Holiday Club is to South Africa what Vacation Bible School is the United States. It’s a bunch of teenage leaders, tons of kids, singing, crazy motions, Bible stories and a little food. That is where the similarities end. When we arrived this morning, there were maybe 10 kids in the big blue and red tent. There was also ear splitting music blasting outside the tent to draw the other kids to Holiday Club. It was deafening. So we are now in the tent and some kids are tossing soccer balls back and forth and some are playing soccer in the tent. They are no longer allowed to take the soccer balls outside because yesterday 4 of them popped on the razor wire surrounding the property. I can’t think of any VBS programs that I’ve ever been to that have had razor wire around them, can you? Tyson was immediately brought under the loving care of Isaac and Koketso, whom he had met yesterday. They really were so sweet. They just wanted to be by Tyson the whole time we were there. Jori did not join in the fun as quickly as Tyson did. In fact she was clinging to my leg at first and I had to keep prying her off and “encouraging” her to go play. She did start throwing a ball around with some of the other kids and was ok for a while.
Around 10, quite a few more kids had shown up. The pastor, who we did not see yesterday, was there this morning and he was dancing with some kids in a circle, so I kind of forced Jori to join them, but I stayed right next to her. Then I made her go in front of me, which she was not happy about. She was even less thrilled when someone chose her to dance in the middle of the circle and pulled her in to the center. Poor Jori. Right around then, it was time for Holiday Club to start, so she got over it pretty quickly. The people running the show, who were young adults from the church, opened the day with “exercise”. It was more like dancing, which is so not my thing. Just imagine Darin and I trying to follow a group of very energetic, very agile black South African teens. I am sure we looked just great, but we kept at it. I actually could do some of the moves because I had learned them on “Just Dance” for the Wii. Thanks for letting us borrow that Louzons. If you ever want to visit us, practice up on Katy Perry’s Hot/Cold song first : )
After “exercising” we sang some more traditional VBS songs. Jori was really getting into it. She LOVES to sing songs that have motions with them, so I was so happy to see her participating. Tyson was pretty tired out after the exercising, so he kept sitting down, but then his little entourage would also sit down, so we had to keep prodding him to stand up because we wanted to make sure the other kids were participating in the program. After the singing, it was time for the Bible story. They divided the kids up 7 and under in one group (which included several 2 year olds who had come along with their siblings) and 8 and older in another group. Everyone stayed in the tent, and the older group was SO loud, so it was hard for the little ones to listen to the story of Joshua and the battle of Jericho, but they actually did seem to know the answers to a lot of questions. Then our group (7 and under) was split into smaller groups and guess who was in charge of one of these groups? Me again. And guess what, I don’t speak Tswana so I was not a very good group leader. I was supposed to ask the kids questions like their name and age, but some just stared, some laughed, some didn’t even know that info once my “interpreter” came to help me. We ended up playing “hand games” including one where you got to shoot people dead. Lovely. My group was all boys and Jori, so they all seemed to enjoy it : )
Then it was time for a bathroom break. I took my group of boys out to the 2 bathrooms that were outside. The boys then lined up outside of these bathrooms and peed in the weeds. Much more efficient than waiting for the line of girls! After the bathroom break, we went back inside and all the little kids lined up to wash their hands in the washtub. I had the one drying towel, so I dried their hands, then they sat in rows. It was lunch time. Yesterday they had jam sandwiches. Today they had pap, which is a cornmeal that can be made into a number of different things. Today it was kind of porridge with sour milk on top. Yes, sour milk, on purpose. Soon after the lunch was passed out, we took our kids and headed home. They were starting to get antsy and hungry and we knew sour milk porridge was not going to be their thing.
We headed home and Darin and Tyson had “ramen” noodles, and Jori and I had toast. We also had a bag of chips and some other random things. This was the second day in a row that it was NOT sunny, so our house was pretty cold. We did a couple loads of laundry because the basket was getting pretty full. Darin headed next door to check out a house that might be for rent long term. Then he came back home and headed out again to go get some groceries. He was going to take one of the kids along, but they were playing SO nicely upstairs. Like truly, they were just getting along so well. Even after Darin got home they kept playing together and laughing and having such a great time. They were playing doctor, house, and babies and then they started playing “Holiday Club”. They were singing songs and Jori kept saying “kids, get in a circle”. They were also praying together, which was so sweet.
While they were busy playing, Darin and I were making banana muffins. Thanks for the recipe Chanell! They are so good! Then because they were still playing so well, we started making dinner. Darin bought mince while he was out shopping. Mince is also known as ground beef : ) We were going to have spaghetti carbonara again tonight, but when Darin got home with the mince, we decided to make taco meat with some seasoning we’d brought from home. It was delish! We even put onions in with the meat because after having it that way at DiCocco’s, Darin realized he liked the taste! So we had mince with taco seasoning and ate it with cheddar cheese and Sweet Chili Fritos. Yum. Tyson and I actually had Taco Salad. So good. Even Jori, the pickiest eater ever liked the taco meat and chips. So hooray for a successful dinner!
After dinner, Darin realized the sky was looking a bit dark. He went out to lock the gate and take down our not quite dry laundry because it was looking like rain. I heard him and Tyson yelling about the wind, so I went out to help get the laundry. The herd of blesbok that had walked peacefully past our open gate during dinner was now running through the field where we were taking our laundry down. Pretty amazing to be doing a boring domestic chore like laundry and have a herd of wild animals running past!
Now the kids are watching Ice Age 3 and enjoying some popcorn their dear daddy made. I am getting ready to have another cup of tea and maybe some Biscoff cookies!! (Thanks again Michelle!) Thanking God for a good day.