Friday, November 03, 2006

Final Day in Hefei

Our team actually got to “sleep in” today as we didn’t have to go to the hospital until 8:30 this morning since no surgeries were being done. Rounds were made, patients were discharged, and the “packing up of the boxes” began. Could it have only been one week since we arrived? It seems like a lifetime of memories were made during these days. We are so thankful to Jeff and Wynee for documenting the trip in photos as we will always be able to look back at them and remember the beautiful children whose lives were changed this week.

In the afternoon, our volunteers were invited to visit the Hefei SWI to see the children and their wonderful foster set up. Others decided to spend the afternoon shopping for last minute bargains. We all gathered together in the early evening for an official group photo, and then we headed to the closing banquet that was sponsored by Anhui Children’s. What a wonderful dinner we had, and what a wonderful evening to sit and reflect on people from so many different countries all coming together for children. Julie Flynn Coleman gave the speech on behalf of LWB, and we are including a part of it here as her words are oh so true:

“Thank you distinguished Directors for extending to us all this opportunity to work together for the health of the children. Xie Xie ni men.

As I look around this room tonight I see people united and happy with a job well done. Each and every one here has given 110 % in the name of the children - From the Honourable Directors who worked so diligently to make this week happen, to the medical and administrative staff both here in China to those who winged their way across the ocean giving of your gifts to weave this joy.

Each of us will return to our families with a piece of our heart holding memories of this amazing journey, a journey of mutual learning and cultural exchange as well as the knowledge that, as we held a baby close and watched the healing power of cooperation, we held a glorious moment in time …for with that tiny life we also held our future, for the children are the future.”

All of us at LWB would like to thank you for following along on our 3rd cleft trip to China. Thank you for your wonderful wishes, your support, and for your prayers for the children. We couldn’t do it without you!