Thursday, Nov. 20
In the morning we stopped at a local Catholic hospital to drop off some supplies. The nuns and pastor were so excited, they even got choir robes (don’t ask me where those came from!) Either way it was great to see how appreciative they were. After the hospital we made our way up to the school for our last day. We did activities with the kids- shirt painting, water colors, sidewalk chalk and also distributed tons of school supplies. For snack that day we put peanut butter and jelly on top of the biscuits, it was so funny to watch the kids eat them since they had never tasted it before. The licked the jelly off, then the peanut butter (which was sticking to the roofs of their mouths) then ate the biscuit.
Next we went to another local school to distribute more school supplies, shoes and clothes. This school also received the volleyball net we brought. After a long day of distributing tons of stuff and moving box after box, we went back to the storage room to sort some more.
Friday, Nov. 21
Happy Birthday Denise!! That morning we headed back to the 2nd school to finish distributing to those who didn’t get the day before. We showed the kids how to play volleyball – well I should say TRIED to show them, it was a sad attempt on all parts! While we were at that school a couple other team members went with Maria to a 3rd school to give them some supplies and clothing. Every school we went to the kids all sang and danced to thank us, it was really nice!
The rest of the day we spent finishing everything up at the village. Some did the clinic for a short while, Heidi took a group of women to teach them her hygiene project, which was a huge success and is now going to be introduced throughout the country! Go Heidi!!! A bunch of people worked distributing clothes (which was quite chaotic!) – I stayed away from that project for fear of meeting a similar fate to the impala we had seen the other day on safari. Instead I helped unpack and set up the nursery and sewing room. Which I think turned out very nice.
At one point Kathleen had sat down with some women and showed them how to make dream catchers. They caught on quick and soon we had tons of them, which we hung from the rafters in the building as decorations. I think the women liked seeing them being used. I guess the women are planning to continue making them to sell in the village since they had never seen anything like them before and everyone loved them. Go Kathleen!!
At another point in the day I came upon a stuffed gorilla while unpacking the nursery supplies. I started chasing some of the kids with it. The older ones laughed and screamed and ran away but all the younger ones, especially the babys were sooooo scared of it. All the moms kept calling me over to see what kind of reaction the babies would have – all the same, scream, hide, cry. I went back and found the most cute, cuddly animal I could find to show them that stuffed animals were soft and nice (since they had never seen one before) but still… that cute puppy dog put the fear of god into those kids. It was funny to watch though. All the moms were cracking up.
After a long day of distributing, decorating and causing chaos with the kids, I stayed back with a few people to finish setting up the sewing room and wait until the doors were finished being installed so everything could be locked up safely. Maria, Heidi and I all ended up getting massages from the women and got to spend some time with them outside of all the projects we had been doing. It was nice to just relax and sit with them, even if I couldn’t understand a word that was said!
That night we packed up our stuff so we would be ready to leave early the next morning.
Saturday, Nov. 22
After packing up and saying our goodbyes to the people at the hotel we stopped at the village so everyone could see the finished product of the building. We took tons more pictures with everyone and it was very bitter sweet. Everyone was so happy to have accomplished what we had set out to do but sad to have it all come to an end. I don’t know who started it, but someone started singing “leaving on a jet plane” (ugh, John Denver again – the ever reoccuring theme of my life). As we left the village all the women sang and danced and followed our bus out as we left. It was an overwhelming goodbye!
Overall it was a great trip. A lot of hard work. A LOT of dirt and sweat, but totally worth it. I cant picture myself not coming back. Maybe it’s the team, maybe it’s the people of Africa – maybe both – but once you have been apart of something like this, it changes you. Not to get all sappy but this has definitely been one of the best experiences of my life. I will be back… I don’t know when since I am so broke right now but I will make it happen one way or another.
Around noon Kathleen and I were dropped off at the airport to say goodbye to Africa catch our flight. We spent the night in the Doha airport, and caught our flight early Sunday morning (today) to Kathmandu, Nepal. I cant believe the week we have ahead of us here!!! So exciting… but that’s another day. I cant believe I just wrote up the last 2 weeks tonight (8 full pages single spaced in Word – I feel like Im back in college). I am beat!!!! Good night and I will update again soon.