Maud's Volunteer Journey pt. 6

I’m writing this blog while sitting on the couch at the volunteer house. There are three new people here, who arrived last weekend – two guys, one from the Netherlands and one from England; and a girl from the US. It’s not that easy to write with them here - one of them is listening to loud music, and another one keeps hiccupping! But they are are lovely people and I like sharing the house with them.

Last week was very busy and we did lots of different things. On Monday it was the last day of the holiday program. The first morning of this week’s holiday program was different to the others - the children had a dancing and singing competition. First they had to learn the dance and song in four separate groups, and then they had to perform it. There was a “jury” who gave them scores. The children in the township are natural performers, and enjoyed it very much.

After the children’s last lunch with us, it was time to say thank you to the local volunteers. We took them to MacDonald’s at the beach. Before we went to “Maccy D’s”, we had to drop some stuff at home. We asked them to help us bring the things upstairs. I had two lightweight boxes in my hand, and a girl asked if she could take one for me. I think she only asked because she wanted to see our big house. They all live in little houses or shacks in the township, so for them it is special to see inside a big house.

They had lunch from MacDonald’s, and then we went to the beach. It was great to see them enjoying their time in the sea, which they rarely visit. The Izizwe volunteers were watching from the beach while they were dancing and swimming in the water. One of the girls came out of the water and rolled in the sand – so funny! Then they dried off and went back to the township after a great afternoon.

On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; we were at Ilitha, the daycare facility. The children were happy to see me after the two-week holiday program. I opened my arms and a little boy of one years old walked up to me. He is my favourite and is almost always active and happy. There are two rooms at Ilitha, but now we can use only one room, as they are building toilets in the other one. One day, the children couldn’t use the toilet and had to pee in two buckets. In order to wash their hands before lunch, the teacher emptied a toilet bucket, cleaned it, filled it with water, and used it to wash the children’s hands. It is not hygienic, but sanitary facilities are sadly lacking in the township. We must make sure to emphasise the importance of hygiene to the children.

On Friday, the children had a swimming lesson - the last lesson for the first group. After their swim, they got a certificate and sweets. They were very happy with the prizes, but also a bit sad because they knew this was the last time for now. All in all, it was a great week. 

 

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