Tuesday, April 27, 2010

We Made It!

Eva and I made it to Shenzhen yesterday and shortly after I received a phone call from Susan. She was already at the Bao an orphanage watching them practice their talent show for the Hope Journey camp! She invited us to join her, so after getting settled, we met her and went over there. What a treat! Wow--can those kids perform! I don't want to spoil it, so I just included a few group pictures here, but wait until you see what the kids can do! I was quite impressed:-)

The staff members and orphanage officials are great and extremely welcoming! Tomorrow we get to back for the dress rehearsal and a tour of the orphanage.
We obtained some great information today as well. We have children on our list from two orphanages, Bao an and Shenzhen. The kids from Bao an are all learning English! They have a teacher there from the Sunshine Academy in California. She is the woman you see who is the only other Caucasian there:-) She has been there for a year and a half, so has gotten to know the kids quite well. All of the Bao an kids have English names because of this program, and they're able to introduce themselves that way. So you might notice the names of some of the kids will change. We felt it better to keep the names they're used to, rather than to refer to them differently. Anyway, the teacher offered her assistance in helping us get whatever information we need about the children. So...if you all have certain questions that you would like answered about the kids, post to the comments and I'll do my best to get the information for you. the officials are also very gracious and open about doing whatever they can to help us make the most of our time here and really learn about the children. They all seem to have very sincere hearts.
This is really quite an amazing experience. I'm so moved by how welcoming everyone is and how appreciative they are of what we're trying to do for the children. I'm also impressed by how willing the children are to perform in front of strangers. They don't seem shy at all, and seem to really put their all into it. The teachers and nannies are all very attentive and encouraging. All throughout the program the teachers had children in their laps or their arms around a few kids. They seem very close to them. I feel so lucky to be here and have this opportunity to meet the children and staff.
Stay tuned...I should have more information and pictures tonight!

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