Our last evening at the SABCO (small-action big change orphanage) orphanage was a full on PARTY! As is customary, a goat was provided by the orphanage director and his family to ROAM as a sign of their gratitude for the work we had done in building them two new classrooms. The goat was fired up, cooked, and presented to ROAM and its volunteers for dinner. In a symbolic gesture of generosity, ROAM wanted the orphanage kids to eat it, so volunteers took plates with goat meat and toothpicks around to all the children for them: they had maybe never eaten anything so succulent in their lives. Each child seemed to savor the pieces of meat the way one might savor a dessert that would be his/her last one! It was a much more poignant experience than we had anticipated.
Much like the bag of school supplies that ROAM had given each child at the orphanage, the children were also provided with a party bag on this evening- it was like Christmas watching them go through the contents and put everything to immediate use! Stickers, glow sticks, prizes, and other little gifts that brought them so much joy and glee. And no doubt this was their first time coming into contact with the joy of stickers- most faces became quickly covered in them! The night went on with music, a DJ, and these African children chanting, cheering, and singing. We lit large lanterns and let them float off into the sky- it was a stunning end to a lively but touching night.
We left SABCO better than we found it, but we remain dedicated to investing in these children- they deserve a future with more acceptable living conditions and access to education. It’s our hope on our next return expedition to continue to upgrade the small bedrooms so that these children have better sleeping situations, more personal space of their own, and of course, some toys to play with (instead of rocks and plastic bags). These feats can only be reached by the immense generosity of our donors for which we are unspeakably grateful for and continue to need in order to pull off these significant life-altering experiences for those less fortunate than us. A little goes such a long way here in Tanzania; our donors are really what breathes life into these projects, and we thank you!