Going to a crèche in Durban is a different experience than what I have been used to. When we walked into Jo-burg crèches, the kids would usually explode with energy, bounce around a room that is far too small for 23 kids, and we would not be able to catch them for the life of us. Yesterday and today, team Sindisiwe (means “to be born again” in Zulu) has had the opportunity to visit the Mariannhill and Lamontville crèches.
As we walked into the loudest concrete room I’ve ever heard (the room was nothing but concrete, so the sound reverberated for so long), a small herd of 4-6 year-olds blocked the entrance, bottle-necking for hugs from some of the few white people they have had contact with. Hug piles are the best. The six of us became climbing structures, walking jungle gyms that smiled and laughed while they scream phrases at you that you don’t understand. We circled up to do the hokey pokey and point our heads, shoulders, knees, and toes.
Sitting down with the kids to hear a very dramatized version of Joshua fighting the battle of Jericho (with many hand actions and accentuated expressions), the kids shuffled over to sit next to the tallest, whitest, and bearded volunteer. They made a game out of them could squeeze into my lap as they combed the hair on my arms. I tried to redirect their attention to the story as Rose translated the tale to Zulu.
Afterwards, they were quick to continue running amuck and taking turns getting picked up by Chris, Sam, and myself. Life is filled with jumping, screaming, and bouncing bundles of joy.
Matt Drabenstott – Oct 20, 2012