Holiday camp with the girls of Wau, South Sudan.

Volunteer Anna Kate

            With the school year at a close, the Salesian Lay volunteer community here in Wau ran a holiday camp for girls.  We had a variety of activities: arts and crafts, drama, leadership, and dance each led by one of the volunteers with the assistance of the Salesian Seekers, a group of young women who work with the Salesian Sisters here. We began each session with prayer and sometimes a group game and then broke the girls into smaller groups for the different activities.  The girls rotated through the four activities participating in two each day.  After giving the girls something to eat and a little time to play, we would conclude with a decade of the rosary and a story told by one of the Seekers in Arabic so that all the camp participants could understand.  At the end of the camp, we had a holiday show that we traveled through town performing.  The show included a few Christmas carols, the story of the Nativity acted out by the campers and narrated by the Seekers, and a holiday dance.  After the show, we would walk through the town playing Christmas songs and allowing people an opportunity to venerate the baby Jesus.

I had the pleasure of teaching songs and dance to the girls.  At first, I felt a little nervous because I wasn’t sure if they were enjoying what I was teaching them, but when they started to ask me to play Cotten Eye Joe over and over again so that they could dance to it and I heard them practicing in their free time a rhythm I taught them I was filled with joy to know that they were having fun and that I was able to do something, even in just a small way, for the people here. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity to work with and really get to know some of the girls in our community. I loved learning their names and watching as their personalities began to show as they became more comfortable with us.  There were certainly some challenges and some things I think we could have done better, but I’m so happy that the Sisters entrusted this camp to us and I think the experience will be really helpful as I prepare for this upcoming year of teaching and serving here in Wau.




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