While in China this past May, our group had the opportunity to live and work at a small children’s orphanage outside of Beijing. The orphanage was American-founded, but the property was poorly maintained. While some of the group went to clean the playground equipment or care for the lawn, a friend and I went to the I.C.U. This Intensive Care Unit was where they kept the extremely sick children, and since they were so fragile they had to be kept in a very clean environment all the time. So, my friend and I tided up the whole building went up stairs to the attic to make sure everything was in order. When we got up there, we were taken back by the horrific mess that had overtaken the space. All of the ducts from the bathrooms vented into this small area and the entire room was covered, floor to ceiling, with fecal dust. The dust caused severe odors and many more problems were to come if it wasn’t taken care of. We finally found a way to clean the mess without making a huge cloud, which could harm the children, and remove all of the dust and odor. It took us over 4 hours of back-bending work in the attic plus the additional 2 ½ hours we spent cleaning the rest of the house to get it all done, but to know that the kids weren’t at danger was the best thing and it made every aching moment worth it.Amitabha

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