Since the earthquake we've been able to send clothes, diapers, and blankets to Henry's orphanage, the Pingliang Social Welfare Institute (SWI), through two separate organizations. In each contact the orphanage director has reported that the children there are okay. She provided the recent photos included with this post to the organization Love Without Boundaries, which just delivered the clothing and other supplies we bought using a little over $1500 USD donated with help from other adoptive families with Pingliang children. (In the adjacent photo, Henry is the child on the far left, scratching at his ear.) A smaller delivery of about 25 blankets and about a dozen more warm outfits was arranged through a service provided by Red Thread China.
The children appear to have spent a lot of time out in the sun, but they look healthy. There are about 80 children at the orphanage. Civil affairs officials apparently supplied the sturdy tents seen in the photo's background, and the orphanage is said to be a high priority for local assistance. Gansu's earthquake-effected region continues to be susceptible to aftershocks. One on May 25 was centered around the Wenxian area and is said to have measured about 6 on the Richter scale. Wenxian is close to the northern border of Sichuan Province, about 200 miles south of Pingliang.
We plan to send Andy and a guide to bring the orphanage whatever additional supplies and assistance that can be carried by SUV from Lanzhou, where things are relatively tranquil. Our agency has agreed to make arrangements for this.
At this point, we've secured our visas, flights, hotel rooms, and other travel arrangements. We'll fly out on June 9th as planned and spend about four nights in Beijing before heading on to Lanzhou, where Henry will indeed join us on Father's Day (the 15th). Dorothy and Clara are very excited about the trip and for them we've scheduled visits to the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and a northern section of the Great Wall to take advantage of our stop in Beijing. There should be a lot of really cool, memorable things for the kids to see in Lanzhou also, including a very old section of the western end of the Great Wall. After about a week in Lanzhou we'll head way south to Guangzhou and the U.S consulate on the 21st. We should be home by the end of June.