Tuesday, November 11, 2008
By Erika Sletten
The first day at Smile Africa and we arrived to over 400 children singing to us! It was a wonderful and emotional experience that pictures or video do not justify. The team greeted the children and helped serve the breakfast meal of porridge. We brought dum dum suckers and attempted to hand those out to the children after they received a name tag. That plan did not work so well and the team adjusted accordingly. After breakfast some children played games, others team members spoke to the Pastors wives and team members held hands with the kids. The Pastors wives learned about health, hygiene and family planning. The wives were very interested in the information and even took notes in English. The team assisted the staff during lunch of beans and mush to all of the children. The staff members of Smile Africa had to assist many times to get the children to sit down and the children did show respect for them. Many children did not have pants, shirts or any clothing. The team didn’t hesitate to hold the children as some of them were crying or asking to be held. The widow’s had a stand where they sold things including bags, jewelry, clothing, head wraps and bowls. The women made all of the items by hand and they were very proud of their work. At the end of the day the Pastors wives received a hygiene kit that even included lipstick. Every woman deserves to feel pretty! The women were so happy they sang a song for us and danced. Their songs and dancing are infectious! Victoria and her crew worked magic in the clinic doing acupuncture. Mae helped people see more clearly by providing glasses to anyone who needed them. There were so many things to do and by the time we loaded the bus everyone was ready for a nap. Hug kids, nap, eat and sleep….. it was a great day!