Today was my first day volunteering at Pattaya Orphanage. Due to the sensitivity of the children, photos will have to go through a screening process of approval before they can be used so I will post you some later.
I was quite nervous upon arrival; not knowing precisely what I would be doing I definitely wasn’t as prepared as I could have been. However, the staff at the orphanage are very kind and helpful, and my advisors quickly went through with me what I would be doing.
First on the order of the day was teach English to three children and Danish to one of them later in the afternoon. I think teaching is going to be my biggest challenge. Most people who volunteer teaching English knows the local lingo and are trained to teach as they study, practice it and participate in volunteering as part of their education. I just think helping and positively influencing the lives of the young and underprivileged are important, so I got training in neither. However, all the kids high fived me and climbed onto my lap to count to ten with me so I can’t have been that terrible. I’ve also already picked up some useful words! It’s a learning process, both for me and the children.
The second working area of the day was in the nursery. After about ten minutes I walked up to a baby toddler crying. He turned towards me with open arms, urgently stumbled into my own and locked his arms around my neck as I lifted him up. If ever there is a momma heart in mine it sure woke up then! As he rested his head against my shoulder I had no choice but to hold him tight for the rest of the hour – there was no way he would let me put him down (cuteness overload).
Visiting the older toddlers room I found myself at one point buried under four kids. They all wanted to sit on my foot, lap, shoulders, head – you know – when dealing with kids you’re just gonna have to accept that you’re a tree!
…And you’re going to love it.
Today’s important note: there are babies as young as a couple weeks at the orphanage. They along with the many other children haven been brought to the orphanage because their parents couldn’t take care of them for various reasons. However, the good news is that they are being taken good care of at the orphanage and given what they need with a special focus on education. Moreover, as many as 90% have been further adopted and no adoption have been reversed thanks to potential parents and children being carefully matched against each other. Stay tuned for ways YOU can help the Orphanage!