As far as I could tell, the christening of baby Lesego and the consequential party that followed went off without a hitch. Everyone was full, drunk, and happy, and Lesego looked like a dapper young gentleman in a white silk suit with a bowtie. Sorry Oshkosh, babies have to flaunt it here in Africa! I used the joyous occasion as a reason to break out my video camera for the first time in-country and am now working on editing it all together into a DVD for my family to keep and inevitably show to house guests for years to come. It was so much fun for me to do, and will also help me remember the experience after I leave this place in one years time. My how time flies!
|Panel of Speakers at World AIDS Day Event|
|Male Condom Demo|
|Female Condom Demo|
|Condom Time Bomb|
Most of the small children who I have become incredibly fond of during my stay here would be participating in the ceremony, and I gladly offered my services as “official photographer” of the event.
The ceremony was beautiful. All of the children were dressed in their finest as they ran around the drop-in center in their newly done hair and pressed black graduation robes. Cute doesn’t even begin to describe how precious these kids were. After the learners received their diplomas and finished showing us their complete knowledge of stop light colors/meanings, shapes, animals, and vowels, they were presented with brand new yellow and red uniforms that would mark them as learners of Mmeshi. “They’re not your kids Alyssa” I kept on having to remind myself. “Calm down, they’re not your kids”.
In complete disregard of my mantra however, I found my heart fluttering with pride as the children I’d spent some part of almost every day with since my arrival grow up before my eyes in a flurry of yellow and red. It’s official. I’m doomed as a ‘cool’ parent. Not a chance.
This concludes Part I of my four-month saga. Stay tuned for the Drakensburgs, Ballito, Christmas in Machipe, and NYE in Cape Town!