At the special needs orphanage in China (supported by Global Partners in Life), there are several children that can go to school. The leader of the orphanage had told me on multiple occasions that transportation was an issue for the children. On days when it rained or snowed, it took a long time standing out in the weather with the children to catch a taxi, and that was expensive. Also, she told me that when a child had a medical emergency, she didn’t have a vehicle for transporting a sick child. Additionally, if they needed to go to a store or take something to be repaired, they needed a vehicle for that as well.

vanAfter being made aware of the need and doing some fundraising, I am thankful to say that Global Partners in Life was able to purchase the van so desperately needed at the orphanage! I went with the leader of the orphanage to shop for the van, and you can see the one she chose on the right. The only feature she wanted that wasn’t installed was a DVD player for the children. She said she really wanted the children to be entertained while riding in the van, and I can understand her emphasis on having the children relaxed and quiet while sitting in traffic. Through some lengthy negotiating, we were able to save enough money on the van to have money left for insurance, gas, and maintenance. The salesperson was very nice, and she paid for the DVD player herself after she learned this van would be used for the orphanage!

van2I asked the leader about buying some child seats, and she told me that she knew what they were, but they weren’t used often in China, so she didn’t want to buy any. I also learned that in China you can’t test drive a vehicle. I was told that if we break it, then the dealership can’t sell it. OK, that makes sense, so I used it in negotiating the price. I didn’t see how could they ask us to pay so much for the vehicle without knowing if it worked or not! It was an educational experience for me to say the least.