On December 22, we had a Christmas party for about 35 boys. Each year, our day center closes for 6 weeks during the holidays. We encourage the boys to go visit their families during this time. Some do and some don't. For the younger ones that choose to stay on the streets during the holidays, they rarely bathe or wash their clothes. So needless to say, on the day of the party, we were prepared for some dirty, smelly boys! We pulled out some clothes that had been donated and offered a t-shirt and pair of pants/shorts to each boy as he came in. Sadly, most of the clothes were way to big for the boys but I handed out strips of curly ribbon to be used as belts!
Once the boys were all nice and clean, the party started! Some friends of ours who also live here in Maputo, Dave and Amy, organized a bunch of fun games for the boys.
We bobbed for apples (the first time the boys had ever seen that game!).
We played chubby bunny.
We had a bubble-gum-bubble-blowing contest.
We did the classic relay race of finding the candy in the plate of flour using only your mouth.
We had a water balloon toss followed by a water balloon fight!
And finally the boys made paper chains and blew up balloons to decorate.
Meanwhile, Mama Julia was busy busy busy in the kitchen preparing 15 chickens (that we had killed and plucked the day before), salad, rice, and french fries. Before lunch was served, we gathered all the kids together and Luis told them all the Christmas story and talked about why Jesus came to live on the earth. If you've ever visited me in Mozambique, you know what a great story teller Luis is. He really gets into it! This story was complete with jumping up on one of our picnic tables to act out the part of the angel who appeared before Mary. Unfortunately, our tables are a little worn out and his foot went through the table as he was jumping down (sorry Ian!).
Before the boys left, they each got a small present. For some reason, Lauren and I had the great idea of giving each of the boys a box of Pops....those little things you throw on the ground and they make a loud popping sound. Very quickly the boys discovered they could throw the Pops at their friends feet and scare them with the noise. A popping war broke out!
And that is Christmas with the street kids. Beautiful, isn't it?