Are you delighted by simple things?

On my recent tour of SE Asian orphanages for Together We Can Change the World, I got to hang with the kids, singing songs, and playing games I haven’t played since I was a child. The broad smiles and belly laughs were infectious. It was hard to remember that an orphanage was the only option for them. Some had no family. Others had parents who were in jail, abusive, or had abandoned them.
I don’t regularly hang out with kids, since I don’t have kids or grandkids, and my nieces and nephew are grown. So at first I felt out of my element as we entered one Malaysian home and my colleagues started playing with a few kids. I watched and then plunked myself next to a small girl and boy. 
We passed out toys we’d brought, including Groucho Marx glasses. Two little ones delightedly donned them for my camera.
At another orphanage, the children sang for us and we did the Hokey Pokey with them. Even though there was a language barrier, smiles and laughter were all we needed. 
Teenagers often feel left out of the little-kid activities, so our team took special care to provide games for them. They were thrilled when offered guitar or juggling lessons.
One Cambodian home’s visit required us to navigate a deeply potholed dirt road for nearly two hours. Because of this, the 70 children there rarely had outside visitors. Shy at first, they warmed when we sang and played games with them. They giggled and laughed as Scott Friedman, our TWCCTW leader, seemingly pulled a string through his head. He also had the magical talent of making anything he touched squeak! At the end, they seemed appreciative as we passed out goodie bags of toys and supplies we’d brought. 
One 12-year-old girl asked if I’d be her mother. I could read into this that she missed having a mother or I could cynically interpret her request. I chose to see it positively and responded, “I’d be happy to be your friend.”
While kids are kids no matter where in the world they are, these young people seemed particularly appreciative that we had taken the time and effort to brighten their day through attention, smiles and gifts. It was the simple, inexpensive things that they seemed to appreciate the most.
(If you’d like to contribute to the orphanages TWCCTW supports, please click on the link — and please let me know of your donation!)

2 thoughts on “Are you delighted by simple things?”

  1. Rebecca,

    So nice to share the experience with you! To me, the kids are such an inspiration. They seem to find happiness no matter the circumstances. A good lesson for us all.


  2. Great article Rebecca! I agree with you and Scott, these kids were such an inspiration! I am thrilled i was able to participate. Rhonda

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