All over the world kids on a Sunday afternoon play football. In the US it's called soccer, but beyond that – it’s all the same thing. St. Kizito’s orphanage is no different. On a recent visit we got a chance to play a pick up game and learned a lot. One thing that’s pretty fun to realize is that the nuns who run the orphanage are always game. And I mean GAME. Not only do they make sure that the dozens of children in their care, from tiny newborns to teenagers off to college, are healthy, fed, and educated, they also make sure that fun is part of the daily curriculum. Between the little toddlers taking their first running steps on the field to a nun who found practicality the key (yep – that means lifting up your skirts just a bit!) the afternoon was fun for everyone – probably my husband Michael and I most of all!
Of course, a quick peek across the road to the “big” field just proves how good you can get at this game if you play locally. The community was gathered for what was clearly an ongoing series of games that get very exciting – we were lucky we were only getting beat by nine and ten-year olds!
That said, the most heartwarming part of the day was after the game when you really meet the community. All throughout the afternoon people come to visit St. Kizito’s. Young couples who stopped in on their way from church to visit children. Neighbors whose own situations preclude adding more family members and yet who do all they can to ensure that the children of St. Kizito know they are party of the larger Bunia community.
To make a team it takes a village.