Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Eighth Day at Manenberg: Christmas Party and Lion's Head Mountain (12/18/14)

This was our big Christmas party day! Although it was not as large as the Dell party the week before, it meant a lot for us to be able to throw the children a party. With the funds we raised through GOFUNDME, we were able to buy the children a present, provide Christmas cookies and decorations, provide a lunch, and get all of the paint for the mural.
We figured the best way was to do all of these things was to break it up into stations. First we had Owens at the movie station, which is where the children were waiting in groups of 5. Then we had Felicia at the cookie decorating station. Then we had Sharnay and myself at the painting station. Jamie walked in between to take pictures and Brent walked in between to take video.

After all the children were able to complete those stations, we served them an exciting lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, oranges, juice, and some candy. Once the children were done eating, we had them come in by gender and age to get their presents. For the young girls, it was My Little Pony dolls. For the older girls, it was a necklace and bracelet bead making kit. For the younger boys, it was toy cars. For the older boys, it was legos. Everyone was excited about their presents which I am happy about because they deserve it and we took the time to individually wrap 80 presents…

When we arrived home, we realized that we had some time on our hands because we did not need to prep or get anything ready for the school the next day. Brent and myself wanted to climb Lion’s Head, a small mountain in Cape Town. Owens and Jamie expressed interest in riding the cable car up to the top of Table Mountain, another mountain located in Cape Town. We all had a lovely time and the weather was phenomenal.

(2013 and 2014)

Seventh Day at Manenberg: Quiet Day, Shopping, and Wrapping Party (12/17/14)

Once I peeled my burnt skin off of my sheets the next morning, I was excited to head to the school. I wanted to see how the children liked the finished wall!
First we needed to go shopping for the impending Christmas party we were going to throw them the following day. The girls had suggested that we go to a store named ‘Osman’s’ to buy school supplies and Christmas gifts. We had gone to Osman’s earlier in the trip and it was busy. I should have known how busy it was the week before Christmas. I have no found my personal definition of Hell. If I were to put it in perspective, it would be similar to a Walmart, except it had everything that a Wal*mart had with about a quarter of the space. It was cramped, unorganized, and above all else, cheap. The lines took forever. At one point, the worker who was bagging and boxing up all of our purchased contents...just left. She literally went to go sit down because we had too much stuff and she was tired. When the store manager went and confronted her about why she left, she shrugged and said she was sleepy. Although I am happy with all of our purchases made from there, no one could pay me enough money to go back in the holiday season.
Luckily the girls were also tired from painting, so we decided to have a nice, quiet day. We watched a movie with the 15 kids that were there and had an afternoon snack and juice with them.

Once we got home from dinner that evening, we began the wrapping party. Even though we have seen 40-60 kids throughout the weeks, we ended up buying 80 gifts. We wanted to individually wrap each we did. Jamie, being the saint that she is, had the movie Frozen on her ipad. We watched Frozen while wrapping and we finished just as the movie was ending! During this time, Owens was making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that we would serve for lunch the next day. 6 loafs of bread worth. We all laughed and giggled at Jamie’s proficiency at wrapping gifts. She lapped Brent and I more times than we can count.

Sixth Day at Manenberg: Final Painting Day! (12/16/14)

December 16th is the Day of Reconciliation. This is a national holiday that remembers the end of the apartheid state in 1994. It signifies the reconciliation and hopeful unity of South Africa between races. Manenberg was technically closed this day of our trip, but they opened it for us so we could finish up the painting...which was everything.
Felicia, Sharnay, and Muneesah came to help us paint and Owens stayed home to relax and run errands. It was nice to have a day to just finish the mural without having the smaller children running around. All of our painting was accomplished!

When we arrived home, Owens had made us dinner! We had been going out to eat every night and it was nice to finally eat at home. (It was delicious, by the way) Later on in the evening, all 3 of us realize how sunny it was outside that day. While eating, I could feel myself radiating heat. Brent was warm, but Jamie was also radiating. After we took showers, we got in our jammies and did not move the rest of the evening. Except to turn pages in “Long Walk to Freedom” and to put aloe lotion on I cannot recall the last time that I have been that sunburnt.