Our First Visit at TongRen...2007
As we round the turn to enter the school there stood lines of students, teachers, and parents in two long rows to welcome us. We climb out of the car and are greeted with the placement of Heda’s around out neck. Heda's are Tibetan prayer shawls. To see the parents who some have traveled many miles, even days to meet us was a humbling experience. Most do not have transportation and so must walk or they may catch a ride for some of the way, but again, many spent most of their travels on their feet. The love for their children and the appreciation they have for the opportunity of education given to their children is seen in their eyes and faces, but difficult to express in words.
We had lunch with the girls and later on in the evening there was a party where the girls performed with singing and dancing. They had a great amount of talent and enthusiasm. We ended the evening with the exchange of gifts for the college students.
They all spend most of their time studying and all want to go to college when they finish. Most said they want to be a teacher or a doctor and want to come back to Tongren or their home village to help others they way Mama’s Wish is helping them. Almost all the students say that their most favorite activities are singing and dancing, and many said badminton and reading.
Despite the extreme poverty and challenging lives, these girls have hope and a sparkle in their eye. They study very hard because they know that if they succeed in school, it will provide the opportunity to alleviate the poverty for them, their family, and even the village they are from. They are all thankful to their sponsors who have given them the gift they thought was denied…the gift of hop, the gift of education!