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Published: October 13th 2012
The orphanage I visited this week was about an hour away from port. It is easier to get out and about now. There are no demonstrations or unrest at present. Traffic is still a nightmare. But it is easier for the venders to go from car to car selling everything from peanuts to plungers.
The older children living at the orphanage were in school so we played with the little ones for a couple of hours. There were seven of us from the Africa Mercy Crew and a translator. We arrived via Range Rover. The concrete house seemed to have about six rooms on the ground floor. There was a mosquito net over each crib. Some of the children have HIV and/or other medical problems. Malaria and cholera are on-going problems especially during the rainy season which is now coming to an end.
We spent our time in the playroom. We sang songs, held them and played with the toys. They had Tonka toys, a plastic farm house, balls, etc. We sat on the tile floor. Initially, they clung to the childcare works, but by the time we needed to leave they didn’t want us to go. A couple of children were crying. That was sad. But a group from the ship will be going every week during this field service which will end in June. I only have two weeks left here so most of what I do now is for the last time.
At the orphanage, there were several posters on the yellow walls: months of the years, days of the week, shapes, numbers, the parts of the body labeled, and the nativity. The rooms were rather dark. No lights were on. In most paces, lights, if present, are only used when absolutely necessary.
School has just started for the year, so soon there will also be an opportunity to go to the school for the deaf and to a school on one of the islands. There are three islands near here. I can see them from the ship.
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