MAMAPUMPKIN – A Mother's Monologue
May I present to you our visit to the first orphanage in Yangon, Myanmar…….This house is home to 25 little children ranging from 6 years old right up to 16, both boys and girls and is cared for by a family who lives there with the kids. We were graciously welcomed by a long line up of kids shaking our hands followed by a performance (singing) by the kids, taught by Aunty Eileen, the amazing woman who sacrifices her weekends for these kids.
The reality of it is that there is only one toilet in this house and about 30 of them share it. In my home in KL, we have 3 washrooms – the Masterbed Washroom, the Kids/Guest Washroom and the Maid’s Washroom. Yet, with only 5 of us at home with THREE toilets, there are fights over toilets, I kid you not!!! There will be squeals of Hurry UP!!! Why does your poo take so long?!!! or Stop reading in the toilet!!! etc etc etc. So I can only imagine how 30 people share one toilet. I’m presuming when push comes to shove, they just run outside and do it on the soil.
I mean, 5 people with 3 toilets (very privileged) and 30 people with 1 toilet (grossly under-privileged), what is the difference in ratios here? Just spare a moment to think about this, please.
The above is that solo toilet that they share. It did not have toilet paper. With 25 kids (the extra 5 from the caretaker’s family), I do shudder thinking how they wash themselves for I imagine even soap is scarce. As it is, the day we visited them, they had run out of rice and had no money to buy more rice.
Below is their bathing area. The toilet is separate from this bathing area. I failed to ask if this bathing area was utilised 2.5 hours every day at 5 minutes per person? Or…..do they just not bathe every day??? Can you imagine the amount of water that is required to bath 30 people? I don’t think they can even afford that kind of water bill, so yeah, that would be my question when I next see them in March.
The bathing room was dark, dingy and full of slippery MOSS.
This is their laundry area. They don’t have so many clothes anyway so do not need so much space to hang laundry. Just so you know, the kids have to do their own laundry, assumingly the bigger ones help the younger ones?
I spotted their time table below – crossed out their names because they are somewhat in hiding and illegal and non-existent as far as their Government is concerned. We are working towards getting them some Government help because it is just ridiculous that the Government offers ZERO help whatsoever. Please pray for us that we get Aung San Suu Kyi to hear us out.
See below? That’s their flooring……This is near the washroom and kitchen areas.
And this is the floor where they sleep and work and hang out day to day.
There are words of comfort and wisdom pasted all over the walls to inspire the kids. I mean, just LOOK at their walls!!!
Below (sorry that it’s rather dark but it was a dark space!) shows their pantry where they keep their food. Not a lot, huh? See on bottom left? Drinking water. See right? Their rice packs.
Below is where they COOK their rice for their meals, if they get them that day……I kid you not.
And this was just outside the kitchen. Look, two blobs of cabbage for 30 people to eat with the rice we had just delivered. Literally.
This is where they wash their crockery and dishes after food (I remind you, if they get any food that day at all).
There was also a bottle of drinking water upstairs where some of them sleep. Would you dare drink from this? 30 of them have to share the very few bottles of drinking water that they can afford every month. That is just awful. I would die without water. We take it so much for granted that we can drink as much as we want.
T1 and Aunty Lyn with the kids. Aunty Lyn is my childhood friend who is the very reason we even went to Yangon in the first place.
So I’ll be real honest with you, as I write this post, I am tearing again and my heart is wrenched. You will not feel this until you are there in person (and let me know if you would like to come with us on our next trip!). The kids are so innocent. Their smiles are genuine. They have no parents to love them. They only have each other, and a caretaker who grumbles about their misgivings day in and day out. Whilst we were there, he was grumbling about how they were so careless and messy. Well, they are kids. So when we left them, I was really sad and I told myself that we had to come back. We had to spend more time with them. We had to do something for them. As they waved goodbye to us……
I could tell that it struck a chord in T1 too that she left all these kids in their DUMP whilst she got to hurl her royal ass into the swanky air-conditioned car that was owned by our expat friend who lives in Yangon. Actually, she didn’t. She chose to ride on the open air truck as she thought it was so much fun, all that bumps and fresh air – what a thrill!
But, yeah……we take so, SO much for granted living in Kuala Lumpur, developed city of the region. Yangon is like 30 years backwards. They don’t have credit card facilities, they don’t have proper electricity, they don’t have proper roads. I am SO glad T1 got to see Yangon and even happier that we will go back to really absorb ourselves into the lives of these amazing people. Life changing? You bet.
I am committed to the Children of Myanmar. T1 and I will continue to serve them and improve their lives. It is the least we can do after what they’ve done to ours. If you would like to contribute to the Children of Myanmar, please transfer any amount of funds in helping me raise my first RM50,000 towards the Children of Myanmar.
HELP IS NEEDED FOR THE CHILDREN OF MYANMAR
My bank details below:-
Name: Patricia Woo
HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd, Menara Milenium Branch
Savings Account: 359 – 068285 – 025
Swift Code: HBMB MYKL
Savings Account: 1644 – 9025 – 6705
Swift Code: MBBE MYKL
When transferring any funds, please email me with your name and full contact details and the amount offered to mamapumpkin at gmail dot com. Please refrain from being anonymous as that would drive me crazy. I can swear your gift of love to secrecy but I don’t want to go crazy doing my accounts.
I welcome every little bit of help that I can get, even RM10 or RM1 as every little bit adds up and rest be assured you will be seeing the progress and life improvements that you are making towards these kids lives right here and on my FB page.
Thanking you in advance from both T1 and myself, and without a doubt, the Children of Myanmar.
Some of you have already transferred some funds into my bank account and I am elated that the ones who contributed RM50 still made the effort to do so. Like I said, even if you can give up your lunch for the day, just Rm10 or Rm1, I welcome every bit of help we can get for these kids. Right now, they are being kicked out from their home above because the landlord wants the house back as he can get better rentals. Property prices in Yangon are completely ridiculous. We need a full year’s rent to help the above home find a new home. Please continue to pray for them and I will show you pics when they eventually settle into a new home. For now, the caretaker says that they will live under the trees if they do not have the money for a new home once they get evicted by February this year.
This is just ONE of the THREE orphanages that we visited whilst we were in Yangon. The rest will come when I have time to blog again!
We also have a new website if you want to know a bit more about what we’re about – just me and my friends sharing a same purpose. We are NOT and NGO, I reiterate, just a bunch of friends who want to spread some love around the world.
We call ourselves THE MAD TEAM. Please take a moment to listen to OUR SONG – tell me if it makes you cry.
For more stories on our journey with the Children of Myanmar:-
Once upon a time, I designed buildings and interiors of corporate offices and on the rare occasion, homes. Now, I clean poop and am student of a patience management course. From the drawing board as a London Architect to the realities of Motherhood, I have certainly learned many lessons in humility. And then others.....
To succeed in the corporate world, first succeed with your kid as the happy boss. Seriously.
This blog is about me, Mamapumpkin. A crazy, demented Mom who cares full time, alone, without any help, for an even crazier preschooler AND a baby with a boob addiction problem. *sniff* Someone, please get me a chair.......
I write anything that comes out of my head, mostly without thinking first, which almost always gets me into trouble (according to my husband, also known as the love of my life.......on a good day).
My pet monkeys drive me towards challenge after challenge, 24/7.
Gotta love it.
Contact me : Mamapumpkin at gmail dot com