I spent the day yesterday with 22 8-16 year olds with H.I.V. at an orphanage yesterday. I asked what I could bring and the woman who runs it said they have no food and really need rice, so I hopped on the back of a motorbike and bought 40 Kilos of rice ($40) and brought it to these poor unfortunate kids.
They were so beautiful. Some of them were very very sick. Many of the girls had sores all over their bodies and their poor little complexions were so pale and sickly. All of the kids' parents died of AIDS and the orphanage was set up by 2 Irish girls who wanted to do something to make a difference. The sad part is that they have no funding for food or supplies, so they rely on tourists to visit and bring them much need provisions.
We played all day. I racked my brain for ideas on games that would work despite to the language barrier with limited options. I chose "duck duck goose" and "musical chairs" to which I figured would work if I hummed the tune to "Pop Goes the Weasel". It was brilliant. The smiles and laughter that came out of these tortured souls was amazing. It makes you wonder if they understand the world of hurt that they live in. We played soccer, laughed, drew, and just had a good old time. Some of the kids really took a liking to me and almost had tears in their eyes when I left. I got some great photos that I will send along later. What a privileged life I live. I feel so fortunate to be able to give something back. My next mission is to spread the word about this orphanage so that other travelers will visit them as well. When you sit down for Thanksgiving dinner, please think of them, and although it's a lost cause, please pray for their recovery. Cherish life.