What are the basic needs of children between the ages of 6 and 17? Your answers may include food, clothing, shelter, family, a place to play and study? Perhaps there are other things that we could list but family isn’t one of the things these children have. Shelter they have if you don’t count the fact that the orphanage’s roof leaks and the children’s bunk beds are strategically positioned to avoid the water as it drips from the ceiling. A place to study; well they have 24 desks for 76 children and with a schools schedule that starts at 6:30 am and ends at 8:30 pm scheduling desk time isn’t an option.
The morning was spent getting some of these basics; food from the market, meat, vegetables and fruit. Meat from the butchers all lined up in a row, oranges for every child cost $5. We purchased 60 desks and stools for 63 RMB each, that’s less than $10 per desk! During the afternoon we visited the orphanage’s high school children since they stay at their school from Monday through Friday and only come back to the orphanage on weekends. There are two high schools in Longhui each housing 5000 students, each school is a small town by canadian standards. In the evening we played with the younger children at the orphanage, presented skits, sang, acted out bible stories, prayed and handed out gifts both brought from Canada and those purchased in the morning. Fireworks ended the evening. We are all tired and heading to bed – it’s up at 6:30 tomorrow morning 🙁