It was a warm and lazy Saturday morning in December at Treasures of Africa Children’s Home and the toddlers were all corralled in the Prayer Hut playing with their toys on the concrete floor. Several of our older girls had arrived home from Secondary School for the Christmas break and were holding the babies and chatting with the caregivers. Sitting with the children, listening to their laughter, and watching them build towers with plastic blocks, made me smile. They are just like kids anywhere, I thought, they just want to play and enjoy the attention of the adults in the room.
Walking up the sidewalk toward the entrance to the orphanage building, I found a jump rope contest underway on the porch. Several of the Primary School aged boys were competing to skip rope as long as possible without stopping – as each jump was counted. Then the girls joined in and there was more counting and laughing. Such a sweet, simple moment of uncomplicated happiness.
I walked into the office with a sigh, knowing deep in my heart that everything I had just seen was about to change.