Friday, April 30, 2010

Last Day of Hope Journey

Today was the final day of the Hope Journey Program. I feel like we really got to know the children, even though it was only 3 days. The children put on a final show this morning for closing ceremonies. There were lots of different dances, including a dragon dance. Apparently the children put on shows like that quite frequently, which is why they are such good performers. I didn't see anyone get nervous. They all seemed very excited to do their parts.

After the show, we did the hula and the limbo for quite a while. We all danced together and the kids all had a good time with that. We played different games and did crafts. Sam wanted me to hold him, so we danced together for quite a while. He loved the sea creatures hanging from the ceiling and also reached out to several of the nannies and other kids. Anna was also quite outgoing, wanting to dance with me. Henry, Quentin, Clive, Peter and several of the other young boys also seemed quite interested in interacting. They all had a great time and were full of smiles and laughter.
Chance seemed quite attached to Eva. All of his nannies had gone elsewhere and Eva was the only one who could get him to follow her--it was quite sweet. She had interviewed him earlier in the day, so was probably a familiar face in the crowd. Micheal seemed a little overwhelmed by the crowds and games, but is quite interactive one on one. In the interviews he was very responsive and was able to name all of his body parts and colors.
Shawn always has a great smile and seems to be a staff favorite. He is a very outgoing and curious boy.
Right before the interviews, Anna came out of a room filled with other children and wanted me to hold her and spin like we did during the afternoon hula dance. She's a very sweet child, possibly a bit below her age socially. But she's a very happy girl and enjoys social interactions.
After Anna came out, I was suddenly swarmed by a group of children from earlier in the day. They all wanted me to join them! None of them were shy about grabbing my hand and pulling me towards their room.
I have to add that I'm even more impressed by the Bao an orphanage now that I have spent some time with the staff and gotten to know them. They are all so good-hearted. It is not a job for them, but they each do it because they truly care about the children. Some of the staff live at the orphanage, so they will take the kids out for the evening after they get off work. Other of the staff live away from the orphanage and will take some kids for the night sometimes. They also noted that when a child leaves with a new family, they cry tears of joy for the child and I believe every word of that after seeing them interact with the children. They are truly incredible people and it was an honor to get to know them. I feel very lucky that we are partnered with that orphanage.

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