Ok so first.. here is the ride up to the orphanage… we had to take a tap-tap about an hour and a half up a mountain.. and at times the truck couldn’t make it on the rocky road and we all had to get out and hike for a while… something to keep in mind when considering costs because a truck full of materials will be hard to get up there. It will take many trips…



So then we get to the top of the mountain.. far away from EVERYTHING… and here is the orphanage:


On the left side is the church/auditorium building (no roof), the round thing in the middle is a 7 ft deep cistern to store water but they can’t collect rainwater without a roof. There’s no well nearby, so caretakers have to take a donkey or carry buckets down the mountain to a well and bring water back up. The well water likely has bacteria in it. We haven’t done tests on it, but all the other wells we tested did. We did provide them with one of our bucket systems so when they do have water at least it’s drinkable and the kids won’t get sick. On the right, the blue buildings are where the 30 kids and a few caretakers sleep.

Here’s a picture of the church/auditorium:


and the inside:



and the kids (with their new old navy flip flops we brought with us)…




We don’t have much information now on logistics. Next steps are going to be first, to get approval from our Rotary Club that this is  a project they want to do (don’t think it will be a problem but have to get the green light from them first..) Then we need to get in touch with our people in Dumay (the community we stayed in) and see if they can get measurements, a true estimate of costs and help us plan the logistics. And obviously, fundraising is a necessity. The pastor at the orphanage has looked into building a roof before and he estimates it will cost $4,000.

We’re going on a trip in December no matter what. We need to go follow up and evaluation of the water project and then maybe figure out the logistics for the roof project or build it if we’re ready at that point. Not sure how it’s going to go though. Most of the work has fallen on Shawn (my boyfriend, and who I’m referring to when I say “we”) and I and we’re both in the middle of applying to medical school, working full time, etc. We’re doing as much as we can but don’t want to rush into a huge project if we’re not set up to be successful.

Let me know what questions you have. We’re trying to get an idea from our Rotary Club membership who wants to go on the next trip… there are three of us that are definite. We stay in a dorm in Dumay that can sleep about 30 people but we will probably be there the same time as a medical mission trip and I’m not sure how many people they will bring. Probably no more than 15. I’m curious to know more about you, your partner, your fundraising plans, what you want to do while you’re there, etc. Let me know – so glad we can work together on this! Talk to you soon,