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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Thank you THETFORD!

Last weekend we went to Emthunzini Wethemba to drop off all the clothes we brought back to Zimbabwe, collected and donated by the kids at Thetford Elementary School in Thetford, VT. Big shout out to my Thetford family! The kids at Emthunzini Wethemba loved the clothes, but they were handed out a little differently than the cleats I brought by a few weeks ago. You see, Sis P likes to instill discipline in the kids, so they are given a few sets of clothing for the week. They are responsible for keeping themselves clean so the clothes don’t have to be washed every day. This is the reality when there are 65 children living under one roof and no full-time person to do laundry. Therefore, the majority of the clothing from Thetford went into storage, to be handed out to the kids as they wear out the clothing they currently have. However, some of it went to kids who already had holes in their shirts or pants. The big girls got to sift through a selection of the more stylish stuff that came down and they were thrilled! I could hear them shouting across the yard. No matter what, the clothing will all be used, and it was very much needed. At the moment, the kids have only bread and tea for breakfast and sadza (cornmeal) and beans for lunch. They last had meat when some chickens were donated for Christmas. You can be sure the clothes will be put to good use, and they will allow orphanage staff to direct what little funding they occasionally receive into nutrition for the kids, where it is needed most.

Special thank you to my buddy Aiden Cudhea and his dad Cameron! These two guys are my old friends, and they organized the clothing drive at Thetford. They did such a fantastic job I couldn’t even bring all the clothes that were donated! Then I almost broke my back lugging a giant hockey bag from NYC to Egypt to South Africa, and finally across the border into Zimbabwe. We came by bus and I got quite a few funny looks at customs, but it was well worth it. The kids at the orphanage are now so well-stocked with beautiful, gently used clothing. 

Also, thank you to Cameron and Aiden as well as the Thetford administration for giving me the chance to talk to a few of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classes about Emthunzini Wethemba when I visited in January. The kids were fantastic listeners and they had great questions about the kids and about life here in Zimbabwe. They got to see some videos from the orphanage, and I'm looking forward to showing the Emthunzini Wethemba kids some photos from Thetford. Thank you!

Take a look at how much clothing you gave them; some of the boys are already wearing donated shirts. Enjoy the pictures, thank you to everyone at Thetford!

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