LWB Community


Making Friends in Fujian

This is the final post for the the most recent travelers to China on behalf of LWB:

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Our trip from Lian Cheng to Zhangzhou took about 4-1/2 hours, and was really a beautiful drive along a river with views of the mountains. When we arrived in Zhangzhou we took a quick lunch break at McDonald’s. Our driver really likes McDonalds! The staff from Zhangzhou met us there and led us to the SWI. Zhangzhou is an orphanage with about 38 children living onsite, and another 19 in Foster Care. They took us up the stairs to the baby/toddler room where we were greeted by about a dozen chubby-faced babies. The babies were for the most part seated in little wicker chairs, one strolled about in a walker, and another toddler roamed about playing with a few toys. The director was quick to engage the children and play with them, and the children all responded. But the babies were a little more frightened of the strangers that had entered the room! It took a little while, but they finally warmed up to us!

We received a brief tour of the sleeping rooms – nice wooden floors with about 8 cribs per room, and a bed for the auntie to sleep on. We were told the older children were at school, but when they return at the end of the day they like to come and play with the younger kids.

They have one really large room where they do most of the caring for the children, and all of us who visited could envision a nice little toddler play area where the children could get out of the chairs and crawl and play. Wouldn’t an indoor play area be perfect here?The director also expressed a desire for an incubator, where they could keep new babies warm. They currently use hot water bottles to keep the small new arrivals comfortable in the chilly temperatures.

From this city, we had to move on quickly as Tracie was catching a flight out of Xiamen that evening. Xiamen was about another hour away, and is an absolutely beautiful island of a city right on the coastline. Again, as we drove into the city we could see fireworks going off in different parts of the city. The traffic across the bridge to get to Xiamen was definitely a big groan from our driver, however!

The next morning we headed off to Jinjiang where we had almost 20 medical kids to check on and take photos of for their sponsors. It was another hour and a half from Xiamen – did anyone mention that we did a lot of driving on this trip?

This orphanage is in the middle of a busy city street, and you don’t really even see it when you drive up. The van dropped us off at this little doorway, kind of like an alley, and we went through the walkway and up several flights of stairs. The next thing we knew we were in a nice conference room where we briefly met with Fujian Civil Affairs, the local Civil Affairs official, and the orphanage director. Tingting explained we needed to get medical updates, so off we went to the baby rooms. We unfortunately arrived in the middle of naptime, so we quietly tiptoed in and out of baby rooms where we were able to photograph the children, some sleeping, some lying very quietly still. All of the children had chubby cheeks and were warmly bundled against the chilly air that seemed to follow us all over Fujian. When we found babies that were awake, we quietly talked to them and told them how special they are!

Our visit to Fujian Province was so wonderful. Our experienced driver took such great care of us and kept us laughing most of the way. We were warmly welcomed by everyone we met, and we will never forget the beautiful babies and children we met while we were there!

Nancy Delpha
Assoc. Director of Operations

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