Friday, April 9, 2010

Where does one begin?

Well, my lovely friends, I am back! And what an amazing and life changing experience it was too. How do I go about sharing such wonderful things in a blog post?! I would be here for ever, and so would you too, if I shared everything. So, it may take a few posts to fully cover my time in Indonesia - bear with me!

Firstly, I have to share with you some photos of all the clothes and items before I left. This photo was taken the day before I went, and it is every item I took over. 170 items of clothes! It may not look like much here, but the table was piled high with goodies!

And I started to worry if I would fit it all in my bag, and if I would be overweight in the luggage department! So, I began the long process of rolling each item, and then tying them into organised bundles. And, thankfully, everything fit into a big sports bag, including clothes for myself!

And before I go any further, I just have to share with you some utterly cute dresses and skirts that were made by Janice from my church - so gorgeous!

So, onto the exciting stuff! I won't bore you with all the details, but we arrived in Papua on the Saturday the 27th after 24hours of flying and a layover in Bali. I was able to go to the orphanage on Sunday afternoon to visit, and introduce myself. It was also a good opportunity to see how many kids there were, and what ages and sizes. Well, in Indonesia you are often told to expect one thing, and then you find out that what you have been told is completely irrelevant and different. So I was told there were 25-30 kids at this particular orphanage, half girls, half boys. Well, I soon found out that there were 45 kids, and only 1 girl!

Oh help, was my first and instant thought. Whilst I did have boys clothes, I had the majority of girls things! So on the monday, my two friends and I went back to the orphanage to hold a games afternoon. Which they LOVED. And of course, we loved it too! I was then able to give them most of the boys clothes, and a cute little 'care pack' for the young girl. I put some pretty dresses, skirts, underwear and a toy monkey in one of Mellys donated bags.

We left the clothes with the lady in charge of the orphanage to organize and we were invited back on thursday for a birthday party. So it was wonderful to come back and see some of the kids wearing the clothes! And especially wonderful to see the little girl in a pretty green dress, and so awfully proud of her dress! You could see the joy that was evident on her face, and you could see that she felt special and pretty and important. Was such a lovely moment.

Because I felt like I hadn't given enough, or done enough for the orphanage, I used some donated money, and some of my own, to buy 2-3 months worth of food for them. We bought four 20kg bags of rice, two 10kg boxes of dried noodles, 5 pounds of sugar, a box of tea, 15lt of cooking oil, some boxes of cakes/biscuts and some other things that I can't remember. When we brought all this to the orphanage on thursday - they were overjoyed and so very grateful! It's great to know that this food will last them a good long while.

So, you may be wondering, what happened with all the rest of the clothes? Well, there were a number of very poor families at a local church, with alot of daughters. So we were able to give a good bundle of clothes to them, and the blankets that were made. My friend in Papua, Ina, is going to give them the items and take some photos for me. I look forward to sharing them with you at a later date.

On our last day, we went by boat to a remote village called Bukisi. My friends and I had been there once before in 2007, so it was wonderful to journey back there. We were able to play some games and sing songs with the 40 something village kids, who are incredibly poor. I think these kids are in a worse off situation than the orphanage kids. We found out that the orphanage is helped and looked after by a local church, where as these village kids have nothing. So we were able to give them the rest of the clothes. They were so excited! You could easily tell how happy and thrilled they were. I think they all felt so special.

There is one particular story I want to share with you. My mum had bought a little pink teddy bear last year and had put it away in the cupboard as a future present. So when I was packing all the goodies, she handed me the teddy bear to take with me. I wasn't quite sure how I was going to give the teddy away, as I didn't want kids to miss out.

Anyway, there was a little girl at the place we were staying, called Joanne. I reckon she would have been about 6 years old perhaps. So I felt like I should give her the teddy bear. Well, her eyes practically lit up and she squealed and went running off to show her mum. I later found out that this little girl loves bears, and had been praying for a new teddy bear. I mean, how awesome is that? That just has God all over it. Awesome stuff.

Well, I'll love you and leave you for now. If you would like to see more photos from my trip, please check out this public link for photos on my facebook page, here and here.

So, I'm going to have a little break and do some sewing for myself, and then I'll be back into it for round two! Who wants to join me?!