Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas preparations and a parade in Mindelo

The week before Christmas at the SOS was a bit crazy. We got a good bit of donated clothes and present and I helped them sort, fold and wrap the presents. I must note how awesome it is that they handpicked clothes for over a 100 kids, literally went through the clothes and said ´´hm do you think that so and so would fit in this?´´. I thought it was really cool how much time and thought they all put into these gift (although the handing out of the gifts didnºt go as well as planned, and not every kid will get their gift before Christmas, it is the thought that counts after all). So the week was pretty busy, which was really nice and refreshing. It was really nice hanging out with the other people who work at the SOS and chatting and feeling like I was actually helping out. For a moment I almost felt like I was in the ´´in´´ crowd, they even invited me for coffee (a funny secretive thing they do, where they say to whoever isnºt in the kitchen that they are needed immediatly!! but really when you get in there is just coffee and food), so that was pretty sweet and I am starting to feel like I am fitting in a bit despite me still having some difficulty with the language, slowly but surely I feel like it will all work out.
While we were putting gifts together the kids helped decorate a float which included a 10 or more foot christmas tree made out of cardboard and decorated with recyled bottles (which was freaking awesome). The whole float came together so nicely (unfortunatly itºs raining today--which i am a bit confused about-- so itºs not looking so good).

On Saturday we had the parade. I showed up at the park where we were starting (about a 3 minute walk from my house) at 9:30 as told. I waited about 20 minutes before I started to realize that I would be there for a while. At 10:30 on Saturdays I teach an English class at a local organization that helps local boys whose families canºt provide for them (kind of similar to the SOS), so I decided that since I was waiting I should walk over there (like a 15minute walk) just to let them know that I probably wasnºt going to be able to make it that day to do the class. When I got there they were decorating for Christmas and were pretty understanding as to why I would not be able to make it, and it was nice to get to wish them all a Merry Christmas since I wonºt be seeing them again until after Christmas.
Well, than i headed back to the park, to shockingly (not really, lateness is slowly but surely growing on me and it doesnºt shock me when people are late, 2 hours in this case!) There was a small group of kids who had made it there with a sos mother and I hung out with them and we played some games and it allowed the time to pass a bit.
A good while later some of the people who work at the SOS showed up (asked and lauged about how long I had been there) and we walked around to get Santa hats (I opted out, as I feel I stick out enough and donºt really need a Santa hat to help me with that any more). On our way back (around 11:45) the float arrived and behind it a truck with about a hundred kids (definatly not something you could ever get away with in the states but not a bad method to herd children. All the kids got out and than the parade began... well sort of. The had a woman who was on the float, along with the boys who live here (12 of them) and some sort of dance but not really dance group that was following the float and than the mob of children and parents. Well the float started going pretty fast... Iºm not quite sure what the driver was thinking, but it was funny to watch as these dancers are trying to catch up and dance and other people were yelling at the driver to slow down. Finally the driver figured it out and the parade really started. We walked all around the city, handing out fliers to people walking that gave some more information about the SOS, I believe so that people will give donations and stuff which would be nice. Of course there were a few mishaps including driving into CV telecomºs wires, but one of the boys saved the day by pushing up the wire as they drove under it with a banner, and the speakers at the end failed and we ended up hanging out in one of the praças for a good hour and a half (Iºm not totally sure if the stop itself was on purpose). After waiting around for a good while, the truck returned and all the kids made their way on (no ladder, some good old boosting and jumping up (the pictures will explain this a lot better ).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Entertaining story there! Glad that you are made to feel more comfortable now. Thanks for sharing! MOM