Many of the children were about to be sent “home”, to their relatives, for Chinese New Year. Their normal diet consisted mainly of potatoes, noodles, steamed buns, and vegetables. Not bad food, but pretty bland. For dinner on the night before they were to be sent “home”, their were treated to a course of French Fries! They kids loved it. After 5 days of living together, we bonded well with them. It was an emotional experience for all of us.
Since then we went back twice in 2008 and 2009. We installed a fibre optic cable to link two buildings together, installed wireless networks, taught robotics, taught drag-and-drop programming with SCRATCH, set up a remote teaching system with teachers from a primary school in Hong Kong committed to teach an English class once a week, … By then they have 40+ children.
Then it all came crashing down. The orphanage was closed in 2009 and the children all sent away. I still have photographs of each and everyone of the 40+ kids posted on the bulletin board in my office. I took those photos myself. They shall forever remain my children.