Well, it's not surprising I have neglected the blog.
I came home from:
(pics on my flickr... more coming soon!
then had exactly 0 days off and started summer classes right away. As soon as classes were over, I started working full time at strange places doing strange things, and of course...
making new Majesty Bags!
Whew, that wasn't so hard. So many of my wonderful and loyal customers have been asking how my trip was. Well, it was amazing. A total life changing experience. In the Philippines I worked on a mountain top in Banaue at The Noah's Ark Orphanage. The kids there touched my heart so much, especially a young boy named Joban with severe Cerebral Palsy. We played ball for hours.... and every minute was so precious to me. In Cambodia we ran some day camps for kids in two villages near Takeo. It was my first time in a village with one water pump for everyone. The kids were loud and exuberant despite little clothing, rotten teeth and hair bleached by malnutrition. The hottest heat I have ever experiencedd, almost 50 degree's. Where most of us got heatstroke and other medical issues. In Thailand we worked with Burmese refugee's in Mae Sot. I had a great time doing hair and makeup for children who need passport photos and other government records. We were lucky to have great hosts that opened our eyes to the crisis in Burma, and what a different world Mae Sot is in relation to the rest of Thailand. In Korea I had a day to myself to explore, and in Malaysia I had just enough time to run to Starbucks and buy a mug for my shelf at home.
China was my favorite part though. The moment when I realized the WHY I do what I do. We taught english lessons at a middle school in Fu Cheng, and got to know a few of the upper classes quite well. Many of the students there know english, the ones that want to leave Fu Cheng and farming far behind them. On our last day there we took the kids on a field trip into BeiHai to an aquarium and for a chinese bbq afterwards. Earlier in the year I had run a bake sale out of my college to pay for this trip, which didn't actually cost a lot of money to do. One girl came up to me sobbing, so grateful that I had done such a small thing so she could have such a wonderful day, and it hit me. Just how much we can bless someone without saying a word. And it made every hard moment, every sick moment, every frustrating moment... the moments where we had to eat food we would never touch at home, where we wouldn't sleep for 40 hours from bus rides and plane rides and jet lag... SO WORTH IT that I would do it again, and for the rest of my life. When I said goodbye to Tina that night she hung onto me for 20 minutes sobbing and I wanted to hold it in, but I just broke. One of the saddest moments I have ever had, so hard to leave those kids. I hope that I can go back next year... (already started saving). Of course the last week I was in Asia I flew to Thailand to visit my family... couldn't miss out on my cuddly Nieces. I managed not to get sunburned this time at the pool everyday, and baked and cooked and shopped and made smoores and read stories and went to the spa, and lots of quality time with my Sis. Whom I love very much.
So that's it! Many more stories are stored in my brain... to be written about someday.