Day 6- HIV orphanage visit
Today was going to be a tough day. Not because I was moody like the day before, but because we were going to our first HIV orphanage. Today we visited the Mother Theresa Orphanage in Addis. I beleive that my iteniary said 400 kids lived here. This place was HUGE and the nicest orphange we saw on our trip. I would bet the nicest orphanage faciltiy in ALL of Africa. The Sister that gave us the tour was an angel and definitley a child of God. She was the sweetest, most God Loving woman I have ever met. Her ONLY concern is for these children and for the community that their clinic serves. She serves some of the sickest patients you can imagine. They have a HIV clinic there within the orphanage. She expalined that they have the best medicine and eqipment in ALL of Africa. Everyone there gets the medicine and care that they need. For those of you not up to date on HIV, a child can live a VERY good life with the proper care and medicine. My friend, Suzanne, who I went to highschool with, adotped a little girl last year from Uganda with HIV. Josie Love is precious and you would never know of her illness. You see, these children need love just like the others, and they are most certainly not any less deserving. There were 400 kids here. FOUR HUNDRED. Let that sink in. They are there because of someone else's carelessness. Again, almost more than I can bear when I see how many there are. And these are the lucky ones. You see the orphange is ALWAYS at capacity. There are orphaned kids with HIV that don't get to live here and get the best care. There are just so many. Can you hear it now? My heart just breaks over and over, EVERYDAY on this trip. I so don't want to be numb to my surroundings, but there is just so much need in this beautiful country that we witness day in and day out. It is hard at this point not to expect it when we turn the corner. There are always MORE kids.
We broke out the arts and crafts and the soccer ball and we were well on our way! You see by now, we are like a traveling street circus. In two minutes flat, we can break out the crafts and go right to our work and the boys head out to entertain the older kids with a game of soccer! I don't have any pictures here. They asked us not to take pictures. These kids were great and just as loving as all the other children on our trip! I did sneak a picture of one little girl who was wearing my Indevus jacket. She was such a cutie!
After this we went to downtown Addis and pulled the bus over in a large parking lot. We were there to play with the "street" kids. You know, the kids that aren't lucky enought to be in an orphange. This is their home. There were so many and some younger than you would beleive. The boys broke out the soccer ball and it was on! Their was a HUGE dark rain cloud lurking over us and within minutes there was the biggest downpour of our trip! No worries, we didn't leave. They played in the rain for at least an hour! As we left downtown on our dry bus I couldn't help but wonder where those kids were going to go? It was still pouring and now they were soaking wet and it was cold. Again, our hearts breaking as we watch and wave goodbye to them them as our bus leaves. We noticed plastic tarps next to a wall where we played that I guess some of them lived. I am guessing those were the "lucky" street kids. It was a lot day after day to take in. Those kids didn't complain at all. They just played and had a great time, despite their circumstances. I think about what all we complain about here at home. We have so much and they just have so little.