The most beautiful sight in the world is to see a room full of children smiling. The most beautiful feeling in the world is the knowledge that you helped put it there.

Every time I enter the dormitory I get to see something new and crazy. They climb walls, swim on concrete, watch television in elaborate puppy piles, and play ball like it were the final match of the rugby season.
But no matter what they are doing, it takes just one lithe spy to shout out one magical word – “Aunty”.
Everything stops and all thirty pairs of eyes zero in on me.
They are a force of nature, born to love, like a hurricane they descend upon me, ripping out everything that is rotten in my heart so that the seed of their love has solid footing to grow all-encompassing. Like touch-seeking missiles, they drawn me into a whirlwind of enthusiastic hand-shakes, ebullient high-fives, affectionate hugs, and if they can’t get to me they will at least grab at my clothes or bag. In that moment I’m like a celebrity (without even having had to starve to get the figure of one…hah).

Life can’t be perfect but some moments can.

Like every garden, this one too had it’s roses and it’s thorns, but there nothing artificial here, and there is great beauty even in nature’s asymmetry.
Getting them to settle down is a challenge in itself. One moment they are fighting and clawing at each other, the very next they are laughing like they just heard the world’s funniest joke. They go from crying like it’s the end of the world to grinning like they received first prize, and all with just one turn of the head, or giving of a toy.
I’m not saying they are angels or even that I get to accomplish very much with them. What I am trying to point out is that they have the gift to find happiness in the smallest and most random of things. They makes me realise how simple it is to be happy.


I came here with the delusions of changing lives, and now realise that it is I who has changed.


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