Travel report Eva Leurink 2008
On July the 7th 2008 I arrived at the orphanage in Sangalla after a long trip from the Netherlands. The children welcomed me with an overload of enthusiasm because they were excited to have a new volunteer.

Like the other volunteers I have taught the children English, Geography and even Dutch. After a few days I decided to organize some sport activities and play some games instead of teaching, because there were other volunteers that were teaching as well. Every day we went to a playing field near the orphanage to play some games and have some fun. The children were thrilled with enthusiasm and that’s why the football game transformed in playing about, hide and seek and ‘pulling my grey hairs out’, a tradition the children are acquainted with.

We also went to a swimming pool, not far from the orphanage. It is really funny to see the children jump into the water with all their clothes still on. Some of them can not swim and I tried to teach them how to swim, but that was pretty difficult because I did not want to have all my attention on one child only.

My greatest passion is making music and there were many possibilities to do that. There are two guitars; one is being used among the children and the other one is the guitar of Yohanis, the ‘handyman’ who is living in the orphanage. The children themselves also enjoy playing music. Often in the evening they came to me with the guitar on their hands, yelling “Eppa sing!” (They can not pronounce the ‘V’, so ‘Eva’ becomes ‘Eppa’). The children perform for tourists to collect money. They play on Bamboo instruments and flutes that are being made by Yohanis, play the drums and perform dances in traditional clothing. Sometimes they go to a hotel in the village to perform for tourists. These trips were the most amazing experiences for me. Imagine all the children and the volunteers at the back of one truck, while the children loudly sing their songs. Sometimes you can hear three different songs at one time!

It’s wonderful to see how the older children take care of the little ones, the little ones take care of each other, everybody takes care of the volunteers and the volunteers take care of all the children.

It’s an amazing experience!

Eva Leurink