Tuesday, November 24, 2009

TOGETHER WE CAN, or... better than slice bread

Hi everyone,

Its almost Thanksgiving... that's hard to remember for me cause it's getting so hot. So the big HIV/Aids outreach event happened... It was Nov. 7th. There was soccer,an art and drama competition. Hundreds of kids showed up, 7 other pcv's came to help,a bunch of people from my NGO Lesotho Durham Link came and helped...it was crazy... in a good way!!!! Will post pics within a few weeks (i hope)Here's how it went:

10:00am: I met my Peer promoters in TY for the final shopping of food and supplies. One business didn't come through on the soccer balls we promised to schools. They did have the pumps, but with no needles. The Peer promoters dealt with most of it and kept me from screaming... or something worse.

2pm: Ntate Martin, a trainer from LDL came in a truck, helping us to transport everything to Ha Mohtlane, including stopping to pick up the tents we rented. Martin is an angel

3pm:Meeting supposed to start with 20 Peer educators who are volunteering to help. No one here.

3:30 ....no one here

3:45. 12 peer educators here. Peer promoters run the meeting, assign jobs, reimburse transport.... Peer promoters rock!!!

4:30. Youth walk down to the soccer pitch to line it and divide it up into 4 fields. Peer promoters and educators rock!!!

4:30-6. PCV's come and start helping to prep for next day. 590 loaves of bread were delivered to Ha Mohatlane for lunch for the kids at the event. Their were clear directions (in sesotho) to bring sliced loaves of bread. 200 loaves are unsliced.

7:00: Spaghetti dinner served to peer promoters and PCV's. The pasta got forgotten while cooking and was one lump.. (...Oscar...) But, sauce that Oz made was so good, and we were so hungry, it all go eaten

8-12:30 Lunches for kids prepped. Hours and hours spent slicing 200 loaves of bread.. only one bread knife

12:30. All PCV's plead exhaustion and go to bed. Bread not finished being sliced. Everyone still joking... for now

11/07/09 4:30 am. I lay in my sleeping bag listening to a torrential downpour. REALLY? Give me a break... thinking about crying and hiding in my sleeping bag. Maybe no one will see me

5:30. Serve breakfast to all. Everyone says "don't worry, the rain will stop" Im not sure. I stand outside in the rain looking. The sky is one solid mass of grey/black.

6:00 Rain stops.

7:00 Martin shows up and we move tables chairs, tents, art supplies.... out to the pitch. Everything sets up quickly...

8:00 All schools supposed to be here to register...

815 First school shows up

8:45 Rest of the schools show up. Registration is a nightmare. Kids coming from every direction. If it weren't for Oscar, Elizabeth and Teboho.... trying to decide if I can still hide in my sleeping bag

9:00 Event supposed to start

10:00 Event starts. We have a dj (thanks Martin) sound equipment... people pouring in.
10:15-1. Soccer tournament (5 on 5) and art competition get under ways. Kids play really hard (barefooted, hurts my feet to watch) Art competition going well... kids love to do art

10:30: A bunch of people go back to the house to finish lunch and slicing the damn bread. Thank goodness it wasn't me. Thanks Teboho!!

11:00 Face painting breaks out near the art tent. I was sat down and an elaborate, multicolored "disco" is painted on my face. Appropriate, cause anyone who knows me knows my passion for dancing!!!!

1230-130 Lunch. We fed the participants. They loved that. A lot of little primary school kids lined up looking sad, skinny and hungry hoping we had extras. This was the worst moment for me Ive had in many months. If it had been up to me, I would've given them all the food, and the participants who hadn't eaten yet would have found nothing. Thanks Teboho

2:00 The wonderful Masotho man who was conducting the free testing and counseling left. He ran out of supplies. The response for people getting tested was unusually overwhelming. Sometimes, people are afraid of being seen going into the tents..It was wonderful that so many tested.

2:00 Drama competition supposed to start.

3-430: Drama competition. Everyone stayed. The drama and art were all around the theme of how Hiv/Aids effects your community. The kids were all prepared and did a great job. So many people learned so much!

5:00 Event supposed to end

5:00-6: Awards given out (the kids were so excited over hearing their names and receiving certificates)Thank you's said from Lesotho Durham Link and the man representing the chief of the village.

6:00 PCV's with trash bags picked up all the trash on the field. Little kids running up to all of us with their little fists full of trash wanting to help

6-7:15 Tents broken down, everything moved back to the house

8:00 BRAII (b-b-que) Peer promoters and PCVs demolished 6 kilograms of chicken. Thanks Vic for cooking!!! (everyone knows that b-b-que is a guys job:))

9:00 All receipts collected from peer promoters

915: Taking advantage of a generator... watching John Grisham film

9:30 Everyone asleep in chairs, on the floor


8:00 People stagger up.. French toast and fruit for breakfast

11:00 Everyone goes home!!!

It was a good day, with some good (and I hope sustainable) results. A special thanks to PCV's Brice,Jackie, Andre, Karolina, Oscar, Vic and Sejake... thanks you guys, couldn't have done it without you!!. Thanks to David and Elizabeth, missionaries from England who came and worked so hard and kept me laughing. Thanks to Ntate Martin for....everything!!! Thanks to Oak Hills church for all of the art supplies. The kids were so happy!!!Thanks to Ntate Stephen and Lesotho Durham Link for all of their help and support. And especially, thanks to Polo, Masontaha, Teboho and Lebuse.... you guys did it!!! You planned it, ran it... it was beautiful and so are you!!!!.

Again, pics in a few weeks. Thanks everyone for all the support and prayers. Have a great Thanksgiving
Salang Hantle!


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