I will never forget the drive to get to this village. The UN provided a driver and transportation which was a tiny van with no suspension. After traveling for about 3 hours on a “highway” (“highway” meaning one lane, bad, bumpy, windy road), we turn onto a road I would barely consider fit for an atv. I figured we were almost there so no big deal, as my head hit the roof on a bumb. Nope, not almost there. We drove for another two hours, occasional stopping to clear the cows away. We were all a bit sick when we arrived since the heat and high humidity made it worse, but it ended up being one of the best experiences of our lives.
Most of the children there were either orphans, or had lost a parent from the drug wars and it was really special to be able to touch their lives with this powerful thing called, “love”. When we were finished dancing, a soldier brought us a tray of drinks. We were so hot and thirsty we grabbed a cup and chugged, only to discover it was not cold water, but a warm mix of coconut water and bamboo juice. I managed to swallow one sip, fake a smile, tell the soldier thank you and then pour it out in a bush when he turned. Just my luck, the kind soldier insisted I take another one since I “drank” that one so fast. I was able to do a covert hand off to a child that loved the stuff. I will never forget this one little girl that would not let go of my hand no matter where I went. She outright begged me to be her mother and take her home. Other kids would try to fight to take my hand because in their minds that would “claim” me and I would choose them. She ran along side my window, crying as the UN van drove away.