Wednesday, December 24, 2008

§ Merry Christmas §

Merry Christmas!! Well almost. I figured I am probably not going to have a chance to get to a computer tomorrow but I hope that everyone has a wonderful Christmas. And of course also Happy Birthday Courtney!
On Monday at the SOS we had a Christmas Party where a ton of kids and family members came (I think over a hundred) and we had a big lunch (Rice with everything in it..), than there was some dancing (over an hour of a bit much for my liking but it was still enjoyable) and a short play by the boys who live here and than we handed out presents...

The handing out of presents was about the craziest thing I have ever seen. We had picked out clothes for most of the kids who come here and they were all labled and ready to go, so that was good. What happend though is the room that we had stored all of these presents was mobbed by the group of kids (see picture), so while they were outside the door it was complete and total chaos. Just picture all these kids (a lot of whom were not SOS kids but some how found out
about the event and snagged some lunch and were trying to get a present). It was confusing to say the least and Alissa and I were trying to help out (by the way my sister Alissa is here which is sooo exciting and we have been having a great time together), but it was just hard and I wasnºt sure if I was in the way or being helpful. So we finally kind of managed to give out the presents to all the SOS kids but than there were still all these kids (and some of there parents) asking for gifts. It was kind of hard because everyone was getting stressed out (it was already 5pm) and there were all these kids asking for thing (´´i want a car´´, ´´i want a doll´´, bla bla bla), it was nuts. In the end we ended up making our way through the mob and we took the remaining presents and put them in the office. I felt bad and it was hard when the kids are asking for things and you canºt give them something, but really the party was for the kids who come here, because they are (at least ideally) giving back to the SOS too, they arenºt just taking free handouts, they have to help out (as do their parents) in order to continue to be a beneficiary or the organization. While the end of the day was completly crazy to say the least, overall the day was quite good and it was nice to have a party for the kids and get everyone in the Christmas spirit.

While it is certainly hard and differernt to not be home for Christmas this year, I am so thankful to be here in Cape Verde and to be working at an organization that I really feel makes a difference in the lives of many children. Although there are definatly times when at work Iºm not sure if I am being useful, there are also times when I feel really good about it too and feel that while yes my kreolu isnºt great and it makes it hard to have a real conversation, when I have a kid come up to me a give me a hug, or when they see me and smile and say ´´hey how are you Cathryn´´, it just really makes me smile. So this Christmas I thank my family and friends for being so supportive, because this is definatly a journey that would be difficult to do without being in their prayers. And for the new year I hope that I can improve my language skills so that I can hopefully get to do more in my community and at the SOS. Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!!


Anonymous said...

Bonjour Catherine,

Je vois que tout va bien pour toi et que tu faits de grandes choses là bas. Tous nous t'admirons très très fort! J'ai vu que tu avais déjà commencé à fêter Noël. Nous nous préparons à passer le réveillon à quatre.
On pense à toi. Joyeux Noël de la part des Corman


adam carter said...

my Name is adam carter with 100 Friends Org. i am a micro philathropist from chicago. i am in West Africa to assist local NGOs. I am in Mali now but will be on the islands in february. I would like to contact the peace corps office there in Praia as i may be able to visit and or help some volunteers whilme there. Can you pass me the office email please? WHo would be best to speak with? Thanks