Being Generous (Caga)

Being Generous (Caga) 

It’s Christmastime and even in this Buddhist country, that means the spirit of giving. This week before Christmas has presented me with several opportunities to be generous.

During the week with Panyaden School, we went to an orphanage in Chiang Mai to give toys and clothes donated by the students and teachers to the orphans. It was just a few students, one other teacher, the director, and me. The older kids (meaning up to 5 years old) weren’t there, so we played with babies. I thought it would make me extremely sad, and to a degree it did, but not nearly in the way I would have pictured. What hit me while there is that it seemed obvious that I will adopt a child, she doesn’t even have to be a baby. There are too many unwanted babies and children in the world.

Shoes at the orphanage with my (rather small) hand for scale

Kru Goy and baby at the orphanage

Giving gifts to the orphans

I started thinking of all of my friends who have children. The little boys and girls must be getting excited for Christmas. I’m ready for a child, but I’d still really like the partner first. Being in that orphanage made me just want to take a child home with me. Will I adopt a child? I’d imagine I will. I am open to meeting someone who already has a child too. I’m very open to that in fact. I’m not actually sure if I’d be physically able to have children anyway – I probably can, but I’d need to start on that right away, and there isn’t any man in the area that strikes my fancy…yet. The most interesting man I met in 2011 is now far far away. Sigh. Perhaps soon I will meet someone even more interesting, and who is here and wants to stay here, and wants to get married (to me, obviously, and me with him), and wants children. And here’s to hoping!

Being true to the 12 wise habits at Panyaden, Caga – meaning generosity, we also gave alms to monks. I’d like do that more often. I really admire the Thai people who give food to monks every morning.

monk receiving alms

monks receiving alms from Panyaden students

Never in a million years would have imagined that I would be sitting in a little bungalow overlooking a lake in Thailand, not married, with no children on Christmas Eve in 2011, but c’est la vie.

Since I had to give Sombra away, I thought I’d build up good dog karma by volunteering at an organization called Care for Dogs. It seemed like the right thing to do on Christmas Eve.

Some of the dogs at Care for Dogs

Arriving at Care for Dogs, there were so many dogs with so many needs, it was a little overwhelming. Quite a few of the dogs were in pretty rough shape and my heart went out to them. Others were a not as bad off, and others still were simply adorable. A multi-dog fight broke out minutes after I arrived and it scared me, but everyone ended up being fine. A kind woman named Irene took me around and showed me all that needed to be done…a lot. Her basic message was that every one of these dogs needs some love. I am considering the possibility of fostering a dog for a while. After the Sombra ordeal, I don’t think I’m quite ready to have a permanent dog for some time. The volunteering there, surprisingly, was more difficult than being at the orphanage.

Christmas wishes: I have sent loving kindness to my family, and friends, with and without children. It’s important to live in the right way, and I actively try to do that each day. I have been living a very full life, and I am so extremely thankful for so much of what exists in my life, especially being here in this amazing country. I know I am one of the luckiest people around, and because of this I would like to share my life with a special man and to raise a child with him. God, I have been patient. I know you have your plan, but I thought I’d let you know that I am ready now. Thank you.

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