Posted by: Taylor Van Ness Converse
So yesterday we headed down the winding hills to go visit Tong-Len. After composing myself from the car ride (winding roads makes most of us want to toss our cookies) I looked at all the tents before me. The community the people live in is basically a small piece of land for 700 people. It's such a culture shock to walk through the tents and see all these families living in them. There were a few children that followed us through as we went on a tour, they were just so excited that we were there. At one point we sat down and listened to a woman talk about begging on the streets for a living. Of course, I couldn't pay attention, I have the attention span of a 5 year old. As I turned away from the group I saw a little girl, probably around two years old, crying her eyes out and walking around alone. I can't stand to see kids cry like that, so I went over to her and stood close with my arms out. She came right to me with open arms and hugged me around the neck. I just swooped her up and held her until she stopped crying, and a few minutes later fell asleep, cradled in my arms. It was just so amazing that this child, who had never seen me before in her life, could find such comfort in my arms. It was really an amazing experience for me, even though it only lasted but a few short minutes.