More to the point, about a craft/activity afternoon I led with a group of local children where we all made bunting.
And paper moustaches on sticks, but that comes later.
As does the bunting I'm afraid. For now I'll have to leave you hanging like the paper flags on the wall. (Geddit? No? Okay.)
I'll attempt to stop writing like such a twerp now, and move on to something more serious and hopefully semi-coherent.
But before any of that, a picture of the Project's ducklings to put you all in a pleasant frame of mind:
My time so far in the Dominican Republic (a whole month already) has already taught me a lot.
Not so much about 'me' - although that one is being muddled through too, and a key lesson there is about the use of the pronoun;
It shouldn't be about 'me' at all - society's built on the mindset of 'me' and 'what can I get?' and 'what's in it for me?' or 'why should I?' and in my humble, sorely uneducated and unauthoritative opinion that's where a lot of the worlds problems lie... we're all too bothered about ourselves and what we can gain, often at the expense of others.
And if we maybe started looking outwards even just a little bit more, and treating others in the way that we think we deserve, then perhaps there wouldn't be such a great imbalance between the rich and the poor, the child that gets an education and the child that has to beg on the street, the woman that fears the birth of a child could kill her and the woman in the private suite complete with jacuzzi bath and classical music.
But, don't take my word for it obviously. Take God's.
They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.
1 Timothy 18-19 (ESV)Now, I know that many of you will be reading this and will have inwardly cringed at the mention of God, and the whole quoting-the-bible-at-you deal. But honestly, cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye (please don't) a relationship with God; a free forever, open, unlimited data streaming, and no loss of signal contact ever, contract with Him?
Best. Thing. Ever.
It doesn't matter who you are or what you've done up until this point in your life. In fact, that's what has shaped you and made you, and God loves every ugly, shameful, keep it in the dark and don't feed it after midnight part of you... but if you open up to Him and let Him do his thing in your life, you get a new start and a chance to be the person you've always dreamed of, with a whole heavenly support team behind you all the way, screaming and yelling and fist pumping for you to keep going, cheering every time you do something different, a little bit less about you and more about others, and fully prepared to give you a spiritual hug and a whispered 'we'll do it better next time, together' when you don't quite reach the mark.
Because the Three-In-One-in-You is infinitely better than having to go it alone.
And the Three-In-One-in-Me, I can assure you, is exponentially better than me, myself and I.
I'll stop writing in never ending run-on sentences and confusing combinations now, and get back on topic.
And for a second, I'd appreciate it if you removed your view from whatever screen you're reading from, and took a look around you.
Does your view look anything like this?
Now, it's not a great picture, but it's enough to get an idea. Corrugated iron sheets, wooden boards and breeze blocks cobbled together to resemble a house. This isn't a rare thing over here. Last week, we went to visit a woman named Yolanda, who had just given birth to her second son, Justin. We went to donate some clothes for her older son, and some that she could sell on (she sells second hand clothes to make a living), and to check on how she's doing after giving birth again.
Her Caesarean isn't healing properly, and she's at risk of a serious infection if it carries on as it is. They think the six week old baby has some kind of parasite in his digestive system.
There's no such thing as the NHS here. Good healthcare is expensive, and the public hospitals are often rudimentary at best. Yolanda and her two children live in a 2 Bedroom wooden shack which she shares with her Mother. They still cook over an open fire in a tin bucket inside, and live in an overcrowded area which is currently doubling as an insecure building site.
And yet Yolanda is bubbly, and generous, and so grateful for what she has got. Her two sons are absolutely beautiful, she was kind, hospitable and so happy to see us.
I don't know about you, but it made me think.
|Yolanda with Gabriel, and me, hogging the baby.|
The Project has the facility to take these kids in, and give them a loving, safe, supportive home, but it doesn't have the regular sponsorship to take them in on a permanent basis. And that's just... naff.
So anyway, that's just an example of how this experience is opening my eyes, and showing how much exactly I have to appreciate, and teaching me how much I have to give.
Relying on the premise that there are still people reading the post at this point, I'll move on to the aforemtioned bunting extravagansa now.
I am an ardent advocate of bunting and it's ability to make things look pretty - as well as being easy to make- so naturally I decided that it was the best activity to do with children who have never really had the chance to mess around with arts and crafts... it's just not something that's on the agenda here.
However, and luckily (?) for all involved, making stuff is always pretty high on my list of things to-do, especially things to-do with kids when there's too much garden for them to dissappear into during hide and seek.
When the kids were first introduced to the glue, paper, sequins, foam bits and pens, they were a little wary. They started slow, and hesitantly; dutifully applying bits to the triangles of paper when suggested. Then the dam broke, especially for this little boy, whose name I cannot attempt to spell correctly, but is pronounced 'yor-yo'
Well, I could attempt to spell it correctly, but it would probably be wrong. Anyway, once he got started he was a bunting making machine. And the others all followed suit too.
And now, to ease the pain on your eyes from all the words, I give you pictures:
And contrary to the expression on the little girls faces, they were having a great time. They just didn't appreciate my sneakiness with the camera.
So, by the end of the day all of the kids had made their own lengths of truly impressive bunting, and had managed to knot themselves in it before being untangled and walked home.
The highlight of my day was watching them run up to their parents and show them what they'd made. It was pure brilliance.
Oh, and of course the paper moustaches. The fact that they all went home holding them to their noses was hilarious.
|I'd just like to take this time to say it was windy and I had PVA Glue in my hair. |
Also, in honour of the moustaches, Huzzah.
If you've got to this point, thanks for sticking with it. And for that, I leave you with lots of love.
God Bless x