Mum came online to chat yesterday to tell me some pretty amazing news: Sami and her had just spent the day in Soweto.
Rather than paraphrasing the conversation or summing it up in my own words, I've pasted it (removed the irrelevant stuff first) below for you to read. I don't say much as I was pretty busy. I was also quite lost for words. Anyway, here is an excerpt of the conversation:
Mum: Yello !!! You'll NEVER guess where Sami & I spent most of the day - SOWETO ...
Me: Wow!!! Have they got a new shopping mall?
Mum: Actually they have, but that's not why we were there. HRSSC has adopted a charity called COPES-SA (not to be confused with the new political party). They deal with abused kids, impoverished families, HIV awareness training, psychological councelling, assist the community to "plant a door" and thus be able to provide food for themselves, hand out food parcels to the poor folk and child headed families etc. We went through today to entertain and hold a Christmas party for 300 impoverished youngsters - from babies to teenagers. Took Sami along as I thought it would be a good lesson for her to see how the other half live and to actually see the "poor people" she's heard about. She was in her element in the thick of things helping to butter rolls for the hot-dogs, organizing games for the kids etc..... She didn't seem to realize that they are any different from herself ...
Me: Wow!! I'm impressed, with both of you. Nice one. I'd never have thought you'd have done something like that.
Mum: It was soooooo sad to see these little mites and in order to identify those who "belonged" to us, we had to tie ribbons on their wrists - shame it was heart-rending to see how many little stragglers came along, hoping for a hand-out ... The was one little chap of a year old who is scared of people coz he's been soooo abused, but he took to me and snuggled up and went blissfully to sleep in my arms. When we gave him his party pack with sweets and a toy panda, he was so overcome - he just kept kissing the panda ...
Me: Aaaah. How sweet. I bet he thought you were the best Gogo EVER!!!
Mum: and what do you know - I even played a few rounds of ring-a-ring-a-rosie, helped a cuppla little waifs in their running race to the bench and back - eish we came up with some pretty inspirational games, including making a choo-choo train with EVERYONE - the staff, kids, grannies (who brought along some of the kids as they have no parents), HRSSC staff etc +/- 400 of us trooping around the park in the middle of Soweto - whoda thunk it ? It was a truly AWESOME experience !!!!
Mum: Oh & we were all holding hands as we did the choo-choo thing !!!! The Protea Community Policing chaps were just sitting on one of the park benches watching :-)
Mum: Soz - have fat finger syndrome - am KNACKERED !!!!
Me: Wow!!! I'm really impressed. Think this deserves a blog post.
Mum: Peeps were taking pics - once they're up on the work website I'll let you have some. Can you just picture your old mother playing ring-a-ring-a rosie with a bunch of kids? Just goes to show the Lord works in mysterious ways .... Mind you I musta looked a bloomin sight !!!! This old fat grey haired tanie dashing around the park .... :-D
Mum: It was a truly uplifting experience and I was sooo touched at the hunger for affection these little mites showed, also the bigger ones, but they were more reserved. The littlies just wanted to hold someone's hand and for us to play WITH them .... Despite the fact that very few of us understood their language, somehow it didn't matter and we had no problems controlling them. Thought there may have been a problem herding them all back to COPE for the prezzies, but they just held the "leaders" (me included - we each adopted a group) and each others hands and trotted along obediently. We made a game of stopping at the curb to look left & right before crossing. Shame at one point, whilst still in the park, a group of 10/11 year olds broke into song and sang "Father Abraham" - I just sat nursing my "baby" with the tears pouring down my face !!!!
Mum: Shame - Sami's school fees alone would probably keep 10 families for a year !!!
Mum: Sam now wants a dolly in the form of a little brother - she sooooo wanted to bring this little chap home ....
Me: Heee hee.
Mum: Speaking of Sam, had better go & collect her - she's playing in the complex .... Maybe chat later .... Glad you're impressed with our "efforts". I wasn't going to go, but as I said, thought it would be a good learning tool for Sam & I must say I'm EXTREMELY glad I went and could bring a smile to a woebegone little face for a while - not to mention my little lamb, so trusting in my arms ....
Mum: On the other side of the coin, there were lads +/- 14/15 standing on the side of the road with a hopeless and "dead" look in their eyes, kwuffing booze at 09:00 - soooooooooooo SAD !!!! Any wonder there is sooo much violence in these areas - some of the kids have lost all hope and literally "fight" to exist from one day to the next, with NOTHING to aspire to..... Howz about you come "home" and with your GBP converted to rand, we could set up a pretty damn good "shelter" .... Without the NGO's like the one we were at today, there will be ZERO future for this country !!!!
Mum: You still haven't commented on what you see in your mind's eye of ya old Mum dashing around the Park in the middle of Soweto, playing games with the kids .... go on - HUMOUR me !!!!
Me: I already have. I'm very impressed.
Mum: Oh - are you speechless for once - checked back & all ya said was "Wow" - okay - guess that says it all...
I'm very very chuffed with Mum and Sam. I never thought Mum would be the one to do something like this and am very proud that she has. Nice one Mum. Now the whole world knows what a wonderful person you are. Keep it up.