It Takes a Community!!

The last week here in Munsieville has been very busy and exciting.  Three key events happened and all three have the common thread of a community coming together with a very generous spirit.

From Monday to Friday there was the “Munzi Kids Holiday Club” for children between the ages of 6-14.  It is winter here and the schools are closed for 3 weeks.  This means that the children have nothing to do.  The holiday club filled their day with songs, dancing, health and safety lessons, fun activities and then lunch.

The plan was to have a maximum of 100 children. Parents had to sign an approval form and on day one we actually had 182 children.  It was fantastic.   You would think planning such an event would take weeks however everything was planned in the space of 2 weeks.  High School students volunteered their time to plan and lead the week.  They are all leaders in their own right, it was amazing to see them interact and teach the children.

The Mama’s of the community (women of the community) came together to make lunches everyday for all the children.  Delicious lunches.  We were introduced to one staple food that most find a necessity to eat daily and that is “Pap”.  It is basically maize meal,  like grits, that they serve with everything.

The children love to have their pictures taken and if you are anywhere with a camera they surround you saying “take me, take me, take me again with my friends.”  It is really sweet but they do swarm around you fascinated by reflections of themselves.   The boys in particular love to pose in cool poses, they must see some of these poses on TV.

The second event was a graduation.  The Thoughtful Path in Partnership with Damelin College developed a Leadership Academy.  This was started last year with one of the previous PULSE volunteers, Alyson Krucher.  Well 17 people graduated last week from the first segment of their leadership courses.  Again the community came together.  The service was held in the community hall.  Beautifully decorated hall with music and after the graduation everyone was served dinner.  The Pride the graduates felt and their families pride was palpable.

 

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The third event happened on Saturday in Munsieville.  In May a family lost their home in a fire.  They lost everything including their ID papers.  They have been surviving on donations from their community and living in a borrowed tent.  A friend that was staying with them was severely burned but is recovering.  With a charitable donation a team came together from the community to rebuild their home.  The work continued all day and we were all happy to be involved.  We were sanding and painting and I know my Dad would have been very proud to see some of his lessons to me being applied for such a worthwhile cause.  This event again showed to me the power of a community all focussed on one deliverable….a new home for this family.  The structure frame is now up and this Saturday will be completed.  It was amazing to be part of and to see everyone coming together to make this a reality.

 Pictures to follow after home completed this Saturday

We did have some off time fun as well: 

–          observing touch Rugby games which occur every Wednesday evening on the fields by the lodge and meeting some of the team members

–          under guidance of the managing director of the lodge we went to the local casino and then to a dance club.  We had a great time bopping to the music ( our exercise for the week)

–          I attended my sister’s wedding via Skype.  Albeit not the whole event but a few minutes due to skype going down a few times but it was great fun after dancing the night away!

Take care everyone.  Enjoy the pics!

This one’s for my friend Angela – line dancing appears to be big here so get prepared for my return,  it may be a new team building event.

Bye for now.