Friday, December 24, 2010

My living room is the same size as their house.

When we arrived at Mamma Teddy’s (Orphanage in Chanika) today we were pretty taken aback. The orphans are living in a small building that is comprised of 4 rooms. It is not bigger in total than most American’s living rooms. The kid’s sleeping rooms have bunk beds in them. We think they must have built the beds right in the room because there is barely space to pass between the door to the interior of the room. Outside of the living quarters there is an outhouse and two small buildings.  The term “building” is used loosely. Inside one of the buildings, some of the girls were cooking large pots of rice and beans. This would be their meal later in the afternoon. The kids only receive one meal a day at this orphanage. Despite how lacking this set-up appears, it is to my understanding that they have just moved to this better location.  The upside to this new location is that it provides land in which the orphans are able to farm. They can harvest the food for both a food supply as well as crops to sell locally which will bring in money for other needed items such as tuition fees for the children.  Two of the girls took me on a tour of their farm. They grow all sorts of things like bananas, pineapples, sweet potatoes and mangos. The main issue with production on the land is the lack of water supply. There were several holes in the ground that had once held water but are now dried up. Even the traditional well located on the farm is without water. Later in the day we saw a girl carrying water in 10 gallon bucket on her head. She had fetched it from somewhere and brought it all the way back on her head as they do not have access to running water.  Even with these challenges the kids are in good spirits and were very excited to see us. At the end of the day the children were kind enough to walk us all the way to the bus stop to say goodbye!

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