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Big Dreams

21 December 2012

By Xilo Lopez

On my way through town today I noticed some children playing on a dirt hill.  They were using sacks to slide to down the hill and their laughter and smiles sharply contrasted with the dirt caked into their hair, faces and clothes.  This state of cleanliness was not due simply to their game.  In Bodhgaya you’ll see many orphans and children from poor families dirty from head to toe.  They wander and play in the streets and in garbage piles.  Many of the babies and smaller children don’t wear bottoms.  While many tourists will stop to take pictures of these children, they are not the only ones who notice that these kids don’t have the opportunity to get an education and are at high risk of getting seriously sick and injured.

Today I had a conversation with one of the older boys from Sunway, Bunil, who spoke eloquently about his desire to someday be able to help other children who do not have access to the same opportunities he has had.  Thanks to Sunway he’s able to grow up in a safe environment with access to health services and education.  He greatly appreciates this and wants to give back to his community by building schools and hospitals.  The dreams and maturity of this 15 year old boy were impressive and humbling.  My conversation with Bunil and the happiness on the children’s faces as we surprised them with tangerines this afternoon were the highlights of my day.

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