Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Jetlagged impressions and Pictures
Sandra and Fei both dragged their jetlagged bodies into the office yesterday, the day after arriving home from China and the whirl of the Hope's Journey Project. They brought in thousands of pictures, videos and descriptions that we will be sorting through in the coming weeks to match with each child. We'll only be posting the pictures on the blog that don't contain the children's faces, as requested by the CCAA. If you would like to see the sweet faces, please check the ASIA password-protected website in the coming week.
During our very compressed day, several thoughts kept popping up. As a group, the children seemed younger than their age. Of course, they tend to be smaller than a child of the same age in America. But what I felt was childlike naivite and innocence. Of course, it was a new experience for them and they generally embraced the day with joy. The older children didn’t seem to have any hard edge or the signs of rebellious boredom that we often see with American kids as they edge into their teens. I found this wonderfully refreshing and surprising. All the children seemed well cared for and loved. Many of them may be below grade level, but I’m not certain this is a result of their lack of ability, but more likely a function of the system in which they live. We would have loved to have had at least a week of living with the children in their own environment, getting to know them.
I also noticed how closely they sat or colored together – a clear difference between China’s sense of personal space and America’s sense of personal space. I noticed that the littler ones tended to stick together in pairs and often shared a nanny. They seemed to have formed something like a sibling bond. They had a number of nannies – both male and female, so the children had the opportunity to experience gender role modeling.
Sandra described how much fun the children and the orphanage staff with the hula dance and limbo. They all let loose with unbridled joy at dancing with grass skirts and leis and doing a modified limbo game.