Sunday, 18 September 2016

Plastic bag soccer balls

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

I woke up this morning around 9am, quite the sleep in, compared to the other days I've been here. I got ready and wandered around town once again. I found the Post office, where I sent family post cards, I visited a few book stores and purchased some Sesotho psalm books. As I returned, I stopped to watch the primary school sing and dance. They were singing the "One day, one day" song. It's a very fun song to sing and to see, the kids really get into it! It was a great start to the day.

video

Andy arrived and we drove to visit the Positively Empowered Artisans craft workshop. These are three women who are all HIV+, who are working hard to create beautiful jewellery and handmade crafts to support themselves. One of the women has a little girl, and Andy told me that the little girl is not HIV+, so mom is taking her ARVs properly and they are working! 






We purchase our beads and jewellery from the Positively Empowered Artisans to create the incredible recycled jewellery for our Women to Women event. We use broken jewellery and recreate one of a kind pieces with the beads from these amazing women. They take each small wooden bead and cover it in fabric to create the gorgeous pieces.



We then hopped in Andy's car and drove to Makhoroana, a Foster Home in the "low lands", with beautiful mountains. When we arrived we were greeted by Tebong. Tebong is the son of our late Foster Mom Annah, and he looks remarkably like his mother. Although I never had the pleasure of meeting his mom, from photos, I could tell right away that he was her son. Tebong supports the chicken layers that Makhoroana runs as an income generating program. There are 220 chickens that lay eggs and support the Foster Home with the funds generated from them. If we could get the Foster Home closer to 500 chickens, the home could fully sustain itself, which of course, is the ultimate goal, sustainability. Tebong does a wonderful job with the chickens, ensuring they are well cared for and properly fed and hydrated.



As the children were not home yet, we talked with Tebong and he offered to take us up the mountain for a better view of the village. We of course said yes! It was a beautiful little hike with the sun shining and not a cloud in the sky. We wandered through paths, past cows and beautiful flowers. We even got to see the mountains with snow still on them! Lesotho experiences seasons the opposite to Canada, so they were just coming out of their winter, entering spring. All the way up and down the hill I stopped to pick up crystal quartz. It was just like pebbles here, the quartz was all over the mountainside. I love crystals and it was amazing to get to collect quartz on the side of a mountain, to bring home a little piece of Lesotho.







On our way down the hill, we caught site of a cow with a tie on it for a good laugh.


We arrived back at the home and the children began to arrive. This home has five children: Refuoe 19, Lerato 18, Puseletso 13, Karabelo 8 and Hlompho 10, with mother 'Me Maleluma. 

Refuoe was the first foster child we met. She is out of school, at the age of 19. She has a developmental delay and scoliosis. She is full of laughter and was very excited to meet us. She greeted us with a great big smile. She was shy at first, but warmed up to us quickly. It is difficult to know what the future will bring for Refuoe, whether we can find work for her and if she will ever leave the Foster Home. Thankfully, she is quite content at the home.


As the smaller children began to show up, 'Me Maleluma directed them to do their school uniform washing. This Foster Mother ensures that the kids complete chores to learn discipline and hard work. They came home, changed into street clothing and got washing.


Once the washing was complete, they got right to playing soccer. At this home, the ball was not like a regular soccer ball. It was made of wrapped plastic bags, one on top of another, and boy, did they kick it! Puseletso, Karabelo, Hlompho and a neighbour friend ran up and down the backyard, running as fast as their legs could take them to get one more goal against the others. After a while of them playing on their own, Brad and I joined in. We passed, kicked, and scored! 




Eventually Lerato arrived home from school and changed out of her school uniform, which she was very proud to show off to me.

Samuel also arrived at the home, and they joined in with us to play soccer for what felt like hours. We ran, laughed, cheered. We had our own World Cup in the backyard that day. I don't have many photos from that day, as rather than take photos of the kids playing, we decided to jump in and play with them. The plastic bag soccer ball continued to unravel as we played, but luckily we had several extra plastic bags in Andy's car that the kids were thrilled to use.

Before we left, we high-fived all of the kids for an awesome game of competitive soccer. I must say, I was out of breath, to which I used the excuse that we were very high in elevation. I had told one of the elder committee members about how much I loved the crystal quartz. When we arrived back from our hike up the mountain, he found a piece of quartz bigger than my palm for me to take home. It was incredible to see the sparkling piece, and I was so thrilled to have that piece of Lesotho.

It was a great day today hiking up the mountain and playing soccer with a plastic bag soccer ball. It was fun to jump into the lives of the kids after school and enjoy some pure play time. 

I have now been away from home for eight days, and I am truly sad to know that the trip is half over. It feels like it just began. Although I miss my husband, family and friends dearly, I could see myself setting down roots here and living out the rest of my days playing plastic bag soccer on the side of a crystal quartz filled mountain.

Until tomorrow...



If you would like more information about our Foster Children and about Bracelet of Hope, or would like to have me speak at your church, school or business, please visit www.braceletofhope.ca or contact me at ccoghlan@braceletofhope.ca.







2 comments:

  1. your photos & descriptive narration of your journey there is awesome Candice! i have to go back a few days & catch up but love it...takes me there:)

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