HACW12: Interlude – what’s important?

Today was a rest day so there was no riding and our bottoms got a well-deserved rest and for a few hours we escaped the pains and fears of the week’s ride so far.

Then we received a message from Emma.

As part of this experience people can work in the orphanage instead of riding and many partners and people did so again this year. There, they not only play and interact with the children but work on projects while the kids are at school. This year they were creating not only a garden but a giant fish pond so the orphanage could establish a level of self-sustainability with food and even sell off excess for a profit.

Emma was amongst those there and while we shared information via the group’s facebook page throughout the week, what she wrote that day woke us from our reverie. She wrote:

[box] 11 March at 00:54 Tonight was a tough one for me… Whilst on one hand it was a massive celebration of 8 of the kids birthday, with cake and lots of dancing, on the other it really hit me how much our love, support and fundraising means to these kids. After a wonderful night when they were all getting ready to say their prayers before bed, one of the little boys (Captan) started to cry. We asked the staff why he was crying and they asked him and replied in Thai ‘I miss my mother’. It really brought it all home for me, that whilst these are some of the happiest faces you’ll ever meet, inside they are just little kids without a mum or dad. Lucky Louise was there to comfort Captan, but I just wanted to share while I sit here with lots of tears. You are truly their heroes and what you are doing is showing each and everyone one of them that someone cares, and let’s face it, every child deserves that. Thank you for pushing through the struggle, I promise every kilometer is worth it xx[/box]

It reminded us that while we get a break from the ride, the kids we’re riding for only get brief breaks from a very rough life. They have a wonderful community of support and 111 ‘brothers and sisters’ but for many of them they will never again know the touch of their parents. Sombre and humbling.

After that we were all itching to ride again immediately.

Lou comforts Captan
Lou comforts Captan

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