But there is something I miss much more than snowmen and hot chocolate. This time of year, I especially miss our families. This is the first Christmas we've been away from our families. Sometimes it's hard not to feel a little homesick but in a strange way -- I like the feeling. Feeling this way helps me to better understand some of the girls in our dorm and how they must feel this time of year. I want to create a family atmosphere for the girls in our dorm who would never get to experience one otherwise. Many of them have had to leave their homes because they were horribly mistreated, no one to take care of them, no food or perhaps their moms and dads have died. This Christmas season is a special opportunity to help create fun memories with our new family here at the Zimpeto Children Centre.
On Christmas morning, Mr. Richmond and I woke up to the cheers and playful noise of 66 girls getting very excited. After a quick breakfast it was time for presents. Each girl in our dorm receive a new set of clothes (a skirt, shirt and pair of underwear). After each girl received their outfit they ran to their room to get changed. Then the girls put on a special dance to say "thank you". Afterwards we passed out a new napsack to each girl. We put little toys like dolls, bubbles and colouring books inside of each napsack. The girls loved it! It was so much fun.
It was especially exciting to watch some of the girls who had never received a Christmas present before. For the girls who moved to our centre this year, it was their first time ever to receive a gift. It was so much fun to watch the look on their faces and to see them play with their toys afterwards.
After Mr. Richmond and I distributed Christmas gifts, we all headed to the cafeteria for a special Christmas meal. Each girl and boy received a bottle of pop, salad, rice and a big piece of chicken. Chicken is too expensive for most families here to eat on a regular basis, so a big piece of chicken is a pretty special treat!