Friday, May 30, 2008

Olympic Champions

Last term we got the After School Program kids to enter an Olympic Games competition that was being run by the Chinese Embassy here. It was a quiz with general knowledge questions about the Olympic Games, as well as ones more specific to the Beijing Olympics later this year. I found all the information on the internet and printed it out, then the kids worked in groups to find the answers to the questions.

Only five girls persevered to the end and we submitted their entries. During the school holidays I got a call to say that all of them had won prizes! We could only contact Susanna, as the others were out of town.

Susanna receiving her prize from the Chinese Ambassador

So I went along to what I thought was just the prize-giving ceremony, and met Susanna there. In fact it was the official launch of the Beijing Olympics in Namibia, as that day marked exactly 100 days until the start of the Games! So all sorts of VIPs were present, including the former President of Namibia, Dr Sam Nujoma (who is the patron of the National Olympic Committee), the Chinese ambassador, some other government officials and athletes. It was quite a nice event with brief speeches, some cultural performances and more-than-life-size Beijing Olympics mascots, in addition to the prize-giving for the competition. We were all given badges and t-shirts, as well as something to eat and drink afterwards.

A cultural performance with the mascots in the background

The Embassy sent the prizes for the other girls to me and I collected them this week. So on Wednesday we had our own little ‘prize-giving ceremony’, handing out the prizes to Bernadette, Christhelda and Kaekuhu, as well as acknowledging Susanna. Unfortunately Otja, the fifth girl, has not yet started back at After School, so we’ll have to keep her prize for when she does come back.

The proud recipients: Susanna & Christhelda (standing), Bernadette & Kaekuhu (in front)

This week went well and it was a bit shorter as Monday was a public holiday. The number of kids coming jumped up to 67 for Tuesday and Wednesday, then we had 59 on Thursday. Steven (a regular helper in the past) turned up and is again able to help out from 3pm every day. He’s agreed to work with the older kids (Grade 5 and up) who need to pull up their marks in English, Maths and Afrikaans; as well as the high school kids who need help with Accounting and Business Management. We also had Kakazona and Martin offer to help, they should both be able to come at least a couple of days a week.

So we’re very thankful for the number of helpers we have at present, but please pray for us too, as handling almost-70 kids requires a lot of energy and wisdom!

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