AN ENCOURAGEMENT NOTE BY MISS WENDEE KEE TO US
The Treasures of Charity
In the heart of Roslin Orphanage, lies the most committed, selfless and benevolent couple I know – Captain Budi and Peggy. Their generosity and compassion – not just to the children of Roslin but also to everyone around them has inspired me in more ways than one.
The 5-day trip, or more like 4-day trip (seeing as some of us arrived in Kupang close to midnight on the 10th of January) was one that the 15 of us volunteers will always remember. Captain Budi and Peggy are magnificent hosts – always ensuring that our comfort was seen to and making sure that throughout our trip, our tummies were always filled with delicious local delicacies and my favourite – local fruits! So much so that instead of loosing weight during the trip (which I was desperately hoping for), most of us ended up adding a few kilos. But that just goes to show the level of hospitality we were shown – by the number of kilos we piled on! However as fortunate as we were to always have food on our plates, it was evidently different in some of the deprived villages in Kupang.
During our stay, Captain Budi and Peggy brought us to 2 villages – Tasipa Village and Nun Kurus Village, where we helped to distribute food, rice and daily necessities like soap and matches to the villagers. It was really humbling to see what little the villagers had and what they had to struggle with everyday. Some villagers walk for miles each day to get water for their homes, as they do not have the luxury of running water from taps. Instead, they walk for miles on end to distant wells and streams for clean water.
During our visit to the villages, we saw some of the children dressed in their finest clothes, and that included some torn and tattered ones. Yet what they had on their faces and not their bodies were the finest of all. Their smiles greeted us with sincerity and it really made the experience a memorable one. Initially, the children were a little apprehensive and shy (seeing as we probably looked foreign to them) but it did not take them long to warm up to us. I saw children as young as 6 years old looking after their younger siblings – sharing food and carrying them. The respect and care the children have for each other is really admirable. They may have little but they learn to share what little they have, which is a lot more than what some of us can do, sad to say.
What touched me most was at Roslin Orphanage. After an afternoon of fun and games with the children, we sat them down for their afternoon snack and distributed packs of biscuits and chocolates. One child offered to share her chocolate bar with me as she saw that I did not have any. The gesture was a true reflection of love and consideration. I really think Captain Budi and Peggy have done wonders with the children of Roslin and I feel really honoured to have shared a tiny part in this great cause. What Captain Budi and Peggy has built is not just an orphanage for young abandoned children, but a learning centre that gives the children an opportunity for a better shot at life.
Most importantly though, Roslin is a place that the children can call home, where there is never a shortage of love and compassion, where everyone is considered family. On behalf of the 15 volunteers, thank you Captain Budi and Peggy. Thank you for being an inspiration to all of us.