A fun day out!
13th May 2017
When I was young there was a sign on Clacton pier that read “The happiest sound in all the world is that of children’s laughter” (is it still there?).
I have been listening to that sound all day. Peal after peal of laughter – and a good deal of it was my own. Let me explain.
Currently we are in school holidays and the Hossana Youth (Our family kids) have returned to Masaka from boarding at our school in Kasaka. We have been watching and observing. Sadly one of our girls (18yrs) has left her vocational course and is pregnant, and has chosen to leave us but the rest of the gang are doing extremely well. We can say with pride that there is not a nicer bunch in the land.
There is an exciting new venue in town which is a playground of about 1 acre which includes two bouncy castles.
This morning saw an overcrowded minibus set off for town with an excited bakers dozen of primary kids. When we arrived we divided the small kids between the older teens so that each teen was responsible for 3 or 4 mini-people. When we let them loose they scattered in every direction – first to the swings and slides then to the roundabouts. Now, think playground then remove every health and safety feature that you know of. These are very basic, locally made, robust and brightly coloured inviting pieces of kit. If you look carefully under the see-saw you notice a very large metal coil/spring which ends in a sharp spike. I winced as I imagined it going into a sandle-shod foot. Vehicles have to drive over the playground to park which gives the toddlers on their training-wheeled bikes ample practice in negotiating traffic.
There was a -delight of delights- a large mechanical panda which gave rides, and a mini electric roundabout for toddlers too. Imagine children who have never been down a slide whooping with delight, and calling each other over to share a discovery.
One lad who had never been on a bike and could not balance when he started was soon taking the car park slope at an alarming speed adding to my alarm by twisting around at key moments to check I was watching.
Having done my research (concrete surfaces everywhere) I had built in adult capacity for hospital trips, but to my delight no injuries were sustained, and we breezed through overpopulated bouncy castles, past the monkey bars, on and off spinning roundabouts, dodged head-level swings and had lunch with sodas in peaceful, prayer answered safety.
There was a football to kick, which was kicked by girls and boys alike, and one of my favouite sights was a lass kicking the ball and dancing to the loud music till it came her way again.
Because we were “going out” the kids (to my consternation) were in their Sunday Best. A couple of bridesmaid style dresses were put through their paces and a some repairs will be required. At least one pair of shoes did not survive either, but what does that matter when you kicking a ball and having fun?
After lunch we took the smaller bunnies home, and then took the secondary kids to a hotel swimming pool – as was the case in the morning too, we nearly had the place to ourselves and after some negotiations we secured a swimming lesson for all the kids.
To our great delight all improved their skills with one non swimmer becoming a confident diver with a few belly flops en route. One young lady provided the biggest laugh as she flew/dived into the pool like a kingfisher catching lunch.
As they tired the teens turned to posing and photos, and much more laughter.
We were enjoying the day so much – remembering what our work is all about – that we did not want the day to end so we took the teens out to a local restaurant where they sleepily filled their hungry tums. We spent the meal telling the reasons we are proud of each other. To hear these “brothers and sisters” mention kindness, hard working, loving Jesus, patient, caring, helpful attributes of one another brought tears to our eyes.
The day was sprinkled with sweets and mini doughnuts that we made fresh this morning, and punctuated with the laughter I mentioned earlier. We can’t wait to get back to see our grand-kids, but in the meantime this was a grand day out with grand kids.
See you soon
Beryl (and Alan)