kids play a hilarious game of taking water in their mouths to the end of the line, spitting into a water bottle, running back for more and repeating until the water bottle is full.  Prizes for winners and runner ups are given out and candy is given to everyone. 

Stickers cover little children and we call the party a wonderful success.

There is a showing of the ”Lion King” at 7pm at the church, thanks to Denis and his tiny projector and a whiteboard we brought for the school. The fun just doesn’t end and the kids from the orphanage, as well as the four in our team are loving it!

Dutch Blitz cards come out after dinner and those who are not too tired play until it is time to go to sleep, as we know the rooster likes waking up at 2am. We’ve come up with a plan for the loud, little guy – he will be soup by tomorrow and we will replace him before leaving town.


The Amazing Race competition has started!  We are out to see who of the team will not get the 24-hour bug.  The winner gets a lollipop at the end of the week, although Siobhan did suggest a First Class ticket home as a good prize. I do believe I like Siobhan’s idea better, but the lollipops have been set aside as prizes for the survivors of our competition. As of this morning, all are healthy and doing well, so the prize might have to be split eight ways.  


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