BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe. We met two British girls, Alex and Claire, who are coming every year since 5 years to volunteer at a conservation center and an orphanage. Last night they were organizing a little pizza party at the orphanage and we were invited to join. I’m so glad we did!
At the beginning I felt a little bit awkward. I’m not really familiar with young children. I don’t really know how to handle them. They were also pretty shy at the beginning, looking at us from far away, I couldn’t wait to break the ice! I was so surprised by how creative they are! Kids in our developing countries are messed up with TV, playstation, computers, and other tablets. Now they also have a phone at the age of 10 and thus spend 70% of their free time in front of a screen of any kind. They lose all imagination, all creativity. Here kids have nothing. So if they want to play they have to come up with some ideas. They create a football out of old plastic bags, they play role games, it’s amazing to see how crazy they can dance at the age of 3!! And even though the kids we were with yesterday all lost their parents and live in very basic conditions, they all look healthy and happy. Our kids are fat and complain about everything. I mean, I generalize a little bit… but the lack of physical activity and the amount of time kids in developed countries spend sitting down staring at whatever screen is definitely not good for them…
They were full of energy, playing, yelling, jumping, running, screaming, and at the second they were told to get in the room and sit down, they all shut up, went calmly in there, sat in the chairs, the smaller ones in front, the bigger ones at the back, waiting to see what was going on. I found that amazing too, how easy it was to make them sit and wait in silence.
After the pizza distribution we played some games. It was all about singing and dancing in a circle and doing stuff that we didn’t really understand, their repertoire of songs seemed endless! They went on for ever! And every time things would go out of control and the game started to be too much of a mess, they would themselves start doing “shuuuuuch” to calm everyone down.. Pretty impressive autoregulation! 😀
It didn’t take them long to integrate us in the game, covering us with hugs and smiles, holding our hands, it felt good =) The “thank you” song we got at the end from this tiny little girl felt awesome! All those smiles and laughs recharged our batteries =)
Ready for the Vic falls now!