“Daddy I love Madagascar, I have so many friends here”.
Since we have landed, Jade has not stopped, packing toys for the children, cutting out their pictures to be pasted into the files, colouring in with them. She just buzzes all day until she finally collapses in the evening. To sit back and watch her interact with these children, her passion about helping in her little way, in her own words, “Daddy I am helping them with their sore lips”.
Yes there are many questions that are asked as to why the children look the way they do, in a way I feel that she understands, but most importantly she accepts them the way they are. I have watched as she bonds with certain of the children and plays with them for hours – there are the days where it has just got too much for her, she rolls up into a little ball on a bench, tears streaming down her face and she finally falls asleep.
Today was a big day for Jade, we all went down to the convent where a lot of the children from all over the island were staying for the week. This was her opportunity to give presents to the children that she had bought from South Africa.
At first she was shy looking at the sea of distorted little faces, I remember her standing, swaying on her feet looking at a group sitting in front of her, she put her fingers on her little lip and softly twisted it, with out realising what she was doing. Finally she sat down, opened one of the puzzles that she had brought and began to show them how to build it. The ice was now broken, the odd stare, then a giggle and the fun and games started, language is no barrier, looks do not matter, they just accept each other for who they are.