A glimpse into life behind the scene here at the orphanage……
There are four very amazing women who form the backbone to keep things running at the orphanage. It’s no small task to look to the needs of 30 children and 8 adults day after day. Esther, her sister Naga, Glory and Teja serve continuously from 6 in the morning until the children are tucked in around 9 in the evening.
The children all help – whether with dishes, running to fetch something, holding a little one who needs a cuddle, or working together on homework – but it is the leadership that the women provide that makes all run smoothly and efficiently. As the children head off to school by 9 am -the older ones by bus or bicycle and the younger ones to the local elementary school – everyone is spotless with clean uniforms and hair combed neatly or freshly braided. Their possessions are neatly put away in their suitcases and the courtyard is swept clean.
I wanted to spend the morning with the women so I begged off going to the pastors conference and happily waved goodbye to the three musketeers(aka. John Ken and Brad) as they headed out for their day’s adventure.
As I entered the courtyard, the first task was evident….. Laundry for 38. Laundry is done regularly and whenever we come into the courtyard the walls are draped in dresses, towels and pants – but Monday is a major wash day so the pile was enormous. We headed down the street to the river where a set of concrete steps into the flowing water serves as the laundromat. They will not let me carry or help but have agreed to let me take photos.
We are getting to know each other, breaking down some barriers – but they will not let go serving me. I am part of The Team so I sit with the men and they serve me which must be very odd for them. I try to come into the kitchen to offer help and they shoo me out. However over the week of bouncing together on long car journeys, sitting down to sift through rice together, encouraging them as we pray together, and trying to make our thoughts known by sign language and guessing…. some barriers have come down. We smile and laugh and they touch my heart deeply as I see at the community they share and nurture.
Pictures say more than words. Washing is hard work here. As the women come and go from the steps with laundry done, they have all caught up on each others lives and they all smile! Community or a new Maytag? Hmmmmmm….
There is beauty in community……
And I enjoyed a quick visit to the children at school.
I always wonder how they stay so sparkling white and scrupulously clean.
Wonderful! Wonderful! Appreciate the gift of hearing about and seeing the places and people you’ve encountered while there.
So like our experiences in Japan, Nigeria and Cambodia…it’s harder to leave the people each time and it takes me an increasingly longer time when we return home to be able to actually transition back into life here! Will be thrilled to have you share pics and stories when you’re home and recovered !!