This is part three of the travel journal of Julie, Arlene, and Maire.
We arrived in Hefei on Sunday afternoon and headed straight for Anhui Children's Hospital. It was such a great feeling as we walked into the hospital as it brought back many fond memories for Julie and I as we headed for the lifts to the 10th floor.
We visited a few LWB sponsored babies with cleft . In fact we were overjoyed to
see one of the babies who was on the Hefei Cleft Trip last October. Little Ying was not well enough to receive surgery then but has recently had her surgery and is looking great. I'm sure many people will remember her as 'Julie's baby with the spiky hair'. She has grown so much and we barely recognised her.
Next morning we were up bright and early to visit our Luan foster care program. At our first stop we were greeted by 2 smiling little girls. The look on their faces was priceless as we gave each of them a pretty fairy dress to wear. It was then the turn of the ACH Mobile Medical Team to work with the children. They went straight to work, assessing the medical conditions, making suggestions etc.
During the day we visited 42 children, handing out beanie babies and dressing up outfits kindly donated by CACH members in the UK. We also were able to purchase some items for the older girls and boys thanks to a kind donation of unused rmb, also by a CACH UK member. The children all loved their presents. We were particularly touched by our visit to some older girls with Cerebral Palsy. Their faces postively shone as we placed diamante head bands and hair clips on their heads, pretty bracelets on their wrists. We handed out stickers to all the children too - they were a BIG hit!!
I have to admit the highlight of my day was walking around a corner to be greeted by a little voice calling 'Ayi!!!' I would recognise that voice anywhere - it was one of our foster children, again from the cleft mission. This little girl captured everyone's hearts back in October when she had her palate operation. She came up the alleyway waving and smiling and I was greeted with a warm hug from foster mum. She followed us from house to house, dancing around and checking out our stack of toys - so nothing new there then!! And then her foster brother (also a child with cleft palate from October) arrived. His face lit up when he saw us and big kisses were given and received by him. These children were both so well and their palates are all healed up.
The wonderful ACH team worked tirelessly all day, only arriving back in Hefei at about 11pm, at which point we casually mentioned that we needed to leave the next morning for another visit at 8 a.m.!
Anhui Director of Operations