The Independence Day Program was a lot of fun, although we had 11 helpers to nearly 200 children so we were slightly outnumbered and very tired at the end of the day! We rented a school near the Paynesville church and had games and races and other activities (and food!) for children ages 4 and up. These kids are like kids the world over -- they have boundless energy! We arrived at the church at 8am to set up ( a lot of kids were already there waiting for us), then the program started at 10am and lasted til 3 or 4pm, and then cleanup. We did the usual sack races, egg&spoon and three-legged races, a water relay (I stole the idea from memories of our youth camp in the States, but it wasn't quite as well organised LOL), a treasure hunt (which the kids did NOT get at all), balloon basketball, musical papers (newspapers to stand on instead of chairs to sit in since we didn't have chairs). And then the food which Rev. DiCanio kindly organised and prepared -- bread and jam, juice, popcorn, and ice cream cones (I was almost as excited about the ice cream as the children!) The juice is interesting -- they made it up in little plastic bags so you have to bite a hole in the corner of the plastic bag and then suck it out. For one thing, how can that be hygienic? And secondly, I can't seem to bite and suck at the same time . . . . so I got sticky koolaid all over me. I guess I need more practice. They sell water on the street like that but I usually avoid it because I think it's unhygienic:-)
Anyway, it all went well I believe, and random people were passing on the street saying "thank you so much for your work." It's funny, people here thank you for things that they have no connection with -- like one time I was washing the windows in my apartment. All the workers from other apartments were coming over to thank me for doing it. I couldn't figure it out! It's not like they were going to do it if I hadn't done it! They probably think I'm rude because I don't thank them for washing their employer's dishes . . .
Yes, so as I was saying, the general community seemed to appreciate the effort on Independence Day. Or . . . maybe they just wanted some ice cream. We had a couple adult neighbours join the queue for ice cream, saying "I haven't had mine yet." Oh, this wonderful "African socialism"! "If I don't have, I can ask (and expect to receive) from someone who does have, and if I do have, I have a responsibility to give to those who don't have." I read that very statement (as nearly as I remember) in a Christian Religious Education textbook in Kenya, and the man who said it called it African Socialism. It's not Biblical! Try this: "If any would not work, neither should he eat." "Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread." (II Thess. 3:10, 12).
Not that we didn't give them the ice-cream since we had some left, but it's the general principle that is being illustrated here that I wanted to share with you :-)