About two years back I had an epiphany with regards to upliftment in the community. I thought that I could offer baking lessons / demonstrations to those who wanted to learn. As one gets older, the need arises to want to give back to the community.
Orphanages came to mind, children are quite impressionable and willing to learn.
Two weeks ago I met A (albeit virtually), who is a FB contact of MS. I told A what I had in mind and she mentioned that she knew of a home where I could give the baking sessions. You can just imagine my excitement!! A and I exchanged contact details and arranged a time and date to get the project going. Fortunately for me, one of the children would be celebrating his birthday on the first session! Even more excitement!
The day dawned cool and full of promise. I wasn't feeling very well, as I had been walking around the whole week with wet hair. I felt like I had a huge frog in my throat. My swimming sessions were doing me a world of good but I needed to get a waterproof cap to swim in. Not wanting to disappoint the kids, I popped some meds and made my way to the mall for some baking goodies. A would fetch me in the next hour.
A had twisted MS' arm into joining us. So she would pick him up first, then me. I called A to find out what goodies she had bought already, not wanting to duplicate anything. During our conversation I heard the words safe house / foster home. The warning bells in my head were ringing like mad!!
I kept thinking "How did I miss that??" Surely I would have noted that it was a safe house / foster home and NOT an orphanage. A home for abused children. My mind was racing, I couldn't pull out now, even if I wanted to.
This bit of information changed everything.
This bit of information opened doors to dark places I would rather not visit!
Breathing in deeply and trying to stay calm, I focused on getting out of the shopping mall and made my way home. I packed in all the goodies I would need for the baking session. By this time I was working on autopilot. This is what normally happens when the walls go up. It's my only means of shielding myself emotionally. A had arrived, MS helped me with the goodies to the car. I hugged and greeted A, jumped into the front seat and off we went.
My apprehension dissipated a bit as A started speaking about the outstanding work being done at the home. The foster mother is a remarkable woman who often uses her own money (just over R1500.00) to care for the children left in her care. Majority of them have been abandoned and sexually abused by family members.
Yes, I did say family members! This includes mothers, fathers and grandparents!
To be continued..............