I feel like I need Zac Efron in my life

Okay, not literally him but that hippie-type character he played in Liberal Arts (which is this awesome movie that you must watch at least once). You see in this movie (which is possibly one of top 5 movies of all time), he does this whole speech to Josh Radnor’s character about “imaginal cells and caterpillars” (real stuff, look it up) and concludes with:

That is why there’s no reason to be afraid. Because everything is okay.

Maybe I need Josh Radnor in my life. He wrote that movie. Those lines are super neat, something I wish I could remember on a daily basis.

I spent part of my Saturday at an orphanage/boy’s home for my good friend’s 21st birthday party. (yes, she is awesome that way, celebrating her 21st with orphans. Did I ever mention the Community Medicine thing we do where we go to NGOs and help out? Anyway, she was sent to this orphanage/boy’s home). Instead of buying presents for her, we were tasked to buying presents for the kids. So, when she mentioned this whole ‘party with orphans’ (that sounds crass, huh) a while back, I had two main reactions:

1. Oh my gosh, that’s really nice of you. You’re so kind for thinking of them instead of completely bailing once our community work was done.

2. HOW THE HECK AM I GOING TO TALK TO YOUNG BOYS?!!

Clearly, you can tell which one was the stronger reaction. The only time I’ve spent with kids are my cousins and I either adore them or I detest him Ian them. I was trying to psych myself up, I told myself that they were just kids and if it didn’t work out, I can easily bail. I bought them 2 different games: a variation on Jenga and some other mathematical mind game that I never played before.

So, come Saturday, I was all geared up and went with a “you know what, these kids don’t have families. Be nice and be yourself, you probably have a heart in there somewhere” attitude and lo and behold, I did. For the first time in my life, I was called ‘Akka-Grace’ which is a respectful term for ‘older sister’. When you walk into that home, you feel the warmth of those kids. They were… really boys, loud, crazy, energetic. The energy I forgot existed in primary school.

We played that popular ice-breaking game where you’re divided into two big groups with a curtain drawn between the teams, then you had to guess the other person’s name once the curtain drops. It was crazy. I played like I was a kid again, and that helped. I think I know all their names by now. We also played Twister and by ‘we’ I mean ‘the kids’ because I am massive compared to them and they were far more enthused about it; I spun the wheel thingy.

Then came the point where my friend told them that the presents we all brought were for them. The cheer on their faces were priceless. Each of them got to open a package; there was this one kid with cerebral palsy sitting on the floor next to me and when he opened the package to find chocolates, the look on his face was truly one of those MasterCard “priceless” moments. I think that will forever be etched in my mind. I’m glad my presents were a big hit. Most of the kids were very gung-ho about playing the Jenga-like game but a handful were learning how to play the mind-game thing, which I had to learn on the spot and explain to them. 

We left at about 4pm; nap time for the younger kids and the older kids had to clean up. While we were walking out, you could see them waving from the windows and thanking us.. I don’t know, it made me feel impressed at how spirited they are. These boys are from abusive families, some with parents who were criminals.. it’s amazing how much being in a stable-r home has helped them.

If they can get through what they were dealt with in life, I could do miracles with my hand. (is the card metaphor coming across well? you know, ‘the cards you’ve been dealt”… “cards in a hand”.. never mind). Like the imaginal cells in caterpillars (no really, look it up), there can be change for the better, if you keep going.

And I intend to.

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