Mother’s Day Drop!

13 May 2007

Happy Mother’s Day!!!

Aside from my being far away from home, today has been a very wonderful day! As a pilot, I’m usually up front flying. In past drops, I’ve given my camera to another person to take pictures of the event. My instructions are simple…take as many pictures as you can! Nicole has been nice enough to let me buy a camera that can take some wonderful photos, and today I had the rare chance to sit in the back of the helicopter and take pictures of Operation Soccer Chopper’s latest drop.

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Today’s drop was fantastic! Thanks to the balls that were sent from Helen in NY and Coach Robert from Purdue University Women’s Soccer we were able to put some HUGE smiles on the faces of many, many kids today. The temperature today hovered near the mid 90s and we knew that we would find a whole bunch of kids playing in the wadi. As we flew over the kids playing in the water, we too wanted to jump in and play as well.

Our first encounter was with a small group of boys playing in the water. As usual, the moment we came into view, it seemed that the boys knew what was about to happen. As soon as the ball was released from the helicopter, the boys were jumping at the chance to catch that one ball. What a sight it was! We moved over to another group of kids playing in the water not too far from the first group of boys and they too were tackling each other trying to get to the ball. From up in the air, I could clearly see the smiles and excitement that filled their faces. You all have made some kids very, very happy today!

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

We continued to fly around the countryside looking for places to drop the balls. We dropped a ball to a group of kids working in the fields. I’m sure they didn’t mind the short break we created when we hovered overhead to drop a ball. I imagine that its just about time to start to harvest some of the grain that appears to be growing in this part of the country. There were lots of people working in the fields and I hope our distraction didn’t cause too much of a disruption in their daily activities. In fact, I hope that our distraction was a welcomed one.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

As we continued on circling in the same area, it seemed that we started to attract a little more attention from what looked to be a nearby school. I’m guessing it’s a school because kids started pouring out of the building as if they were practicing their weekly fire drill. I knew it wasn’t so, since there’s no fire department in town and the buildings are made of mud! Once the kids started to run out into the field there were more than I could count. Kids were everywhere. They all were waving for us to drop more balls. We were happy to oblige. This was our last stop so all the balls were dropped here.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Kids were running everywhere trying to get their hands on a ball. How I wished that I could just hand a ball out to every kid I see, but in reality one ball should certainly work for a small group of kids wanting to play soccer or volleyball. After all, you need more than one person to play those sports anyway right?

You all have done a wonderful thing. Making someone happy is a great gift and together we’ve accomplished that. A very small and gracious act resulted in an indescribable situation of happiness and joy. I hope that the description of the kids’ smiling faces and the excitement that they feel are enough for even you to feel so many thousands of miles away.

Thank you all for letting me be a part of this!

Princeton

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