December 24 is my favorite day of the year. I spend it at the Fundación Santa Maria de la Esperanza Orphanage, or Olon Orphanage, as it is called. The children give a performance for donors and volunteers who have assisted them throughout the year. It is their beautiful way of saying thank you.
Here are some highlights from the 2016 performance.
|Mary and Joseph, seeking accommodation|
|Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus are visited by shepherds|
|Synchronized dance routine|
A new addition to the performance in 2016 was a concert by the children! Musical instruments are being donated and expats who live nearby are giving lessons. A lot of practice preceded this day, the girls’ first public concert.
|First ever concert for these budding musicians
(accompanied by some of their music teachers, standing)
After the incredible performances, each child receives a backpack filled with gifts. The backpacks are unique to each child based on their age and likes. Some gifts have been brought from overseas, some purchased locally. It is truly a global effort filling these backpacks with gifts.
|Performance over and gifts in hand
means it is time to relax
|Happy with his backpack
and his new kite is being assembled, too
After many hugs and some tears, we depart. It is time for the orphanage Christmas meal, which we collaborated to make and deliver prior to the performance.
What is your favorite day of the year?
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Click here to read more about the Olon orphanage.