Holy Family has been established for 10 years this year – from a very small home initially for mothers dying from AIDS and their children to a fully established registered children’s home for 70 children. There is a celebration to mark the occasion. Fran (see page 16) is organising a concert, the children providing the entertainment – singing, dancing, gymnastics, ball skills etc. I have started to teach a group of kids to juggle – I knew my juggling skills would eventually go international. Ha Ha. The kids get a kick out of seeing and doing something new and we have lots of laughs. I think I may be roped into some cooking for the arvo tea as well.
Fran has been experimenting with the local food – some is very nice while others I would be happy to leave. Fran has just cooked up a batch of Mopani worms, which have been dried and salted (they look like hard fat caterpillars). You boil the dried worms, drain and then add fried onion, tomatoes and of course lots of salt. She got one of the local women to test it out and with a few tips managed to get the recipe right. I’ve also tried deep fried grasshoppers which taste ok – just crunchy and salty.
I start a teaching program with one of the local staff next week. Basically, I will be showing her how to look after the children’s health needs and to run the clinic. Olga has had some experience as a carer and over the next six months I hope she will gain the knowledge and experience to work in the clinic. I have developed an education program with lots of resources, so they can be used as a reference. One of Palms’ objectives is to promote an exchange of skills so that the focus is on community development not just providing aid.
Carmel Lawry, a nurse from Melbourne, is volunteering at Holy Family in Limpopo, South Africa. Her placement is supported by Palms Australia, the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (OLSH) and AusAID.