Yesterday was such a fun day. One of the girls at my partners place of work (a local, private orphanage) had a 16th birthday. What do you get a girl on her 16th birthday? Something she will not forget! Especially since these kids are disadvantaged in other ways. The most common thing orphans lack is often just a hug, obviously enough. Just simple love & affection. Also, they lack confidence, because they don’t necessarily have someone to tell them how special they are each day, or to boost their confidence.
My thinking was, the best present to get the birthday girl would be her friends to shoot at her! Well, to be specific, Paintball came to mind. So, we found a local Brasov paintball company, called them, set the meeting for 4pm & rounded up all the over-14’s in the Care home. 11 in fact that were eligible. So, off we went. Brian Howson, a Brasov Ex-Pat also came along, ‘just to watch’. But we embarrassed him into playing.
Laugh, I almost cried!
2 team were formed. Green masks & Black masks. Being St Patrick’s day weekend, I was on the Green mask team. In the first of 2 shooting matches, Brian made a point of hunting me down in the Forrest & shooting me. So in the second match, I stuck a white tissue in his collar, unknown to him!!. I then told all the kids that he was the target!!!
Also, to spice things up a little, I stole 2 black masks for myself & team member Ionuts, so we could go ‘covert’ into Black Mast territory & fit in. Once behind enemy lines, we could travel freely unhindered. Brian saw Ionuts & I, at the back of the forest, but dismissed us as fellow team members. As soon as he turned away to start shooting at my fellow Green mask team members, Ionuts & I let loose a hailstorm of pain on Brian from behind! 15 shots in total made their target. Bear in mind, one single shot leaves a mark for 2 days, the size of a euro coin. If you look closely at the picture of Brian & I, on his mask, you can see I shot him in the chin & neck. If you zoom in, you can see a 3cm red mark on his neck!
The other children had a fantastic time, running around with abandon, armed with assault rifles firing at the opposition & hiding behind trees. There was such a buzz between them afterwards that it will be many years, if not decades before they forget that simple but intense afternoon out. Everyone present had their own experience akin to mine above. Happy days!
Note: it is often easy to make a significant difference to people’s life with just a small amount of money & a bit of creativity. Change the mood, outlook or confidence of a person & they can do the rest from there to make more of a success of things than without that input. The difference between success & failure is a tiny layer called ‘confidence to try again’. If you have an idea for the community & want to make it a reality, please get in touch. Equally, if you don’t have an idea but want to make a financial donation, large or small, I am very good at getting the most out of a small amount of money & I am not afraid to ask for discounts when it comes to charity.
With thanks to Radu Pop for his charitable contribution to the costs.