Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Opening Day for the restaurant at the Home&Life Orphanage!

I want to start off with a little update on the coffee machine.  There are not words to express our gratitude.  Our goal was $1000.  The idea being 100 people donate $10.  Root just told me that after all the donations processed the total came to $2,250!!!  I love the power of people working together.  The extra money will go toward stocking the restaurant with other needed supplies-paper goods, appliances, and food items.  Thank you all so much!! 

What a day it was.  We got up in the morning and were so excited to get up there to finish up the last few things before the festivities started at 4 pm.  We arrived shortly after 10 am.  It was unusually quiet.  We noticed a lot of shoes at the bottom of the stairs up to the restaurant.  Then we heard some chantings that we have heard before by the monks here.  We walked upstairs and saw such an incredible sight.

The Monks had come to dedicate and bless their new restaurant.  I am not sure what they say when they all chant together, but I love to see other faiths and what they believe.  Albert, the man who raised the money for the restaurant,  said that he went to Root a couple of months ago and told him they needed to pick day to open.  They needed a goal to end by.  Root told him he would go to the monks and ask them what the best day to open would be.  They did not get to pick the day it opened--the monks did.  So, they came up with Feb. 26.  I think they were inspired to do it then so we could be here! :)
We all got to take turns filling 3 pots up with scoops of rice as an offering to the Monks.

I LOVE that our kids get to participate in these Buddhist traditions.  Brandon's mouth is open because that particular bowl was SO hot. I wanted to do the same thing, but somehow managed to keep it together and hold it with only 2 small fingers :)
The next thing they did was say a final prayer with everybody touching.  The monks can not touch women so they got out some string and they held onto the string that went into all the people and then we all touched arms or backs etc. until everyone was connected.  What a neat feeling!

The picture of everyone touching together is on my other camera which is out of battery so I will add it later because it is so neat.

We felt so blessed to be able to witness that ritual.  I have no doubt that their blessings over the restaurant will be granted!

 Let's go back to the last few days before they opened...
Building the stairs up to the restaurant front the patio below

Leveling out the dirt

Sometimes we got tired of moving dirt, dirt, and more dirt...notice it is dark and about 8 pm at this point

They are so good at keeping themselves entertained in the dirt

Mook, Sam, and Fa-the best little helpers around!

Moving all the scraps of wood and concrete to be hauled away

Pupe showing off her infectious smile

Jillian, Alexa, and Kim (volunteers from Australia-we miss you guys!)
A great representation of what our children look like on a daily basis :)
Making progress
The kitchen is coming along...

My kids feel like they have hit the jackpot when they get to ride in their car!  We decided to give all the kids a little break to cool off in the waterfall up the street.  Boy did that feel good after being in that hot sun :)
I love this pic because it shows how sweet and loving these kids are

This is Bum. He helps run the bakery and is pretty much the nicest person I've ever met.

Don't mess with the bull, you get the horns.  And Doug has some big horns my friends

The best part of this picture is Emily's face up at the top.  I think that fear overcame her desire to jump :)

Back to work.

My kids have always been great little workers, but they have amped it up here. It makes my heart smile

Does it get any better than sweat, dirt, and sunshine?

She was so good at getting the dust and bugs off with her duster!

Old fashioned window cleaning!
The day of the opening...
Getting the bakery goods packed in their containers

He is edible in every sense of the word.

The other day I took Ashton on a little date.  While we were enjoying our ice-cream cone I asked him, "Ashton, what has been your favorite part of this trip?"  Without a second passing he looked at me and said, "You." It was like he was saying, "Why would you even have to ask me that?"  I tell you what, I am grateful every minute of every day that that little boy is mine.

You may not be able to tell, but this bathroom floor was covered in grout, paint, cement, and dirt.  Hours upon hours of  clean up!

After hours of turpentine I finally put a mask on to keep me from flying away

Kitchen, check.

Prep kitchen, check.

Patio, check.

Bathroom, check.

Boy did it feel good to get it done.  What a blessing it was for all of us to be a part of this!  This is a picture after the opening...
I decided to do a post just on the part of the day as this post is turning into a novel!