Well, we’ve just returned from another great trip out to Kerasawara village where the sun is shining, the weather warm and the rivers full. Bulging rice and millet crops have turned the hillsides bright green and the beauty of the land is truly something to behold.
This trip took a slightly different form to others, as we spent a lot of time focussing on the village children. Particularly, we aimed to hold a ‘Kid’s Party’ for them with lots of games, swimming and washing in the river…plus presents all-round!
We ‘advertised’ the event as we arrived in the village- walking from house-to-house and gradually drumming-up excitement amongst the youngsters.
In truth, we only expected about half of the village children to come along; in reality the turnout was MASSIVE, with well over 50 kids swarming around from 0630am!
Starting off with a rip-roaring game of soccer with the boys and an art session with the girls, we then took them down to the river (…actually, they showed us where the ‘secret spots’ were) for some swimming and a good, old-fashion wash.
Before the majority of the group had even arrived at the river, a bunch of the young boys had stripped down, found a running culvert and were wooshing past as if it was a waterslide. We spent the next two hours splashing, jumping, washing and generally having an unbelievably fun time.
Next it was time for presents- which is where all hell broke loose! We had brought with us a huge assortment of kid’s clothing, shoes, books and balloons (all kindly donated by wonderful people back home in Perth), and had laid them all out for distribution. To coin a phrase made popular by a good friend of mine, what followed was akin to herding cats into a bathtub- with little fingers (and sometimes some adult ones too!), poking around for some new, fresh clothing. More than a few young boys presented for their clothes fully naked- which, evidently, was an effective trick on their part: I mean, how could we say ‘No’ to giving these little guys a completely new set of clothes!
In the end we (miraculously!) managed to clothe everyone, distribute new shoes, balloons and a few chocolates and bring a smile to every dial. To finish, we held a ‘mini medical camp’ back at the homestay- basically cleaning, dressing and pampering each and every little cut the kids could find.
In all, it was another hugely successful day and something we can’t wait to do over and over again!
PS: we’re heading back out to Kerasawara in the first weeks of September to run another major healthcamp and full health screen of the village- so stay tuned!