Clean Hands!

July 2, 2009

Today the children washed their hands in the new sink! We finished the last touches on the trench, latrine and sink. I am so happy to be done with that trench. While waiting for permission to take the children out of school for a quick lesson in hand washing, we sat in on the kindergarten class. We definitely were more of a disturbance to the class than a help. Francis, Francisca, David, Daniel, Bless, Kevin Jennifer and Wilford put on a show, singing loudly and acting out their educational songs. Francisca, who was on my lap as usually, was the giggle queen. Our crew joined the orphans in reciting “some four letter words” as it said on the board, trying hard to keep a straight face. We each had a little one hanging on our arm. Daniel continues to warm up. During class, he wrapped sparkly plastic beads around my wrist as a bracelet. Mark and David teased that he couldn’t decide whether to eat the beads or give them to me because he had them in his mouth at some point. I, however, love my gift and am still wearing it this moment. The children are so full of energy and giggles. I want to take some of them home.

Finally the moment of hand washing arrived! We attempted to walk only five children out there at the same time, which of course did not end up happening. Some children would not stop washing her hands. Francisca did it three times until one of the workers made her leave. Katie made them go through a step-by-step process to wash their hands. They had to:
1. wet hands
2. rub hands on soap
3. rub hands together, spreading their fingers to get soap in between
5. and rinse.
Once they completed the process, they were rewarded with a hand cleaning certificate barring their name. They were so proud to earn a certificate, showing them off to all the crew and singing and dancing their way back to class.

Mark and Anna with the kids

Mark and Anna with the kids

The best part of the day had to be the last. David brought with him a flashy pair of sunglasses for each orphan. Now that is excitement. Cheering, singing and waving their arms, five of the girls ran all the way to the latrine to show us. Anna let the older boys borrow her camera. Once she got it back, there were a series of photos where the boys were posed Calvin Kevin style with the sunglasses. The crew has become such a fixture at the orphanage. It will be so sad tomorrow, our last day on the orphanage.

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