I’m sitting in the airport trying to collect my thoughts.
I still have work to do, but my 98 day trip overseas has just begun. My husband and I will be volunteering at an orphanage in Northern Thailand.
The moment has finally come where there is no turning back. I know you might think it will be such a rewarding experience for us and we’ll have a great time, but I have my doubts. Well I think it will be an experience, but maybe not quite as you imagine.
The conditions will be really hard. We’re going to an orphanage with 180 children. We’re particularly going to help a Swedish/American family who run the centre and care for an additional 18 children under their own roof. 5 of these children are infants in nappies, 2 being toilet trained. To top it off, they are leaving us for two months as they need to go back to the US for visa reasons.
We have been prepared via email as much as possible about the harsh realities of everyday living there. Privacy and the hygiene standards that don’t exist. We will be on our guard from malaria, and in an area where our anti-malaria medication may not be effective. There is more grimness to the situation, but there’s no point in going on.
I’m not writing this so anyone feels sorry for me (I say me, because Mark really couldn’t care less about the above). I’m writing this because I dislike the idea that this is some feel-good trip for me. This is about the family that is caring for the children, to give them some relief, to give them some rest. Might I add the awesome family of 5 who have given their lives to serve the misplaced children.
The wife has said to me she can’t imagine another western couple living in the conditions they live in. That scares me. I want to be challenged, but I also want a clean toilet, warm shower, hygienic food and uninterrupted sleep. I’ll be honest and confess I’ve never had to live without any of these luxuries. This is sounding like a pity party – that’s not my intention! It’s just what is coming out as I type while in the queue to board the plane.
My blog is going to take a different focus until November. I hope to post often, but I’m not sure how great the satellite Internet will be at the orphanage – did I mention we’re in the jungle? Well that’s what I’ll call it anyway.
On the tarmac,
Got in trouble on the tarmac for using my phone,
On the plane, a plane called Barry.