July 4th at Afula
I suppose most people in the United States would agree that July 4th is a pretty fun and exciting day of the year. Americans typically enjoy this day by celebrating our beloved country's independence with barbecues and parties as well as festive red, white, and blue attire. However, while this may be the norm, this was not how we Americans spent our day here in Afula. In fact, as July 4th began to take place in America, we here at KH Afula made sure not to forget what we're here for, and that is for the kids. Our day was filled with smiles, cheers, and an incredible amount of laugher as we had an overwhelmingly successful day with the children of Emunah Afula. We kicked off the day with a huge water fight which was perfect because he kids and us volunteers continued to bond instantly! Although we were all sopping wet after this activity, we carried on with our day and headed to our next activity which would be an unreal Zumba session with some cool Israeli music. After Zumba, we all broke out into our individual groups. Some volunteers played with the younger kids while some hung out with the older kids. I, along with my younger girls group, had such an amazing time playing cards, braiding our hair and doing hair chalk, chilling outside, and even playing with one month old bunnies (which by the way, were the cutest things in the world). The boys were busy having fun too as some continued having water fights while others relaxed and watched BobSponge (the hilarious Israeli version of Spongebob) to get out of the strong sun. As the day went by and the afternoon eventually arrived, it was time to prepare for an activity we all planned for the kids: cupcake decorating! We set up the dining hall with cupcakes for each child to decorate as well as an array of different colors of icing and toppings to choose from. The kids loved it and we had a great time as well so I'd say it was a success! Lastly, after some more hanging out and getting to know the kids through simple conversations, we had quite an interesting night as we learned about Mizrachi culture from our very own coordinator Kevin! It was definitely something different from the other activities we had done throughout the day. To sum everything up, as we say here at KH, today was AMAZE. I truly felt like we illuminated this home all throughout today, even more than we had the previous day. I saw so many genuine smiles on so many children's faces and I knew that on this fourth of July, America was not of central importance to me like it usually is on this day. Instead, what today was about was my work here with these children. I look forward to tomorrow and the coming days because I am so absolutely confident that all of this happiness that we are creating here will only continue. Oh, and for all you proud American citizens, don't you worry; we've planned a July 5th celebration for the kids tomorrow.