The last two homes we visited are literally right behind the school. The buildings are old and broken down. The roof has been intentionally torn off to keep squatters out. But these two families moved in and put plastic in the windows. We see them day after day. We were thankful to get the ages of the children, though the ages we were given were so inconsistent with their sizes. They were all malnourished.
They were very grateful. I think the most fruitful thing that day was the fact that our school caretaker was able to tell them he will try to get the children in the local school. He is quite the networker. If anyone can do it, he can. Sadly many of these folks try to send their kids to school. But they are so visibly poor, the other kids make fun of them, and they don't want to go back.
It was below freezing that day. I couldn't stop looking at this boy's feet. I've seen him several times in hot pink Barbie rain boots...which came from my house! All I can imagine is that being cold is just a way of life for him. We did bring as many shoes as we could gather for these kids.
Our final gift to them was cash to buy a proper heater for their home. They had pieced together heater parts and were burning wood inside it. It looked very unsafe. They were very touched.
This baby never stopped smiling. I didn't either, though my heart was breaking.
I was proud of my kids, and proud of the school. It was a big step out of our comfort zone, but I hope the day will always make an impression.