The road to where we were going was rough. It had many pot holes in the gravel and needed careful navigation. My dad’s four by four made easy work of it. I wondered how these people moved around. The view on the drive was terrible. All I saw was tin shacks, dirt, garbage and dirty people. I was not enjoying it at all. When we got to our destination I was surrounded by screaming children with dirty faces. I was sure they were trying to steal my mobile or wallet. I went back to the car and locked them in the cubbyhole. My dad was in his element. He greeted everyone with a smile. I was sure he hugged all the old people and there were a lot of them although they were outnumbered by the children ten to one. Where were the children’s parents? It was a Sunday. There was no way they were at work. Everything had been closed down for New Year’s.We pulled out the food and started handing it out. I was surprised at the response. It was as if they had not eaten for days. The children were well behaved and came one by one. They thanked me every time. I noticed one or two who snuck back in queue for seconds and I ignored the offense. They were just as polite the second time round. We stayed a few hours and played some soccer. My dad chatted to the older people and prayed for a few of them.
When we left my dad explained that the food we had brought was the first meal they had for that day. He also explained that the children had no parents. Their parents had died of aids and now the grannies looked after the children. Most of the children were not even related to them. They children had just needed a home when the parents had passed on.
On my way home all I saw was friendly people, soccer fields, family and people trying to survive. I was glad I have spent my new year doing this. I asked my dad if I could go with him next time to see my friends.
This year we should spare a though for the less fortunate amongst us. In South Africa we have many orphans who go to school on empty stomachs. We have many grannies that look after large families and have only pension payouts to feed them and ten children. Maybe take a break this year for a few hours and go and help out the less fortunate. Go and make some new friends and help them out where they are at. Be the salt and light in the world in a way that people cannot mistake it.