Saturday, April 21, 2012

Tasmanian Devils

After a week of one thing after another going wrong, broken, or just weird, I just wanted to relax and not step one foot out the house, or talk to one person. But oh no, I forgot that I invited 6 kids from my teen club over in the afternoon to do an art project for my NYC correspondence class. Up and atom---I go and get cookies for them, and I made a bunch of Peanut Butter sandwiches, cut into quarters, making a huge pile on the plate. At 1pm, instead of six kids, nine come over, but that's ok, these are great kids, so it'll all be good. After briefing them about the rules of being in my home, and the goals of the project, I let them in. Thankfully, I put away any valuables, that means even my slippers---you just never know! So with little stimuli around, they go after the food like it was their last meal--with the speed of lightening--with eyes that turned into Tasmanian Devils---savages! Not believing my own eyes, one passive girl did not get anything, so I asked one Devil to give up some of her handful---she said no with a look in her eye that could kill.  I ask in a variety of nice ways, all with no responses, and then I start wrestling her for a lousy quarter of a PB sandwich. This is so crazy, I can't believe I'm fighting for this, for this kid who just wants a bite---and I win---and I love winning---but exasperated, I  give the passive girl a ripped to shreds ¼ PB sandwich!

Then these kids noticed some toys, and like ferocious oddities, they began going after the toys as they did the food---they then start taking over my house, claiming it like it was theirs, wanting to lock me out, dancing like only an African can dance, going through anything and everything, and I'm running around trying to calm them down---telling them that it's only Peanut Butter, it's only a little jumping monkey, a coloring book---But no, they were demon possessed!  Even Keoki didn't know what hit! Then like an all consuming tornado, I felt like I was swirled up and around, and lifted into a world I didn't know existed.  What to do---think fast Tshepo---I got it, if ya can't beat 'em, join 'em!  So I started dancing with them, and it worked, my dancing(or if you want to call it that) stopped them in their tracks!  YAY!

After the storm did it's damage, the Tasmanian Devils having scavenged their food, they sat and did their projects with equalled zest.  They drew beautiful pictures of what Africa meant to them, they wrote short blurbs about themselves, wrote sayings to the children such as “be smart,” and “we are crying with sorrow to meet you,” and telling them why they want to go to America. When it was all said and done, and my home was free, I plopped on my couch, looking around at the storm that hit, wondering if Tasmanian Devils will ever be extinct, wondering why my Harry Potter Club is so calm!  But I realized that some of these kids are boarders, some are orphans, some are just curious, and most are starving for something other than porridge. In the end, I may remember this as the day I ran into nine ferocious animals, but they will remember that American let them in her home, fed them, and allowed them some freedom---even if it was for just a day!  

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