I can't even express to you the joy in the children there. The neat thing about Care Corner is that it is not a typical orphanage. First of all, none of the children are available for adoption. They come there for various reasons. Unfortunately many people in the area are unable to afford to take care of their own children, and because child prostitution is a very real risk, once the children are brought to Care Corner, they stay at Care Corner. Ricky, the man who runs/founded the orphanage, considers them to be his children. What is very cool to see is the amount of children who grow up at Care Corner and come back to work there as well. Many of the adults were once orphans, and because they can relate to these children, the rate of adjustment is much quicker.
Here we all are at dinner...I am fourth in on the right, my head looks gigantic. Next to me is my sister, Emily. You can barely see her past my giant noggin. The man in the front on the left is my Dad. His shirt says "Lost in Thought, please send search party." He laughs every time he wears it.
This is how we got around. I am in there, somewhere in the back. Do you see the silhouette of a boys head behind the man in the front? That silhouetted person was leaning on my legs. In the front are two little girls that live at Care Corner. The one in yellow was quite sassy. I don't know what she was saying for the most part, but sass is universal. It was endearing.
This is our group doing some work. I am in there somewhere...not sure where. That person is turquoise is Emily, Big Red is my dad. I think I am the one bent over next to the kid in the sombrero. And...no I have no idea where he got a sombrero in Thailand. I can't explain it!
That was an amazing waterfall that I climbed. That pink dot at the top is a person. It was pretty steep, and it was a once in a lifetime chance to do it...so I did. My sister yelled at me the whole time, and my Dad just laughed and said it reminded him of me when I was young and reckless. Oooo...I should have had a show! The Young and the Reckless...has a certain ring to it, don't you think?
Another really unique (in my eyes at least) and heartbreaking is the Rainbow Home. The Rainbow home is a part of the orphanage that houses HIV positive children. In Thailand, AIDs and HIV is a huge problem that affects children as well as adults. Many of the children have lost one or both parents to AIDs, and were born HIV positive. The Rainbow Home is equipped with trained nurses on a 24-hour basis, and the children at given the best possible treatment. They also get the best treatment they could get, they are loved, and they are safe. They play with the other children as if they are all brothers and sisters.
I urge you to look into getting involved in a program or a ministry like this. It doesn't have to involve a trip across the globe, there are wonderful organizations that you can work with to help people in your own community.
I highly recommend looking into Compassion International as well. It is a wonderful program that sponsors children in third-world countries, for $30 a month they provide education, food, and medicine. You can correspond with the child you sponsor through letters.
Or if you don't want to make a monthly commitment, consider a program like Operation Christmas Child through Samaritan's Purse. This program collects shoe boxes full of gifts like toothbrushes, stickers, games, calculators, and things we consider mundane, but things that children all over the world might never see.
I never knew how blessed I am to be living in this country. To have the childhood I did. To have any childhood at all. Because the truth is, some kids never will get that chance.
Thank you for reading, thanks for hanging in there while I spilled my heart. I didn't start this post intending to write any of that, I was just going to share some picture with you. But it just poured out of me. Thanks for giving me an outlet to pour it into.