One of the many things I miss when I am away from home this time of year are the awesome Halloween parties. Out of all the different kinds of parties for every occasion, Halloween parties are usually my favorite ones. There’s nothing better than everyone dressed up in a ridiculous costume while having an extremely fun night! This is my second year in a row that I’m missing out but I thought throwing one here for the kids in Kayamandi may ease the pain. I had it all planned out – I would transform the living area by my old room into a haunted hangout! I got everything! A black light, a strobe lights, spider webs, banners, wall decors, tons of candy and food, and even spooky background songs. I made a playlist that included “Thriller” a few times of course. If I had a fog machine then this would have been perfect!
On the morning of, I woke up and immediately went to work on the room. I think I did a good job. I told the boys to come at 6 pm, but some started showing up an hour or two early with their self-made costumes. Wande made a cat mask out of cardboard boxes. Some of the others wore clothes that could be a costume if you use your imagination. I appreciate the effort guys. I bought face paint for everyone who wanted to wear some and for the kids who didn’t have any costumes. Soon, more and more boys started to show up, but I wasn’t finished setting up! As I continued putting the finishing touches on the room, Chris painted the boys faces in our room.
We also tried to get pizza delivered to the house but none of the places we called wanted to deliver to Kayamandi because it was “too dangerous”. Townships have the stigma of being unsafe, and some certainly are. But Kayamandi is one of the safest townships in the Western Cape. All of the volunteers here would agree with me on that. We had to improvise and thankfully our friend Miriam (Germany) who also volunteers with the Dutch girls, has a car and was able to pick up the pizza we ordered. Thank you Miriam! Finally, a little after 6 pm, the party started!
The kids don’t really celebrate Halloween but they understood the premise and loved how the room was transformed and decked out! We had candy, chips, pop, popcorn, and pizza available for them throughout the night. However, the pizza was devoured within 20 minutes and most of the candy and chips were already gone. You never have to worry about these kids not eating because they will eat everything that’s in front of them! I even spotted one of the kids going into mine and Chris’ specially ordered pizza that I had to hide quick! Later on, more kids showed up and the rest of the volunteers, who were all dressed up, came through. Gesa painted her whole face like a skeleton and Hanneke painted her whole face green and wore Shrek ears and green clothes. They had the best costumes for the night. Mieke was dressed like a cat, I think Theresa was a ghost, and Eric was a surfer. Chris and I wore our Moroccan garb we had while in Marrakech.
It was a packed room that eventually turned into a dance-off between some of the kids. I pumped up the strobe lights as the boys faced off against each other, much to everyone’s amusement. As the night went on, slowly the decorations started to get destroyed. The boys got a kick out of popping the balloons, the spider webs were getting stuck in everyone’s hair, and the door decals were falling off. No point in fixing them, everyone was having a great time!
Around 9 pm is when I decided the party would be over for the kids. It was Thursday so they still had school the next morning. When they all finally went home, the rest of us volunteers stayed up and played a few games while the creepy sound effects were playing in the background. We all had a great time! The night ended with Chris and I serenading Clara and Gesa to sleep with an improvised song I made up on the spot I called “Sud Afrika”. I think I will record a version of the song for them before I eventually leave. 😉
The next morning, I woke up and I knew that the room was a mess. I walked into it expecting the worst, but when I say I underestimated how bad it was, I mean it! It was a DISASTER! The floor was covered in sticky black goo and was littered with trash. Pizza crusts were dangling in spider webs. Streamers and banners were stuck underneath the chairs. Cups, glasses, and plates were in places you should never find dishware. Everything was everywhere! I wish I took a picture of it. The mess was an indication of a great party! I immediately went to work on it and was finished within two hours. Mama Zulu knew we were throwing a party for the kids but I didn’t want her to see the mess we all made, so my goal was to clean it fast before she saw it and tried to help. Mission accomplished.