A trip to the Lyrion Orphanage
By Seamus Lawton
Sitting on a bus on a cold December afternoon, driving away from the Lyrion orphanage, I can look back on the trip and feel sorrow for the children there. To live a life without loving parents, relying on donations from kids who have everything they don’t, and reaching 18 with the only thought being about actually leaving the orphanage and seeing the real wonders of the world is truly, in the words of Annie, “a hard-knock life.”
On December 7, 2011, the seventh grade helped ease that pain by taking a trip to the Lyrion Orphanage. We took with us food, books, and toys for the orphans, all courtesy of seventh grade parents. We also took a very generous donation of 641 Euros, 491 Euros more than the amount we would have made if all seventh graders had only donated the suggested 3 Euros.
Perhaps even more valuable than all of that was the time we spent with the orphans, playing with them, reading to them and laughing with them. Although the course of a few hours was not enough time for any bonds of deep friendship to truly form, I was pleased to notice that from football to hot potato, everyone was mingling and having a good time.
The orphans were not the only ones who gained something from the trip. While we did not leave laden with donations, we left with light hearts and the satisfaction of helping. Their sad lives made my fruitless quest for an iPod seem silly and selfish. How could I complain when I have more toys, a nicer place to live and a family that loves me?
I always think there is no trip without some memorable, funny event occurring. This time, Alex Murphy’s football was the victim. He had brought it to throw around with the orphans, but a dog intercepted one of his passes. After several attempts to jar it from the dog’s mouth, the dog dropped a wet, slobbery and popped beyond repair football. The ball was given a rightful burial on top of a hill, thrown in a pile of marble and covered up until it could not be seen anymore. Everyone had a good laugh, and several people vowed to return next year to see if the football is still there and visit the children again.
I think our trip was very productive in getting to help children our own age, and I hope we get to do it again later in the year. To find out more about the Lyrion Orphanage and how you can donate, visit, http://www.ethnodata.gr/lyreioidryma/index.