Monday, October 1, 2007
BAG IT PROJECT
I don't know why it has taken me so long to write what a great thing this was for the children! THEY LOVED GETTING THE BAGS! I wasn't able to go because the children weren't there the day we got Sasha, so Ray traveled back up to Lang Son the next day with Kenny and Jenny. It is a long drive and I didn't want to do that since we had just gotten Sasha. I am sorry I didn't get to see it though! Ray said that he and Jenny met with the director of the orphanage and had tea with him while they waited for the children to come home from school. He said they called each of the children's names and handed them the bags one at a time and all of the kids were very patient. No one opened their bag. At the end, they must have excused them because they all ran off in groups to their rooms. He said he could hear whoops and squeals and other happy sounds as they opened them. He said several of the boys came and showed them their new shirts (which they put on right away) and some of the kids started playing with their toys right away. He said they loved it! We had also brought along three sets of the Harry Potter series for the orphanage as well as several classics and some Vietnamese fairy tales. I think each set of Harry Potter series was about $25 or so. I had wondered if they were popular here, but since they had many of them in the two bookstores we checked, we guessed they were.
We are going to try to send off Bag Its to different orphanages two or three times a year. There is no question that these children were very grateful for the bags. Some of the things that were put in the bags were shirts, underwear, toothpaste/toothbrush, soap, comb, candy, balls, towels, gum, puzzles, small games, pens, blank notebook...some fun things and some basic essentials.
We had sent a care package to a girl we are sponsoring there and she was wearing it the day Ray was there. I noticed it in the pictures he took. Now that we have been to Lang Son and the orphanage, we know more about what we can send that she can actually use as well as what she may think is fun to get.
We also brought a huge box full of baby clothes, baby blankets and other baby items. We bought hard books for the babies once we arrived in Vietnam as well as 15 bags of diapers, a lot of wipes, baby shampoo, and baby soap. We dropped it all off the day we got our little Sasha. It felt good to leave them nice, new things since it is clear that it is a poor area. Ray said he saw a caretaker walk by with a baby at one point in the day and the baby was wearing a pink pair of the pants we brought. We brought about 70 pairs of pants, all in different sizes and colors but easy to recognize Carter's pants.
Thank you to everyone who helped us put this together! You made some very deserving children very happy!