Monday, June 23, 2014

Volunteering at an Orphanage

On Sunday I visited an orphanage with about 12 other foreigners.  This orphanage houses kids who have been removed by court order due to abuse, neglect, violence, or other mitigating circumstances.  We visited for 2 hours in the afternoon and admittedly I was a little nervous about being at the orphanage.  I had never volunteered at an orphanage before so I had no idea what to expect.  I was worried the kids might be timid, shy and anti-social.  I was worried they would have visible scars and be afraid to talk with us.  Boy was I wrong.

From the moment we walked in to the moment we left, kids swarmed us with hugs, punches, horse play, and a barrage of jokes.  They really were some of the warmest sweetest kids I've encountered in Japan.  They took to us like a duck to water despite having only met them that day.  I was really taken aback because most Japanese kids are really shy and quiet especially in public and around strangers.  But these kids were amazing and they kept us moving and grooving the entire time.

We were there as a sort of emissary to teach English as well as brighten up their day.  We played lots of games, read story books, colored, and just horsed around with the kids for the full two hours.  It was piping hot in the room we visited despite having an air-conditioner  that was blasting us with cold air.  But in all honesty it was the funniest time I have had with kids since being in Japan.  I look forward to the next time we visit them at the orphanage.

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