so even though i was out late saturday night, i was happy to force myself out of bed on sunday morning in order to contribute my figurative 67 minutes in honor of madiba day. may i just say, that the thought of our favorite icon no longer gracing this earth, makes me instantly tear up. no, i’m aware the man is not a saint, as some journalists have been at pains to point out, but he’s as close to sainthood as it comes in my books. i can’t believe that shortly after the man walked free from prison, we were in the same room at some event and i didn’t want to fight the crowds to go and shake his hand. i will regret that forever. madiba, rolihlahla mandela, may you live forever.
a group of us made our way to TLC, a home for abandoned babies (as well as some older kids, the oldest of whom is 17), many of them hiv +, in lenasia. it’s a lovely place, set on a dusty plot off a dirt road. one is met by kids playing outside in the yard, a few gargantuan dogs, a net-covered swimming pool and a sprawling house with various sections for the different ages who are referred to as grubs and crawlies and creepies depending on age. there are beautiful wooden cribs which have been donated for the 46 or so toddlers in the nursery. about 20 volunteers, mainly young women from all around the globe, take care of the little ones.
we spent a good few hours feeding and playing with a group who are roughly 8 months old. they seem really well taken care of and the volunteers seem really loving and connected to the kids. it’s amazing to think that some of these babies were simply abandoned – how does a mother carry a child for 9 months and then simply walk away? i don’t know. maybe the fact that i miscarried almost exactly a year ago makes it hard for me to fathom.
anyway, i can’t think of a better way i could have spent the morning and a group of us actors from binnelanders plan to stay connected to the centre. they are entirely funded by donations and are in need of a lot of things. we came away with a list, (from buckets, and tupperware and yoghurt for the little ones to changing mats, etc) . we plan on taking donations at work and going shopping for what the centre needs. if you can assist in any way, please get in touch and i will try to get hold of the list and put it up here as well.
i don’t know how those volunteers do it, because by the time i got home i was famished and exhausted and after inhaling some lunch, promptly passed out for a few hours.
how did you spend your 67 minutes?