Top Ten.....Number 5
Even with all the stresses of being away from home, caring for our health, the chaos of a crowded 3rd world country and dealing with all the various culture and language issues, we occassionaly took time to subject ourselves to Saturday afternoons of extreme sweat, exhaustion and dehydration; We left drained of all physical energy, but feeling more fullfilled and happy inside than anything else we could have imagined. Number 5 on our list goes to the overwhelming outpouring of love from 2 dozen little girls who've overcome tremendous hardships and abuse:
We were first introduced to the orphange when we visited with Elizabeth and Justin back in March. Since then we've come with Patrick and Keysi and numerous times just by ourselves. Our driver, Ike, has gotten close to the girls too, and has been so helpful with translating Tagalog, which allows us to communicate so much more effectively.
It's been amazing (and unexpected!) how attached we both have gotten to all the girls- some naturally gravitate towards Kendra as Ate (or big sister)- others stay by my side, keeping me busy chasing them around the roof or tossing them in the air (I'm now Kuya, or big brother).
After we watched them play that first day on large piles of dirt littered with broken glass wearing only plastic flipflops and wanting us to join in, they've held a special place in our hearts and we've become very fond of the visits and how excited they are to have someone to play and have fun and laugh with. (even though we're amazed at how much energy they have and how they manage not to seriously hurt themselves or each other with their roughhousing...even when we arm them all with SuperSoakers!).
Our visit last week was a bit tough, having to say good-bye and hoping that they all will continue to be loved and cared for and grow up in better environments than what they've come from. Thanks to all those friends, family and co-workers back home who donated funds for clothes, shoes, toys and school supplies. There's 25 little girls (now with colorful bandanas!) who very much appreciate your generosity!