Monday comes around even in South Africa, believe it or not. A few of the creshe (preschool) teachers were really feeling it, yet it was a beautiful day that began quite early.
Jock, a university student who serves with Heritage Life center, arrived by 6:45am to pick up me and food for the creshe before beginning the round of pick-ups.
The shouts of "Uncle Jock! Uncle Jock!" from the kids were adorable as we pulled up to their houses, and I quickly saw the mischievous grins appearing as they began to talk and giggle among themselves in the backseat. We picked up 12 kids, all of them fitting in the two backseat rows except Mesaho (I butchered the spelling of her name, I know and am sorry), who sat quietly in my lap. Mesaho is the sweetest and most beautiful little girl. She has such a sweet, quiet spirit and makes my heart so happy when she looks up at me with her big brown eyes and grins. She has a beautiful servants heart as well, and I noticed her frequently helping the younger children and giving them instructions.
She just one of those kids who makes my heart smile, and I'm exceptionally grateful for the encouragement she brings.
The pick-ups were thorough, lasting about 45 minutes, though the children lived close to each other.
Yet, by 8am, we arrived at the creshe to begin the day.
Ms. Dorah was away, resulting in less structure that led to the day feeling longer and more drawn out. However, meal, snack, and nap times added enough structure to work with, and an extra lot of outside time kept us moving. By midmorning we had gone over shapes, colors, and rather unnecessary, though adorable, introductions. Seriously, it was so cute. Each child walked to the front of the group and said,
"Goot morning, closs. My name es Maseho. I am five years olt. Wheen I grow up, I want to be a tea-chah."
This was soon follow by a snack, a book, more outside time, and finally, play dough. What an experience! The kids were so cute as they discovered what play dough is and how they can use it.
Though the days can get long, and situations can become overwhelming, I seriously love these kids.
They are absolutely precious and a huge blessing. They keep us laughing and on our toes, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
This one little boy named Maleema (not spelled correctly, please forgive) was particularly adorable. I was helping one of the kids put on his shoes to go outdoors. In the midst of having this hefty two year old in my lap, not to mention too-small shoes that needed to be put on his feet, I felt a little hand hit my shoulder and heard a little voice talking to me. Asking one of the teachers to translate for me, I learned that he was saying - as he pushed another child out of the way -
"Here! You must sit down in the chair!" Though he can't be more than three years old, this little gentleman has my back. And then, when it was time to take the kids home again, I stood outside "Uncle Jock's" car as three teachers, 12 kids, and Jock himself piled into the car. Again, I heard Maleema's sweet little voice, and this time knew what he was saying. He was motioning urgently for me to come to sit in the passenger seat in front, and wouldn't take no for an answer.
Kids will be kids, but this one is pretty darn sweet.
There's my buddy! Don't let him fool you with his half-smile, this kid is full of joy and lives life to the fullest.
A car was heard rumbling up the road, and immediately the preschool erupted in shouts of "Uncle Jock! Uncle Jock!" The kids ran to grab their backpacks and scrambled into a line in front of Uncle Jock himself, who, laughing with the kids the entire time, led to the way to the car for the trek home. It was a long day, but certainly a nice one. Tomorrow is administration day, which, I'm learning, is always an adventure. Here's a great Tuesday!