Day 35 – Lifted spirits
I wanted to learn to knit this morning. Clearly it’s not for everyone. Latisha, one of the senior figures at Lief en Leed, first attempted to teach me. I don’t know why, but I just couldn’t pick it up. She then asked one of the wheelchair-bound women to assist me. A master of the art, she certainly knew what she was doing. I watched and tried, watched, watched and tried. By 11am, I’d successfully learnt how to observe someone knitting.
The weekly meeting was of length, but consisted of a much needed motivational and somewhat emotional speech from Aunty Hilda. “I eliminate negative people from my life because I do not have the time or energy to deal with them. But if you plant a seed, maybe in 5 years you’ll make a difference to that person…It’s not me, it’s God giving us the means.” She told us of how so many volunteers had had an impact on the people here, whether it is teaching the children to speak better English or the guitar, or being involved in the beginnings of projects which are still running today like the veg. gardens and dance group. What affected me most, however, was the way in which she spoke of love. “I have so much love to give to each person who walks through my door. I’ve been given an abundance of love…if someone doesn’t want that love, if I can’t share that love I’ll share tough luck!” We were reminded of the short time we have left, and how important it is to motivate ourselves to continually give it our all.
As I said to a fellow volunteer on the way home, “Kid’s always lift your spirits.” The holiday programme consisted of a lot of running around with children playing variations of football, rugby, piggy in the middle and some wrestling of sorts. I know I’ll miss the bright smiles and undying enthusiasm. I don’t fear playing with the children here. “Will you be back tomorrow?” one eagerly asks as we leave. We will, I reassure him, offering the handshake I taught him one last time.
The good weather must be compensated for, and the long walk back was through a continuous downpour. There’s something so beautiful about the rain. Its sound, and the silence it brings. The way it runs along the sides of the roads, causing them to glisten and shine. I got home in a ridiculously clammy state, enjoying a warm shower whilst my host-mum made me a cup of tea. I couldn’t possibly ask for more.