A fun time at the orphanage.

The weekend trundled by at its usual pace. When I m in charge I shall give everyone a three day weekend. Saturday brought with it a craft fair at the local International School at which I manned a table of crafts that we’d made to raise money for the orphanage. I say ‘we’, actually I just sell them. The talented ladies and gent (a tailor by trade) on my compound make all the items ranging from bags to angel Christmas decorations made from beer cans. My crafting capabilities are a work in progress. I m still trying to finish my Christmas tree ‘skirt’ that we all began in the Spring as a group craft project. So far I have managed to get someone else to cut out all the pieces and then I folded it up and put it on my ‘to do’ shelf. I m confident that it will be sitting under the tree by Christmas 2016. I have also made, with considerable assistance, a handbag and a ‘sleeve’ for holding plastic bags, both of which are, surprisingly, still intact and fully functional. I ve been advised that, unless I want to risk a serious wardrobe malfunction, I should probably avoid making my own clothing.

A local convention centre hosted our company Christmas party on Saturday night. Its one of those places where, once you’re inside, you wouldn’t know that you’re in a country where most of the population of Luanda live in slums. We ate and drank and watched African dancers and musicians do their thing. I had carelessly sat very close to these African dancers and was one of the volunteers (victims) selected to join them. Four inch heels, a full stomach and Spanx that started at the knee and went all the way to my armpits are not conducive to ‘total body articulation’. I gave it my best shot (hopefully no one filmed it).

Sunday was very lazy (mostly due to the rum-based banana beverage which the waiters were keen on giving me the night before).

Monday means orphanage day. I led todays class on telling time. We ve bought them all watches for Christmas so learning about time is a top priority. Out of 20 kids, 5 of them fell asleep during most of the class. They all sleep in dormitories of maybe 30 children so I expect some of them must have been keeping the others awake. I needed to pee when I got there. In an orphanage of 70/80 kids you can imagine how 6 toilets end up (and 2 of those weren’t working). There is no flush so you have to poor buckets of water down them instead. Having spent much time in developing counties, and on aeroplanes, I have perfected the ‘hover’ whereby I don’t have any contact with the seat. Halfway through I realised that I had a little audience and no cubicle door to hide behind (note to self – must remember to go ‘nil by mouth’ in preceding 2 hours to orphanage visit). I expect the children are now talking about how white women don’t pee the same way that everyone else does.

The children were in a state of high excitement as they will be having their Christmas party on Saturday and we will be attending. Carlitos (one of the kids I sponsor) asked if I would be bringing lots of gifts. He’s a hugger and today, between hugs, he busied himself by placing cartoon stickers on my feet. Him and his little brother, Mingo, have been here for a year. I don’t know their back-story but I do know it for some of the other children. There are a pair of sisters who were thrown out of their home after being accused of witchcraft. Another little boy recently arrived with two broken arms, broken by his stepmother. Unsurprisingly, a lot of them have psychological problems. The key for their future is education. Most of the children’s schooling is paid for by expats. The generosity of some of the expats here warms my heart.

Its Monday, its almost 8.30 which means bedtime. Night night…..

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