Saturday, July 5, 2008

VBS, Malawian Style- Day 1

So after school, we were walked back to the offices by about 500 kids. No joke. We quickly learned that the English way of holding hands (one child per hand) didn't apply here. In Malawi, we were rockstars. We were rock stars with one child per FINGER. Which made for a very interesting step-shuffle-giggle-shuffle routine. The kids loved having an "adzungu" hand to hold, of course. :]

We got back to the Adziwa offices, and chowed down on a lunch of sandwiches (or "sundwiches" as the Malawians called them). Each day the team had a choice of peanut butter or jelly, but not peanut butter AND jelly. The boys caught on quickly, and peeled their sandwiches apart then smacked them back together with a buddy, so they made two PB&J sandwiches. Way to go, boys! The peanut butter in Malawi was HEAVENLY and made from scratch. We were so spoiled.

After lunch, we then prepared for our first Vacation Bible School. Thandi prepared her lesson, which was out of Luke, and the girls worked on theirs. Emily, Heather, and I were doing our lesson first. Heather told the story of the woman touching Jesus's cloak, I told the story of Zacchaeus, and Emily told about Jesus loving the little children. The overarching theme for our lesson was that Jesus loves everyone. Thandi translated, and the kids followed us very well! We played Simon Says, and learned that there is a smiliar game in Malawi! The kids responded and interacted at a surprising level, they were almost hungry for English words. After our lesson and game, we dove into making picture frames. We were armed with popsicle sticks, foam stickers, and lots and lots of glue (in the stick form, we weren't crazy! Liquid glue = nightmare.). Emily was in charge of taking Polaroids of the kids. She taught them how to shake their picture to make it turn up. Once they realized that the picture revealed their faces, the kids lit up like a Christmas tree. They would then show if off to all their friends, and then reluctantly let me glue it into a frame. But once they saw it in a frame, their smiles got even bigger. If that's possible.

Some of the boys finished early, they were sitting next to me and got a lot of help on their projects. We went outside to play football (soccer). We had 10 balls stored away for moments like these, that we would give them at the end of our two weeks. The boys had SO much fun with the soccer balls, and quickly split off into teams without any help from the authority figures. It was incredible. I would have played, but Aefe, a young girl that had been close at our heels all day, pulled me aside and we practiced our English letters and numbers. She was absolutely precious, and pretty soon, we had a crowd in our pseudo school lesson. I was totally in my element, and could have spent all day drawing in the dirt with these precious children.

Eventually, we walked back to the offices to clean up. The Adziwa kids all hung outside while we finished cleaning. They would dig through the trash that we had piled up to find the empty Polariod boxes. I saw one girl with her frame in her box, to keep it safe. My heart broke, once again. I am so blessed.

We finished cleaning up, and decided to go out and bond with these precious children. We taught them the Macarena with English numbers, the Chicken Dance, the Conga Line, and the sprinkler. We had a ball- and I think they did too. Tionke, a 10 year old boy, could bustamove. His favorite was the Macarena, and he added his own moves. All the kids loved the "Heeeeey, Macarena!" part. I tear up just thinking about it. If the children needed to get our attention, they would start humming the Chicken Dance until we all turned around. I miss those moments.

As we were leaving, Taylor pointed out the absolutely GORGEOUS first sunset. We all stood there in wonder. We had never seen anything like it. Yay Daddy! What an artist You are!

We said our goodbyes, blew kisses, and gave out hugs. As we went back to Kumbali, we all laughed about the day. How great God is!

Once we got back to Kumbali, the Shower Extravaganza began. Since the girls were all wary of showering in the African darkness alone, we all donned our swimsuits and jumped into the showers in pairs. Our showers weren't really showers... just scoop-n-dumps. We filled our big blue buckets up with as much hot water as we wanted, then drug them over to the cold water spout. We then buddied up, and carried them to the shower stalls, which were made out of straw. They had slits in the bottom of them, which were rock. We had rock shelves that our lanterns and shampoo sat on, and no roofs. I miss having roof-less showers, the stars were breathtaking.

Showering in the dark with long hair was quite difficult. So frequently, we needed to solicit the help of our shower buddy. The joys of friendship are limitless. Sing-a-long showers haven't been born yet... that's day 7. You just wait. :]

1 comment:

franktown said...

That sounds so cool! I really wish I could have gone there, because it must have been such an awesome experience. Maybe if you go again you can pack me in your luggage?