Today started out disappointing, but it quickly got better. First, we were informed by Lawrence that we wouldn’t be able to go to the last school, as the strike made it too dangerous. Instead, we worked around the Scout Centre here in Welkom. We made signs, painted windows and doors and picked up garbage around the compound. Many hands made light work, and soon we were finished.
After having a quick lunch, we were then given a choice – we could either stay at the compound, go to the mall, or visit a place called ‘House of Hope’. We (Alanna and Kristin) chose to go to House of Hope, which is a house for babies with HIV/AIDS that were abandoned by their parents. There were 5 kids there, from 5 months to a year and 3 months. They were all bursting with energy and curiosity, but didn’t like their baths very much! With 12 of us visiting, babies were in short supply- but as we were taught in Beavers: “Sharing, sharing, sharing!” We helped bathe, feed, and generally love them. That’s all they wanted: to be loved, and that we could do.
While it’s sad that these babies were abandoned in the first place, it is good to know that there is a place they can be taken care of, where they can get the care and love they deserve. Each baby had their own personality, whether squawky and attention-grabbing, or quiet and reserved, they were all different.
We were fortunate that Val told us about this place and took us there with her. Val is a local reporter who stopped by the other day to ask us a few questions about what we’re doing. So impressed with our work, she brought her children by today to visit us and learn from us. Val visits House of Hope every Friday (particularly for one girl, but plays with them all) and invited us along with her today.
We arrived back at the compound to the smell of pancakes – tonight was Canada Night! We ate pancakes and maple syrup with some of our South African friends who’ve been with us since the beginning of our stay here in Welkom. We also played Frisbee and keep-it-up in the dark, and danced to Canadian artists for hours on end.
Tomorrow we play host to many South African Cubs and Scouts. We’ll be organizing many different activities and have to get up early – horror!
Your wonder twins: Kiki and Alanna