It was a chilly Saturday morning when 20 kidz from Louis Botha Children Home arrived at the Organ Donor Walk event. On our arrival we saw a lot of people jumping up and down just to get some heat in their bodies.
This was an event with a difference. The message of the whole event was that everybody deserve a second chance, and by donating your organs you can help saving another's life. There were about 80 people there who had either kidney or liver transplants who were also going to participate in the event. Though some of them said that they will only go for the one Km walk. The above reason is not the only reason why this event was special.
We did another test and one of our volunteers was a blind guy. He said that he will take his own group and will try to handle them if they could handle him. Just before 08:30, 20 kids from the Louis Botha home arrived. Though it didn't looked as if it the cold weather bothered the kids. They were all chattering like a nest full of birds. They all looked ready to go. We divided them into groups and explained all the rules to them. Michelle didn't look interested in this whole event and we had to have a quick pep talk. When they heard there was a price for the team with the most litter, they all scattered even before the walked started to go pick up litter all over the place.
When the walk started eventually the girls team had already filled one bag to the brim. Marie thought se was Rambo and picked up broken glass. Luckily for her help was right in front of her. The friendly people of 911 net care had her finger cleaned and patched in time. They all stared excitedly on the 5 kilometre walk. The route was a circle route and 2 of the teams started over enthusiastically and they took the wrong turn and ended up doing about 2.5 km instead of the 1.7 km they were supposed to walk. It was amazing to see how Andre's group helped him around and over the obstacles.
On the second round some of them lost interest in the walking and were looking for ways to take a shortcut. Well kids will be kids so they enjoyed the sneaking just as much as the walking. Some even braved the icy cold water of the stream to pick up litter instead of walking a round. Andre's group had a ball with the cheating because he walked just where they leaded him and didn't know when they were taking a short cut.
Lientjie decided that she is there for the competition. With only winning in her mind she took off like lightning and left her whole group behind. Much to her delight she won the 5 km event and walked away with foot spa. Not bad for an 11 year old girl to win the price from 250 participants. She had a few offers of tired participants to buy the foot spa from her, but to no avail. Don't say that she didn't have entrepreneurs skills, she told us that she was going to rent it out rather than selling the spa.
Well all ended well with the kids all receiving a gold medal for the walk. That put a smile on everyone's face. Even the other participants said that they enjoyed it to see how happy the kids were just to receive a medal. They were all very proud in getting a medal for participating. After the formal prize giving it was back to our vehicles where it was time for the informal prize giving of the team who picked up the most litter. The girls team were very the very proud winners of the most bags collected. they collected a whopping total of 5 and a half bags. With the second team on four bags and the last team on 3 bags.
We were a bit early for their lift so we were just sitting around and chatting when the kids got a big surprise. The friendly ambulance people told them that they could all jump in for a ride in the ambulance. Did you ever saw 20 kids jumping at the same time for a door. Amazingly they all fitted inside the ambulance at the same time. A bit stuffed like a Soweto taxi Monday morning in peak hour, but they were all inside. To heighten their delight the driver of the ambulance switched on the siren while he droved them all around the parking lot. They all looked like radiant smiling little angels when the ambulance stopped. Never mind that he just droved them for about 200 meters.
They jumped out shouting hey Uncle, Auntie did you see us, did you hear the siren. That and the medals is probably going to be the talk of the week. And that ended another successful event. Thanks Andre for being a our blind barometer. And to Cecile and Dominic for your help. And Noeksie for packing the bags and getting everything ready beforehand.