The other little boy received a smaller soccer ball and the babies all got very small, soft balls. I didn't take any photos that day but I'm sure you can imagine the joy these children feel receiving one of the most desired toys imaginable to an African child.
To understand why these children love a real shop-bought ball, many people reading this post may recall seeing television documentaries of children in African, South American and Indian villages playing with a shopping bag tied up with twine. This is normally what these children use to play "serious" ball games - mainly soccer.
I also had two tins of [three-in-a-pack] tennis balls which Amanda and I handed out to the children along the streets. I didn't get photos this time but will the next time we distribute balls and/ or sweets.
Yesterday we visited the ward again. Last Saturday in our "newly discovered" supermarket in Kahama, Amanda bought a few packets of toys with battery-operated toys in them. Even though these inexpensive items may not last as long as the penlight batteries which we inserted, once again, the little patients were ecstatic when they saw them.
A real toy - probably the first time this child has received something like this
The little lad who's been in this bed for five weeks now, was more interested in the Smarties (candy-coated chocolate beans) while his grandmother tests the solar-powered calculator
Here the young mother tests the battery-operated fan, while her little boy takes out two of the toys from the packet which Amanda had opened for him
Is this a cell phone like my mom's?
This mother was lying in bed with her little girl when I first arrived at her side. Later she changed the baby and asked me to take a picha / photo. I gave mom a tube of Smarties to enjoy
Outside I spotted one of our askari with his wife and little daughter. They were waiting to see the clinic sister to treat the child for malaria. Here she holds up a lollipop while the mother is holding soft toy made by Amanda
Amanda also had a large box of hand-made toys which she handed out. Since arriving here, I've learnt to keep all my empty talc powder boxes, moisturizer tubs, medicine holders and even plastic herb containers from the kitchen for Amanda's Toy Factory. She is absolutely ingenious the way in which she makes toys out of old items.
[Empty] talc powder container becomes...
... a leonine character from The Lion King. (The powder box is filled with smaller items and becomes a rattle!)
I hope you're all having a wonderful weekend.