Well, another couple of weeks, and it will be another year down, and one to go! I can't wait to see my mother and grandmother who will be visiting when we are finished for our mini summer break at the end of this month.
We rearranged our living room, with the help of our landlord who allowed us to store some stuff in the attic area. We have more of a lounge zone, rather than a sprawling living room now, with our Persian carpet as a featured piece, and we closed off the second opening of our hallway to warm up the home, and add some interest to the room.
We spent a wonderful day last week with very "in need" children at an orphanage. We organized a group of the college of nursing officers, got some much needed supplies such as disposable diapers, antibiotics, and other items, and set out early in the morning. When we arrived, the children were REAL amped up and excited to get visitors. The orphanage is an aging facility, with an infant wing of 10 infants, and a toddler/child wing of about 30. These kids are either abandoned, or have been seized by the government due to poor living conditions. When they walked by you, they would touch you as they walked by. Many would just attach themselves to your legs. They really seemed to thrive on human touch. The tireless people running the facility were very thankful and appreciative of our help that day. We went food shopping, and bought a large amount of fresh vegetables and fruits, as the facility director requested that they are usually under stocked with such things. The condition is entirely ironic, because La Trinidad is the proverbial capital city of the "Salad Bowl" of the Philippines. We cooked up chicken/pork adobo and chop suey, and left behind 20-30 kilograms of vegetables and fruit. After, we played games, sang songs and held, rocked and changed babies.
Inevitably, one is faced with a plethora of inner thoughts when visiting such a place. Why is the government not providing more for these few numbers of neglected innocents? How could someone have such poor communal or familial ties to allow this to happen? And on and on. Apparently, government funds are dispersed to the orphanage through an agency, that further lines the pockets of several sub agencies until it reaches it's final destination, usually 1/10 of the original amount. If there was ever a good argument against government funding, here it is loud and clear. Ease the taxation of businesses, and allow an orphanage to be directly sponsored by unburdened corporate entities (such as my school, formula companies, etc). The orphanage told us that even though they are a government agency, the majority of their funding and ability to survive comes from private contributions. Considering the huge amount of bureaucratic tendencies of government agencies here and everywhere else, they likely consume most of their government allowance just keeping up with paperwork.