Finally, after too many days of travel and what was ostensibly a relaxing time "off," it's really great to be back among the kids and staff of Asia's Hope. It's a big difference traveling as a tourist and being hosted as a family member.
We visited our newly-rented facility, a spacious one-acre (although much of it is overgrown at the moment) plot with two kitchens, ample play areas and a one-room school house where most of our kids k-5th grade study and a large, three-story house that serves as home for Kalimpong 2 and Kalimpong 3 children's homes.
Eventually, we will buy land somewhere and build separate single-family dwellings for each home like we have in Cambodia and Thailand. But for now, both of the homes have separate floors in the building, separate entrances and function as individual families. And that's really what's important. Buildings play a role in big role in our strategy, but they're not the foundation. The most important thing is that each child has a mom and a dad, and belongs in a family.
We also visited the Kalimpong 1 home, which has also recently moved into a new, more spacious place. We didn't spend much time with them, because all of the middle- and high school students were studying hard for tomorrow's final exams.
We joined Nandu, Anu and their children Apphia and Nicholas for dinner at their house which is now quite empty. The Kalimpong 3 kids moved into their new space, and now Nandu and Anu have only 12 kids (who will one day be part of Kalimpong 4) living with them.
(Parenthetically, I should point out that we don't even have a sponsoring church for home 3 -- we've been surviving on generous donations to feed the "extra," or "provisional" kids. Please pray for a sponsor -- soon!)
My daughter Xiu Dan and Apphia are the same age, same size and like the same things. They are going to be good friends.
Tomorrow we will spend more time with the kids, and then in a couple of days we'll take off toward Gangtok for a retreat with just our family and Nandu's. The kids will keep themselves busy somehow, and Nandu and I will dig deep into strategic and tactical discussions.
I'm hoping the weather is clearer tomorrow. I would really love to see the Himalayas on this trip, but everything has been draped in fog. But as always, we will take what the day gives us. Good night!