I’m not talking about WW2 D-Day, although I am reasonably sure I could tenuously link something to do with craft to this event if need be. The D-Day I am referring to is ‘drop-off day’, which was Thursday gone for me and my Volvo full of swag. Yes, it’s true, we have a Volvo. Not sure how or when I fell from the grace of having a Mini Cooper S to the wagon of choice for the ageing middle lane hogger, but it seems to have crept up on me in its headlights-on-all-the-time, heated seated glory. Normally, having such a sensible car would cause me to drive it like I stole it, however the Limpopo traffic police are particularly officious and will take any excuse to pull you over and try to relieve you of a little ‘pocket money’. They do this even when you aren’t speeding, which isn’t really cricket in my opinion, although you have to admire their optimism. Anyway, back to the matter in hand.
As I mentioned in a previous post, The Spirit of Christmas, I signed up to the Santa Shoebox Project and pledged 7 boxes to underprivileged children in homes in Polokwane. By underprivileged, I don’t mean the ‘you’re below the poverty line if you don’t have Sky TV and a 1 Meg broadband connection’, I mean really underprivileged. AIDS orphans, the infected and affected, abused or homeless. The kind of underprivileged that thankfully, you come across far less often in the UK, although I am quite sure it exists. I have been hugely excited about dropping off the boxes for a couple of weeks now, although nothing could have quite prepared me for the excitement of Thursday morning at the Primary School where I live.
One of the teachers is a friend of mine and I had mentioned the project to her as I thought it might be something the school would be interested in taking part in, as the main emphasis is to teach the children the joy of giving. I was thrilled when she told me on the Monday that they had around 10 boxes for me to ferry the 110km to Polokwane. By Tuesday, this had grown to 20. Wednesday afternoon, she tells me in an equally excited squeaky voice that there are about 30. On Thursday morning, in a voice that was almost ultrasonic, and in fact I am sure several dogs in the neighbourhood were probably lying with their paws over their ears, she informed me that there were now about 40. At this point I was pogoing around in a Zebedee-type fashion, which, as I am quite excitable, is not that unusual, however this was very vigorous pogoing, accompanied with a bit of squealing and some liberal hand clapping. Oh, and feet stomping. Yes, I was pleased.
I have to say, the children were also very excited. There was a bit of wafting at the eyes by me and my friend when I saw how much effort they had put into decorating their shoeboxes, it was quite emotional really. One of the girls had rammed a box so full of her doll’s clothes it would barely shut, and a lot of them had written really sweet messages on card and stuck it onto the front. The best news of all was that all of the children in the project in Polokwane have been pledged a box, so a lot of the boxes that came to the school were extra, on top of this. This means that children in some institutions that weren’t able to be included in the project for this year initially are now going to receive boxes from the lovely, generous children at Braambos Primary.
There will be a celebration in November where all of the boxes are handed out, which I am hoping to attend, so look out for another blog post then!