Saturday, June 7, 2008

Jumping right in

Upon arrival in Rundu, we immediately headed to the Orphans and Vulnerable Children project (OVC), an after-school activity and meal program on Tuesday and Friday afternoons. The program starts at about 2pm when the kids wander over from the bushed beyond. The kids play games, sing songs and hear stories, then eat a hot meal (likely their only protein of the week) before dispersing around 5:30pm when the sun is setting. You will hear us mention much more about the project as we will both be significantly involved in it while we are here.

However, the day we arrived was extraordinary. We were blessed to participate in a huge clothing and gift give-away which had been organized by some of the other short term missionary families working at the project. There are about 200 kids in the program and each one went away with one warm sweater/top (as winter is almost here), one miscellaneous item such as a T-shirt, hat, pair of shoes, or underwear, and then a whole slew of crayons, pencils, a toothbrush and a pack of toothpaste along with other random things. What fun! The process had to be strictly controlled to eliminate chaos and ensure fairness, so we accompanied each of the kids one at a time as they made their selections. At the end all the local volunteers for the project were also given presents and you should have seen their faces!! We were inspired by the hard work and energy put in by the missionaries and volunteers here. What a great way to start.

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