They’ve successfully made stockings, Santa Claus on a wreath, cotton wool snowmen and Christmas baubles – quite impressive for a large bunch of easily distracted 3-5 year olds.
The tough decision is whether or not we actually do give them something, it would be nice if they made the effort to come to soup kitchen as regulars, but then again they might be looking after younger siblings at home and they can’t physically make it. Do we give them clothes and shoes even though they’re only turning up BECAUSE they think they’re going to get clothes and shoes, or do we say ‘sorry, no you can’t have’? Aunty Vina is well informed on people’s home situations, but then again we don’t have the money to clothe the whole of Mpolongeni community! However if Aunty Vina says they are needy (which most of them are), then I guess we buy for them... That’s what this work is all about, giving help to those who need it the most.
On the way to soup kitchen on Tuesday we were pulled over by police for the very first time! It was just a random maintenance vehicle check, but we were pretty nervous because we had Sisekelo students in the back of the truck... Luckily Ashley had her licence (sometimes we forget, but you’re meant to carry it everywhere with you when you’re driving) and everything was okay. She did get a little bit flustered though and when the Policewoman asked for her to test the indicators she accidently flicked on the windscreen wipers! Easy mistake.
The boys were the opposite of the girls, they were mental. Pushing, screaming, fighting, snatching... everything. We’d even explained that everyone was going to get something, but they just didn’t want to be polite about it. Every time I lifted up an item of clothing to have a look at the size about 20 hands all came up and started grabbing and pulling the clothes; it wasn’t nice at all.
Sometimes when we try to do something nice for soup kitchen I still don’t feel good about it; giving out the clothes should make me feel happy because we’re giving the children something that they don’t have something that will benefit them... but it makes me feel awful. The way they desperately snatch clothes from you and from one another makes me realise they’re in such a dire situation they’re willing to do anything to gain. Larger boys pull clothes off the smaller boys, clothes that won’t even fit them, JUST so that they have something. It breaks my heart and makes me wonder what sort of effects poverty really has on a person. Just how far would they go to try and improve their own situation? Here they are pulling clothes off each other like wild animals, even though they are all friends and they all know how hard they have it, how tough their lives are. Something takes over them and they aren’t the same children I know and love and see every week, which is a shame because I want to feel good when we give them surprises, not feel shocked.
Unfortunately Swaziland were creamed by Botswana, but they’re a young team and it was the first time they had all played together, so there’s room for improvement!
Mike’s parents gave us free ‘Sizeze vs. Botswana’ t-shirts though, so that was pretty awesome! Sizeze is the rugby teams nickname, and also the name of the Swaziland spear.
|Looking fat but whatever... This is Mike (on the right) and one of his brothers.|
|The Dos Santos Family! Mikes family, they are actual legends.|