The final day is about saying goodbye. A lot of cuddling with all babies and little ones.. I’m handing out presents and think about the situation where I came from in The Netherlands..

Cuddling with baby Esther.

That afternoon three auntis sing a song for me. So beautiful! I felt a lump in my throat. After this, we go outside and some of the children join us. Fantastic, how they move! The little ones enjoy it and so do I while filming and taking pictures. Super! A goodbye mini-concert just for me!!

I hand out some goodbye presents, get lots of glances full of surprise and hear a lot of times ‘Thank you Aunti!!’. We have a final meal on the porch and after that there’s the usual singing and dancing again. I lift Michael up and together we dance. I’m enjoying it as much as possible, it’s so wonderful to be here!

Inside I write a goodbyeletter to Els, cuddle little Esther, and then I’m expected for the goodbye. I take a seat on the couch between the boys. Els gives a short speech in which she thanks me for all my help and love that the children have received. She can’t tell how many hours I’ve spent with the little ones, but I did it with so much dedication and she’s very grateful for that. How sweet! After this it’s my turn to say something and I thank everybody. I try to make them realize what a special place this is and that they really should enjoy being or working here..

Els gives me a goodbye present. A small booklet containing photos and thankful words. Very nice! I also get a small brown/turquoise statuette. It’s a mother holding her child, great and well chosen! After this comes the bibdance (as a goodbye tradition) and one of the auntis is the singing leader, which she does very well. I enjoy how happy and enthusiastic she is and how she pronounces my name (Somewhat like Wil-main). It’s a happy dance and although it’s sad to depart I am mostly enjoying it very much! I watch, listen and enjoy it with a big smile. Then it’s time for cake and sodas. I take baby Evalyn in my arms to give her a goodbye cuddle too and I cut the cake. Els does the rest and hands out the sodas.

Five hours later I pack my gear. I have a look at the babies one more time and caress Esther on her head and kiss her on the forehead. She immediately stares at me with those little dark eyes. I cuddle Rafael, Charles, Steven and Rose one more time and have a chat with the auntis. I thank everybody for everything and wave goodbye to everybody, large and small. I get in the car and then we’re really leaving Amecet.

342 changed nappies
297 bottles of milk
754 smiles
144 times the word Mzungu
31 plates of rice
723 enjoy-moments
14 rides on boda’s
410 cockroaches
129 waving children
4 spare days

My time is up..

As a little girl I already talked about working on a development project in Africa.. That dream has now become reality. What a special and memorable experience it had been! There’s a smile on my face and I feel a little proud..!




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