As you all know, Canada Day fell on a Tuesday which also happens to be OVC project day, so the inspiration came to have a Canada Day celebration! Thankfully our American and Australian volunteers were fully on board.
The afternoon began with face/arm painting, which was a huge hit. The kids sure showed their enthusiasm as they crowded us painters in like a mob as they don’t have a keen sense of patience and order. It was hard to stay calm while being shoved and pushed from every direction, but the kids were all smiles which is why we do it. While the girls were busy painting, Daryl was busy organizing relay races with the kids. Again, although slightly chaotic, kids of all ages were having a blast.
During the program time, Daryl and I gave some history of Canada. Namibia is a very young country with only 18 years of Independence so to hear that Canada was over 140 years old was very impressive. We then taught them the National anthem and they loved it! We gave all the volunteers some confetti so when we were done singing they threw it up in the air over their heads in celebration. We did a pop quiz toward the end of the program, and gave out some great prizes.
Now as any proud Canadian does, we brought some Canada paraphernalia such as pencils, pens, stickers with us (some were also parting gifts from friends - thank you!). As we pulled out our stuff we realized that we didn’t have enough for all 200 kids. Giving gifts at the project in the past has been a bit of a nightmare because the kids don’t have a very good concept of sharing and if you give to one and not another fights break out. BUT, a few days before we found a whole bunch of similar items like, Canada pins, stickers and pencils that had been left behind by past Canadians! So we made little gift packs for each kid that contained Canada stuff and candy to give out just before they got their meal. Days later we still found kids sporting all their Canada gear.
It was a very encouraging day for us to see the kids so happy and having such fun. It reminds us that all the hard work is worth it.