Today we had to say goodbye to our friends at Mtendere Village. But we wanted to do so in a big way.
We started off by attending the orphanage’s church service, which was held in the cafeteria. The church service included readings from the bible, singing, and a sermon. Today’s lesson was about how the words we speak can hurt others. This was a very good lesson for children of any age in any culture.
Following the church service, we prepared for our farewell activity: an egg hunt. Even though this type of activity is generally associated with Easter, the children enjoy it anytime. The children each came up to the main house that overlooks the orphanage to color their eggs with markers. Some of the designs drawn revealed the feelings of the children. One person’s egg depicted a Malawian flag and an American flag. It shows how the children view US citizens as partners, rather than outsiders.
After we hid the eggs all over the complex, the children came running in to find the eggs. Each child was allowed to find two eggs. Then, they came inside the cafeteria for a soda and a stick of sugar cane to finish off their snack.
What a treat for the children! Their daily diet usually only consists of nsima (a cornmeal porridge) and a relish made from greens. Eggs, soda, and sugar cane are a very special treat. This activity was a treat for us visitors as well. Providing such a special memory for the children is such a delight.
When our activity ended, it was finally time to say goodbye. It is amazing how quickly one can get attached. In just the past few days, we met over 100 children. You wouldn’t think such feelings could come from spending a short amount of time with so many kids. With promises to write, we gave our last hugs and piggy-back rides and waved goodbye.
Filed under: Kevin