Babfor

Last weekend, my friend Cho took me to volunteer at Tanzania Dail Babfor, a Korean organization that works to feed hungry children worldwide. We drove to Tegeta, a place where both adults and children work in the quarry to mine shale. This particular volunteer opportunity was interesting for me because I was able to take part in two very different cultures from my own- Tanzanian village life and Korean Church life. All the other volunteers there were Korean, and the way we served the children was much different than any other “soup kitchen” type of thing I’ve been involved with. When the children reached the front of a very long line, one volunteer would wash their little hands before they proceeded to receive their meal. The volunteer serving the dish would wait in the kneeling position, eye-level (or lower) with the children. After the children finished their meals, another volunteer would wash their hands for them again. It was amazing, being able to interact with the children in this way. I loved seeing their smiling faces, grateful for both our food and our company. Many of the children were obsessed with my camera. They would tug at my apron saying “Korea, Korea” (thinking I was also Korean) “Picha, Picha.” They would pose for the camera and then quickly gather around me so they could see their images in my viewfinder. When we finished washing all the dishes (the boring part), we formed a circle around two kids holding a jump rope. I took my turn and did pretty good for a mzungu, if I do say so myself. As heartbreaking as it was for me to see innocent children living in these conditions, the endless laughter I experienced was reassuring. No matter how hard these kids’ lives are, they’re still kids… and they sure do know how to have fun.

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