Sunday, June 24, 2007

rice



It has been four weeks since I quit my job in the PICU and I was feeling a void in my life due to lack of child interaction. Also, I had not been off the ship the entire week. So, when the opportunity to visit an orphanage arose I was eagerly inclined.

I jumped in the back of the land rover which was driven by a member of the church empowerment staff. He and his family regularly visited the orphanage and brought the children bags of rice each month. We would pick up the rice on the way there.

After twenty minutes of driving we pulled over at a local vendor. A price of 22.50 per bag was agreed on. Our driver loaded us up and jumped back in the front seat.
"I'm not sure if that's a good price, but the children need to eat."
I began to calculate. There were 75 children at the orphanage and we purchased four bags of rice. This would last for a month. Each child received one cup in the morning and one cup in the evening. So, for less then 100$, 75 children would have something to eat. This month. There was no guarantee's for August.

It took all my will power to not breakdown in the back of the land rover.

I have heard about extreme poverty. I have googled it. I have researched it. I have written papers about it. But today I saw it.

Before I left home I had joked that I would never want to have a wedding because I would think of all the rice I could buy with the money. Let's say a wedding cost 10,000$. I could feed the orphanage I visited today for 8.6 years. I'm totally eloping. (I assure any of my over-zealous friends that I have no prospects at the moment..it's just a cross-cultural example).

The children were beautiful beyond words. I taught them a slew of Coatsville songs. About 15 of them were lines up mimicking the motions for "Sunrise to Sunset". There were a few older girls that had the sweetest spirits. They reminded me of girls in youth group back home. The Liberians are lovely people.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. I wish I was there with you. So glad you got to go!
Love, Mom

Anonymous said...

I love thinking of you leading Liberian orphans in "Sunrise, Sunset." Something about that seems so appropriate. Praying for you. -April

Jake said...

The children just break your heart. You come back to the states and you realize your bedroom could house a family of 8. It is so humbling. I will continue to pray that you will continue to serve.
Jacob