Every summer, through a special gift of one of our partners, we take all of the children from the Sanctuary Orphanage on special outings. These trips help to create special memories for the children to treasure. They also help them develop deeper bonds with those who take care of them.
We have gone to many places with the children over the years. One year we rented an entire villa and spent a whole week in the mountains. Some children rode eight hours by train to get there. It was the first train ride they ever took. The rest of us went by van. We took the children to two very beautiful old castles, we went hiking through the woods, we ate at restaurants, we rode in a cable car to the top of a high mountain, and we even saw some bears in the wild. We were a little nervous when we heard that the bears were visiting the garbage cans behind our villa at night. The children loved sleeping in the rooms together best of all. They loved the parties in the rooms. We ate pizza, popcorn, potato chips, cookies, cakes, drank soda, etc. we all had a lot of fun!
One of the children's favorite day trips is to a beautiful water park about one hour away from the orphanage. The children love this water park so much that it has become an annual 'must go' trip at least a couple of times every summer. We load up about fifty people in a big bus. We pack our lunches, dinner, and snacks. We then enjoy the whole day in the park. Like most children, they just love to swim and go down slides for hours! Everyone enjoys a fun relaxing day. It is also good for the Sanctuary staff to get away to just rest and have fun with the kids.
We have also taken the children on trips to big cities. In one city we went to a carnival and went on the rides. It was the first time for many of them to experience a carnival. They loved the cotton candy and the popcorn! In the central park of the city the children enjoyed taking turns riding on a horse. We also rented boats to take out on a lake. This, as well, was a 'first' for many of them. The highlight of a trip to any big city is always a hamburger, fries, and a soda at McDonald's...and yes, ice cream or a shake to top it off!
One year, we had a lot of fun taking the children to the movies. We had to drive one hour from the orphanage to get there, but it was worth the trip. The children couldn't believe the size of the screen. We also treated them to popcorn, candy, and soda as they watched the movie... they loved it!
A few times we took the children to some zoos. The children only read about lions, tigers, bears, etc.. and now they were able to see them. Another time we took them in a cave. ...stalactites...stalagmites! It was a good experience for them.
We have always included good and tasty food, desserts, and snacks as a part of any trip that we take. There are many other things that we have done with the children over the years. These summer outings are not only fun for the children, but they are also a learning experience. Their world gets expanded by seeing and experiencing new things. The staff and the children at the Sanctuary Orphanage really look forward to these outings and we will continue to take them each summer.