Sunday, March 09, 2008

Give and it shall be given to you

Last Saturday I spent the morning at Tepaday Village to the north of Puok District. This is the home village of Da's father and it is considered quite poor. We have been looking into building a well for the village, but the conditions are not ideal as wells have been tried before with limited success.
However, our purpose last Saturday was more of a goodwill gesture as I had organized some donations of small hygiene items and school supplies for the children. Twenty mothers were chosen who had children for us to give a school bag full of goodies to them.

Before handing out the bags, though, fun was in store as I brought a secret stash of bubbles. When I pulled out the bottle the crowd of children and women eyed me with uncertainty. "What is this barang going to do?" As soon as I started blowing the bubbles, the cries of the children were all the answer I needed. It was so noisy that I had to move out to a more open space so as not to irritate the older folks.

Leaping and dashing to their delight (sometimes in the oncoming traffic of motorbikes), the bubbles were a hit. I passed the first bottle off to another child and pulled out a second bottle which I eventually handed to another boy. It was fun to stand back and watch them try it out. It was even more enjoyable when they started making their own bubble wands out of pieces of palm leaves. How inventive!
After the bubbles, it was time to hand out the school bags. Once we finished that we gave out some crank operated LED flashlights (no batteries required!) and a couple of solar powered and crank operated radios. There were 10 flashlights, but unfortunately one didn't seem to work, and that was the one we gave to the monk. Oops! An aunt gave up hers to the monk and then he got a radio, too. All was saved.

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