This little boy waits excitedly outside one of the areas we’re renovating so he can use a brand new bathroom stall. There’s been a ton done on this project already, and tomorrow we start on tile replacement and painting.
ANOTHER big project that we just got approval on is photographing the kids separately and together to create a sturdy, moveable portrait gallery of sorts throughout the orphanage. As much as we would love, and as much as I hope for each of these children to have a family, the reality is that most will spend their lives in this orphanage until they age out and have to leave. So the people they spend their childhood years with (and the truly caring volunteers who come through repeatedly) is, for all intents and purposes, their family here.
It made us think of how one of the things we love most about portrait work is that when children see their family photographs on the wall in their home every day, there’s this constant reminder that they are loved and cared for by “their people”. So although our first hope, that they have their own family and live in their own family home, may not come to fruition for many of these children, our *other* hope is that this gallery here at the orphanage will serve to show them each and every day what they mean to each other and how they care for each other. That although they may not have a traditional family, they still have “their people”. That they are talented and smart and crazy beautiful and care much and are cared for AND ARE WORTH SO MUCH VALUE, and that they can see that on the walls of the orphanage they live in each and every day. So Tamara is taking many, many portraits, and we are working hard to have them finished and installed before we leave Ethiopia.