Pedro 5 Container arrives at orphanage
The Pedro 5 container, full of equipment for use in Thailand, was delivered earlier this week. A tired, but happy, Nicola Anderson reports.
Many more photos of the arrival of the container and the sorting of the equipment are at the end of the report.
‘Well the container arrived very early before 4am, but the shipping team did not gather until 7.30am on Thursday. This gave me time that could have been wasted to go and check on Mr.G. When they arrived, we got to work with some staff from the orphanage. As items were passed down and moved, more and more team members came to help. We ended up with the 3 shipping guys, 11 Western volunteers (3 of whom were children) and about 5 Thai staff from Bann feung fah.
Everything was unwrapped and cleaned, although the stuff was in pretty good shape and not that dirty. We then sorted it all.
I was blessed to have Joseph with his technology knowledge helping. He changed the plugs on the chargers to Thai plugs for many of the electric wheelchairs and then adaped the electric scooter so it was switch operated, not key activated (as we had no key). These contributions were wonderful and make the equipment even more useful here. After this, Joseph took on the task of assembling the shed for the baby wards’ strollers. We reallised it was going to have to be in a room of the ward below and accessible through the window, after the ward mums had tried every possible senario for it to be in the stair well. Joseph assembled the shed in the hot day sun and receievd much gratitude from the ward mums who needed it. B&Q quality was marveled at! I have suggestions on how to make that shed more accessible but won’t get to that for a week or so.
Next Bann feung fah chose their preferred items and they were listed.
The volunteers worked so hard and were all very productive at their tasks. They were cleaning ‘potty chairs’ and wheelchair seats and marveling at all the different types of walkers that are available. That was from 6am to 5.30 pm non-stop.
Then in the evening, quite separate to the Pedro container activity, I needed to go to a retirment party in the orphanage for four staff members and perform a clicking, tapping dance routine. I made the odd error, but was glad to manage it after such a long day. I came home achy and sore, but feeling that we had got so far and was so grateful to those who helped.
On Friday, the next day, one of the teachers brought a child over to search for a walker that would suit him. He is a challenging case: when standing he stood straight, but as soon as he started walking, he leaned forwards and had terrible posture. We tried many types of walker. He stood well in ones with back support, but would not walk, just staying in the support. He walked, although with bad posture, in the unsupported ones. We even tried just a single strap, but again as soon as that support was there, then there was no walking. We hope that in time and with prompting, we will help him to gain more strength and improve that posture. He took one walker and will be using it every day to and from day care.
Next Bann feung fah took their items away and so, to make space for all that was new for them, they switched those items with stuff they didn’t use. Those items were then given out to the other homes, in the hopes of them being used again. This was a little stressful as I was not able to keep the process as ordered as I would have hoped with this new senario in the mix. I was very grateful for the volunteer that morning, who kept me sane and was so positive.
We worked next on sorting what was going to Nonthapoom. The rest was sorted to the boys’ and girls’ homes. The volunteer was very wise saying…’when you have sorted what is a yes for the girls’ home, the boys’ home is not even work as it’s the other one you didn’t give to the girls’ home. So really it’s only half a job that needs doing.’ She was a joy to work with. We taped the floor with the colours for the homes and then Heather and Lisa moved the stuff to the piles as I directed. I felt so bossy, but they said it was a perfect system.
We then moved the items that I was keeping for my children over to my ward and my shed, having to remove the old ones, but replacing them with better. One day I need to clean that shed out a bit, but for for now all the new stuff is in. I have a new standing frame, new stool, new wheelchair and stroller. All will make life good, as well as the toys and clothes that still need to be sorted.
Then the Nonthapoom home for physically disabled children and Ratchaewadee girls’ home came to see and collect their stuff….. and this year they wanted everything that was offered to them. This was different to previous years when they were more picky. It feels like they have in recent years realised what having equipment can do for the children’s quality of life and how much easier it is with the help of suitable equipment.
The two homes sent their trucks round to get the stuff and they were filled to bursting. One had a hydraulic lift ramp on the back of theirs, making the heavy stuff easier to get up in the truck. They also had staff cycling and pushing items back to their physio block. The other home used three smaller trucks-full, but everytime they came back with an empty truck, they had smiles on their faces. All seemed really happy with the equipment, giving me the impression that it will be used with the children.
After this I tided the bits and bobs and we wrapped the items that had not been sent yet in a sort of green Thai tarpaulin to stop dogs chewing on the equipment. On Monday, the boys’ home will come and collect their items and I’ll share out the electric wheelchairs. If there are any items left, I will contact charities outside of the government homes, but there won’t be much this time. Then I will go to each home, getting photos of the equipment being used in the new places. Also I will need to get the bikes serviced and send them to the right homes.
Although not quite complete, this has been a very, very fast turn over from receiving the equipment to sending it out.
Today is Saturday and I have been resting and sorting that which is my task to sort.
I want to thank all who, at what ever stage, helped make this happen, from those who donated equipment or cleaned or packed it, to those who prayed for my sanity. Also for the Thais who worked out where the problems were and communicated between the department, shipping, customs and me. Thankyou all.’
[Click on a photo to enlarge it.]
These photos are from Thursday’s activities:
Here are photos from Friday’s activities:
And even more photos of the sorting and sharing…