We are soon all heading towards the dining room where we hear music and as I strain to see over the top of heads I see two of the girls who are about 10 or 11 dancing with the Red Cross support group. As the music stops, Katja and I are grabbed and persuaded to sing for the children: we do our rendition of ‘heads, shoulders, knees and toes’ along with the actions and then we join the support group and everyone else with the Chinese Happy New Year to You. It was wonderful, not a dry eye in the house, this is proving to be a very emotional day. No sooner had the music stopped and every one of the children are lining up for lunch. This is a very special lunch and one we can thank you our supporters for, as we, with your help have donated money for this special meal, which we all shared together as one very big happy family. After lunch it was time for MiFan MaMa to give red envelopes to the Mummies and Daddies on your behalf, what better way to let them know we really appreciate all they do on a daily basis for these children.
During all this time there wasn’t much time for game playing or painting with the children but the people from our bus were busy visiting those children that cannot get out of bed, those who stare at four walls and a ceiling all day and never complain. Thanks to King Koil these children are comfy in the mattresses they have especially made for them.
We then had a time of exploring and getting to know the children and where they live; a very precious time. These children have come to accept us as their family as have their Mummies and Daddies. Communication is always a small problem, just a feeling of small frustration on our part but love soon shows us there are no barriers – everyone wants a hug and very soon get it.
Everlasting friendships are forged, just as all from our bus will not forget these wonderful children; the children will never forget them and their love and kindness.
We all pose for photos – everyone wants to capture this very special moment.
The volunteer from the Red Cross tells Katja and myself about a family who are all very severely ill. We agree to supply food for this family as they have no money and their plight has already been shown on Chinese TV. (Roy has already investigated this, so we know there is a real need). We give the Red Cross Volunteer enough money to buy this family rice, flour and oil for 6 months. In addition we are able to give them a bag of rice, flour and a bottle of oil from Lao Wang’s supply. The man from the Red Cross asks that we deliver these items personally on the way home: he assures us it is on our way. So we agree and he joins us on our bus with 3 volunteers for our return journey.
All too soon it is time to say goodbye to everyone and lots of tears are shed on both sides. Although we will be back in one month and these children and everyone here has a place in our hearts it is still so sad. One of the Mummies is hugging me crying and thanking us for all we do. I tell her it is us who thank them as they are the ones who look after these children 24 hours a day, everyday. They are the one who teach these children love and caring by their example, how lucky these children are for although their possessions are few their hearts are bursting with LOVE and CARING and SHARING. We have the privilege to have been a part of this, to have experienced this, even if only for a short time.
Then we get on the bus some passengers are leaning out of the window sharing a last handshake with these wonderful people. Soon we are driving down the road, we wave, and they wave, and soon are just dots in the distance. The bus is silent: we have all had different experiences on this visit, each of us has our own treasured memories to take away until we visit the next time.
We now have the Red Cross volunteer and his helpers on the bus, but on further investigation we find it will take us an extra 5 hours to make this visit to this family. Unfortunately this is not possible, as lots of people on the bus must get to work the next day and even now we will not arrive home until 12.00 midnight. We agree to sort the Red Cross team out another car and further down the highway we stop and there is another car waiting, we all exchange hugs and greetings for this family, and then we part.