Friday, March 30, 2007

More from Anhui

This is part four of the travel blog from our volunteers in China now.


Maire, Julie and I woke up early and travelled to Dingyuan. As always I felt truly glad to be back in my daughter's home town. Dingyuan is a beautiful place. The fields were bright yellow and full of rape seed in bloom and the landscape dotted with little villages, fields and buffaloes. It was a glorious day as we pulled into the orphanage.

After a chat with the Directors and sharing of photos of previously adopted children, we had a tour of the orphanage. The kids were all looking great. Rosy cheeks everywhere and happy smiles. We sat and played with the children for a while and then headed off to see the foster children.

We walked around and eventually I looked down an alleyway and saw one of the foster children coming towards us holding her dad's hand. What a sight. This child is just so happy in her home. She excitedly ran towards us and then led us to her house. There, with her foster sisters and brother she kept us amused for quite a while. These foster parents are so remarkable. Their dedication to their children is unbelieveable. As we left we presented the foster mum with a bouquet of flowers......such a small gesture for such a wonderful woman!

We continued on our way, handing out stickers and beanie babies to each child. Again these were donated by British families for the children. The children absolutely loved them and I would like to thank all the people who so generously gave these items. Your kindness was appreciated.

It was such a blessing to have the Mobile Medical Team from Anhui Children's Hospital with us. They gently checked each child as we went round and noted their needs and suggested exercises to improve their mobility where necessary. To say they are a pleasure to work with would be an understatement!

On this trip, I had to say goodbye to two children in our foster care program as they will soon be adopted. All of us at LWB wish them all the best for their futures with their new families.

The day finished up with a trip out to the local reservoir, as LWB have raised funds to help lay pipes for the water to be pumped from the reservoir to the orphange. Previously the orphanage had used well water but the well was not deep. It was certainly a tranquil place and one that was rather poignant for me. It was time to take a quiet moment and think of my daughter's home town.

Wednesday it was up and out the door early for yet another orphanage visit in Anhui. We were given a warm greeting by the orphanage staff and then went to see the beautiful children. It is near to the Qing Ming Festival (where Chinese people honour their ancestors) and firecrackers were going off everywhere. We could hardly hear ourselves speak. Initially the children were a little shy of us but as soon as they realised we had stickers they were very excited. Within minutes we were surrounded by children eager to receive their very own pack of stickers. Maire did a great job in covering the children head to toe! We were all particularly pleased to see one little girl who had received heart surgery sponsored by LWB. She was a little shy to start with but that didn't stop her from following us from room to room. This little girl had been so seriously ill but was now looking great, and the orphange staff referred to her as their "little miracle."

Arlene Howard