It is a little over four weeks until I am traveling to southeast Asia once again. On Tuesdays each week I am sharing my preparation and thoughts about this trip.When the trip actually starts I will share each day’s events in journal form for all who are interested in Cambodia and Asia’s Hope orphan homes.
I am very excited that I will get to see all the children I have come to know and love – it has been 18 months since my last trip! Many of them have done a great deal of growing up in that time. They are farther ahead in their schooling and better at speaking English. Thanks to Facebook, I have been able to see many pictures and have even had some internet calls from the families so I’m not totally in the dark about what has been going on. I am impressed with all the improvements that have been made to the campus in Prek Eng (suburb of Phnom Penh). They have planted gardens and harvested many fruits and vegetables. The latest project is raising chickens!
I finally got my letter written to last year’s financial donors in case they wanted to send money with me again this year. I know there will be some need that will be evident when I get there because I pray that it will be revealed and that the amount donated will be just right. I have been amazed every time to see that happen. But I know I should not be surprised, just joyful that I get to see it and have a part in what God intends to do.
We are gathering things to take with us for the medical portion of our trip and also gifts for the children. First on the list is prescription eyeglasses. The health clinic will be held in Phnom Penh this year and is an outreach to a particular community in need. Some living there need glasses but cannot afford them. We are able to test vision and supply glasses along with the routine health checks and counseling.
Gifts for the children include deflated soccer balls, simple jigsaw puzzles (100-250 pieces), yarn, card games, candy (no chocolate), badminton rackets and shuttlecocks, and girly things like headbands and barretts. I am also trying to take Rainbow looms and rubber bands since they were such a big hit the last time I went. It’s always a challenge to take things that don’t weigh much or take up a lot of room since we have restrictions on our luggage. I am always trying to think of things the children might like to do but don’t have access to where they live.
If you have ideas from past experience of games, crafts or toys that you think children would enjoy I would love to hear from you. Children range in age from 5 to 17. If you have prescription eyeglasses to donate please mail to Shirley Dietz, 5001 10th Lane E. Bradenton, FL 34203.
Getting ready is part of the fun of travel!