After having visited the Bethesda centre in Soweto, the older children of Bethany centre next door had felt left out, so we had promised to return.
As often happens in Africa, all of our carefully laid plans and meeting times were strewn about in the winds of TIA and we were hopelessly behind on our almost European schedule…but, everything always works out in the end!
After buying jump-ropes and footballs as well as oranges we set out into the impossible Saturday afternoon traffic.
We arrived in two cars, about 15 minutes apart, I guess Mama Rose knew a secret way to get around as we arrived first!
This was a new orphanage, but, as it is connected to Bethesda house, most of the children we had already seen were there as well.
They were all standing in a circle, singing and beating drums, all fully concentrated and involved. They hardly noticed us until I got out of Mama Rose’s car.
What happened next was amazing!
All of the children from Bethesda house came running up to me, showing me the progress they had made since our visit and asking me to show them the little hand and mime tricks I had so entertained them with!
I felt like their long-lost brother coming home…what a feeling!
This was the first time we got to experience this recognition and open welcome as we have not had the opportunity to return to the centres we have visited.
When Jordi, David and Gareth arrived, they were so happy that they did not even let them drive in!
They finally calmed down and let them out of the car, laughs abounding.
We still wanted to play football with the older children and make them smile as well, so we gave oranges to all to calm them down and then began to play with the older kids, 12 to 18, with some of our new friends joining in, others making music, the girls jumping rope or cheering with the Vuvuzelas, dressed in Bafana gear.
It was a real football party full of smiles!
Once again, thank you to Ash and all of his friends for making magic!
Cape Town next!