This greeted me at the luggage carousel at OR Tambo International yesterday, I must have been too busy photographing it to notice that some of those rainbow hands had decided to move my suitcase off the carousel. Half an hour or so later I finally caught up with my case dumped on a trolley at the British Airways Baggage desk. I nearly had a sense of humour failure (especially after only 4 hours sleep – my fault, one movie too many!) but decided to just grab the bag and exit without enquiring as to why it was there…
So here I am installed in my accommodation at Hotel Hope. I’m in a little place in the back garden behind the children’s home, but the kids still don’t really understand where I disappear to at night. Today, a few of the older ones carried an enormous donation of nappies to put in the second bedroom here for storage and they worked out I must live here, but they still think that I go somewhere else after they’ve gone to bed. I wasn’t there for breakfast this morning (having a recovery lie-in!) therefore I can’t be staying here, that’s their logic!
So far, I reacquainted myself with Pick ‘n’ Pay supermarket and bought a SA SIM card. The rain started when we were in the Mall and it was torrential by the time we came to leave, even the car guards weren’t bothered in helping! Got absolutely drenched running to the car and then we had to negotiate a rapidly flooding car park to get out!
It rained again today. After a long period of drought, everyone is happy to see it. And it’s the kind of rain that makes you want to watch it, torrential with exciting thunder. Parts of the day are sunny too, so all is good.
So far I have spent a fair bit of time with the children here. During the mornings the older kids go to pre-school so there are just the babies and toddlers here, meaning it’s nice and quiet(ish!). In the afternoon the older ones (up to aged 5) are back and chaos reigns!
So far I’ve faced a barrage of questions, some of which are easier to answer than others:
“Why do you have arm muscles?”
“Why do you have that?” pointing to veins in my wrist (this happened at GGA too, veins don’t show up so well on darker skin)
“When are you going home? Who’s picking you up? Where do you sleep?”
“What are you drinking?” – involving at least 5 kids fascinated by my excellent travel mug that has a fancy lid. I’ve already decided it’s easier to drink standing up as there’s less risk of being jumped on. They got far to excited at this “gadget”…
Little by little I’m getting to know the small munchkins here, each one with their own quirks and comedy facial expressions. I’m still a novelty, they won’t be leaping all over me for the whole time (or maybe I bring that out in kids…!) I’ve changed a fair few nappies and fed several children with milk or solids and I’ve had lots of cuddles too. Life is good.
No two days are the same. Tomorrow I’m off to help in the charity shop! 🙂