Wednesday, January 04, 2012

A beautifully simple, but powerful day.

Today was perhaps one of the best days I have ever had with the kids. I know it’s hard to really know as each is special, but as I end this day I am more grateful than ever.

The day started early for Harv as he and 11 year old Isaac went for a run. Harv is a 19 time marathon runner so Isaac didn’t quite know what he set himself up for. But…he made it about 8 or 9 mins before their 1st run/walk began. Harv estimates they did about 2.5 miles in total.

The girls came up early so we had lots of time to play before school. Harv served me a wonderful fresh cut pineapple to start the day.

Since Harv only brought a carry on - so we could get more supplies here without paying for incremental baggage, it was time for him to learn the art of washing clothes in a bucket. Esther, Anastcia and Mary Rose were all too happy to show him the ropes!

Harv went to check out the school room and found Alice and Kayitesi practicing their keyboard by typing some real letters. Yah, we were blown away. v School began with a recap of yesterday’s lesson. We talked about the planets and stars and what they are made of. Planets being dirt/soil and stars gas. We realized their only understanding of gas was for the van so the only obvious explanation was well…you know…passing gas. Harv and I looked at each other and he gently eased into the subject and of course they all laughed and laughed. Eventually the new running joke is if someone smells bad or passes gas we say “hey…is there a star here?”

Then we wanted to teach a lesson about how to be respectful of things, people etc. Harv, being the creative one (good cop) decided that he would participate in class as the disrespectful one while I (bad cop) tried to teach the class and had to keeping pointing out “Harv…what are you doing?” Then he would explain. Then I would ask “is that being respectful” and he would eventually say no and say “I’m sorry” then the kids or class would say “thank you for saying I am sorry”. It went on for over an hour. He stole pencils, sat in other people’s chairs, ratted out people, rocked back on his chair on 2 of the 4 legs, copied peoples work…generally a mischievous soul. After the 2nd time, the kids would laugh and laugh at him but they got the message each and every time. Brilliant! At the end, I called him to the front of the class and asked how many people thought he was being “a great actor to help us learn” and how many thought he was just a ‘disrespectful person’? All but 2 went for the actor…and the hold outs were simply having fun with him.

The last lesson was to divide the kids into two groups. One for more keyboard lessons and the other for photography lessons. Both were terrific.

We agreed to spend the afternoon down and the 2nd and 3rd homes so we could spend more time with the little kids. The best part was Eddy and Eric Mbanda came to play with us and it was one of the best times I have EVER had with the kids. WE NEED MORE GOOD QUALITY MEN TO COME PLAY WITH OUR KIDS. Harv and the Mbanda boys played a wickedly fun game of bean bag toss. It went on and on and they taught them cheering, how to distract the opponent by standing and waving, but not getting in the way. Eddy set up kids to be managers. Eric lead the event and Harv did what Harv does... Entertain, teach, cheer and love these kids. These 3 guys made such a difference today. We even got the Auntie and Uncles involved.

Then Eric who is a 2 time black belt with some gymnastics experience showed them great moves and tried to help the kids do back flips etc etc. Our driver John did a back flip solo and also jumped into the air and did the splits. Esther the ever flexible one jumped up and tried to do the same thing…but she came down in the straddle position and simply laid there for a while. She eventually got up and walked away. We went to see if she was crying but she said she was ok. I think she found a few more muscles etc that they didn’t know she had. ☺. We’ll be on the look out tomorrow to see if she is sore! Harv and Eddy then through a dance party that had me in tears. Harv doing Salsa dancing and various pair dances and Eddy…well…being Eddy.... He taught them the robot and a fun little number where they clapped and sang “no music, no music” which made music and nice to beat get their groove things going.

Of course the girls had to show them the Macarena. The 3 guys were very impressed.

Even with 4 of us here there still isn’t enough arms to go around as each child loves to be held, talked to, played with etc etc

Eric taught Grace and Alice an impressive card trick. Etc Etc.

Harv remains fried. He hasn’t slept well and goes hard all day long and into the evening. He also learned that someone he knew well- in fact had lunch with him 2 weeks ago died last night so it was another reason for his sleeplessness. Despite it all- he gives 150%. I initially thought that his presence would be awesome for the boys, but instead he has blessed all the kids in a big way. From the tiniest 2 year old to the 12 year old girls and boys. The look on the kids faces when he enters the room is something you have to really see to treasure.

He caught a quick nap at the end of the evening of play which seemed to give him one more blast of power.

The 4 of us and our driver ended the night at Mr Chips…the yummy burger and fry place that Abby took me to a few days ago. Our driver had never tasted a burger to we insisted he tried and celebrated his experience.

Harv and I set out for the long walk home. As we were crossing the street a motor bike and car gently collided about 2 feet in front of Harv. The car had a little damage, but the motorbike continued on as did we. Our driver spotted us along the road and picked us up for the final leg.

All in all. A beautiful simply but highly powerful day.

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