4/17 Vocational & Service Day

Photos (beginning with bottles & bowl of cereal) https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.125224794268452.2500.113821622075436&type=1

Today marked our first vocational day.  I’ll let the others post about their excursions 🙂  

I had the privilege to visit Save the Children this morning.  On one side of the building are the early childhood folks, serving children up to 5 with educational and fun playgroups.  They also work at the literacy center, and encourage kids to learn their native language– something like only 27 people fully speak the indigenous language!  

On the other side of the building are the youth-aged programs.  I went shopping with Ed to get ready for their camping trip (wish I could have gone!).  My 4-H friends will never believe it– they had permission slips ready to drive around with, pick up kids and get a parent signature to go camping.  The kids didn’t know this morning they’d be camping tonight!!  Actually sounds like a pretty good arrangement to me– less luggage 🙂  They also gave me a great set of postcards and poster from their new ad campaign featuring local kids.  Some of the families don’t even have a camera to take a photo of their child, and all the postcards feature words in both English and the native language.  

The grocery store was a lot of fun, although they all laughed at me for taking photos 😉

We all met back up for lunch at the Wild Mango.  If you stop by, be sure to have some bacon, lettuce, avocado & tomato sandwich.

After lunch I dropped by the aboriginal art gallery to make a few souvenir purchases and joined Nkandu at the Youth Centre for a dance practice.  As it is school holidays, and so many local kids went on the camping trip, we had a small but fun group.  Found some more Vampire Diary fans and passed out a few 4-H silly bandz.  (And we danced the electric slide and macarena, plus a few moves from Montreat ice breakers…)

Nkandu dropped me off at the Warringari Chilling Space, a community room in the aboriginal community where kids can come 5 nights a week to eat and hang out with Save the Children folks . Ryan and a Rotary exchange student grilled some great snags (sausages) on the barbie (grill)!  Another student and I cut up the fixings (lettuce, tomato, capsicum[red bell pepper], onion and cheddar cheese).  Okay, so some of the cheese may not have made it to the table, but I was fair and let the kids sneak pieces, too!.  

Ryan played a game of ping pong with one of the kids while I enjoyed coloring a wombat coloring sheet with some other kids.  Small crowd tonight, with more adults than kids in attendance, but they say it is usually pretty packed.  

While many of the programs and aims of 4-H and these programs are similar, they also face some very unique challenges working in this community.  The diversity of this town is probably the closest to home I’ll see on the entire trip.  

Tomorrow is full of touristy and cultural things, so we’re looking forward to another big day!

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