04 September, 2010

When you need it most.

Tonight I spent more frustrating hours trying to see if QuickBooks will work for Wat Opot. I am trying to find an easier way for them to keep track of their books. Well, I might have to admit to myself that it just won’t work…but I won’t give up just yet! Anyway, tonight I was getting a headache and decided to call it a night. I went out of the office and into the rec room of sorts. This rec room is between the large girls and boys sleeping area (the dorms). All the kids gather to watch Television or a DVD every night and most end up falling asleep on the floor.
When I stepped out there was little Mr. Chai waiting with his award winning smile! I promptly picked him up and gave him a big hug and kiss and then watched the small disappointment when I motioned that I was going to my room. I then walked out and immediately remembered that I was upset about the QuickBooks program…I only made it a couple steps into the courtyard when I heard a shout “Melinda”. I turned to see a little body running towards me and then he jumped into my arms. It wasn’t Chai, but another child whose name I can’t remember and who I haven’t really spent much time with.

I picked up his smaller than average 8 or 9 year old body and he wrapped his arms around my neck and his legs around my waist in the biggest body hug I’ve ever had. He hugged me so tight that I believe he was trying to squeeze all the frustration out of me, which he succeeded in doing so. After I stood for a minute holding him relishing in the unconditional love flowing back and forth between us in our silent hug, he let up a little letting me know that he could be put down.

After another squeeze and a kiss, I let him slowly to the ground and he scampered off and into the dorms. I was so overwhelmed by the situation, I could have sank to my knees and bawled. It dawned on me that today at lunch some of us were talking about what these kids have been through and how it may have made some of them more intuitive in regards to their world around them. Most of the kids have had to take care of their mother and/or father while watching them slowly die of AIDS. Some have the disease themselves.  All have loved and lost those closest to them and then comforted others who were going through the same thing.

Why did my surprise hugger do what he did? Did he sense my tension when I walked out of the office? Did he know how much his innocent act of love would affect me? As I sit here typing this, I am once again in awe of the vulnerable children that I have been blessed to meet. Little did I know that by trying to ‘enhance’ their life in some way, mine would be the most changed!

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