I realized pretty early on into my time here that I missed being in a role of service.  I really do enjoy being a part of a community and working to better it and continually build it up.  This city is huge and their are a ton of people in need, but the Korean attitude makes it difficult for them to always be well taken care of.

Here homeless people, and most people with disabilities are shunned from society. Not all, but most.  I asked my kids about homeless people and there was no compassion in their response.  They are taught they are dirty people that should be given no attention.  Now I recognize that there would probably be a similar response in America, but here I feel like it is rare to find a Korean that has that drive to help others.  I only know of a handful really.

Anyway, so my uber humanitarian Korean friend Eileen and I have done a lot of talking about what organizations are good and what we want to do with our lives and pretty much we want to go spend some times in India at orphanages and in Africa educating people on health and hygiene and just really make a difference and I love talking to her and really finding someone who understands how my heart and mind work in the realm of service and humanitarian work. So we decided to join a group that goes on the first Saturday of every month to this place called the Angel House.

Originally, we were told this facility was an orphanage, and it is kind of. However, I found it mainly to be a place where Koreans take  physically and mentally disabled people of all ages that they no longer want to care for, or maybe can’t care for.  Mind you the amount of federal funds that goes to facilities like this one is quite minimal. They run mostly on private donations and support from people like our group.

This is the first thing we saw after arriving:

The facility:

We took a large group to volunteer which was super encouraging.  We were split up between helping in the kitchen, cleaning, and laundry.  I was on laundry duty with Eileen and a friend we know named Anthony, and then new friends we made.  Another plus was getting to meet new people! We washed the clothes by hand on some old wooden wash boards and with bars of soap.  rinsed them in big buckets and wrung them out by hand.  It was for sure a different experience, but one I actually really enjoyed.

our little set up:

the water in that bucket he is in is freezing. Trust me I know I stood in it for a while. there was still snow on the ground outside too. Totally worth it.

Elieen looking like an ajumma (old lady)

My little workstation:

old wooden washers:

This guy was so sweet. He can’t walk. He sleeps in a baby crib. He loves to smile and drool, but hes soooo funny and just climbs person to person back and forth.

Then we helped a bit in the kitchen. we really had a delicious dinner.

Of course there was a couple of kids I wanted to take home with me.  This little girl, Esther was awesome! I am pretty sure she has Alcohol Fetal Syndrome but she was soooo funny and loved take pictures and showing us around.  Then there was a little boy, Ben with Downs that I thought was just awesome. He had a backpack full of who knows what and he just carried it around everywhere.

 

Then we played some games, had snacks, and enjoyed their company.

Overall I really enjoyed the experience and I am very much looking forward to my next visit in early March.

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