Wednesday 28 April 2010

Finally!

I finally have the time to do a bit of blogging and post some photos.

April is a month in Ireland when we have the National Spring Clean and this year I signed our estate up to take part in it. Instead of organizing a one day event we decided to have a clean up for a few hours in each week of April. We had bags and gloves sent out to us by the organizers which was helpful and encouraging. Encouraging because I was able to show the children here the letters and items etc., and stirred them up for the clean up; to help them feel they are a part of something bigger.
They are great kids for the most part, very willing to work and all I have to do is go outside with a yard brush or watering can and they all come a-running! Of course the older kids wouldn't join in in a fit... but they had their day with planting, cleaning and Bible Clubs in the past, and I am happy enough to let them move on. There are plenty of youngsters to keep the show on the road and me active!

One other thing that is encouraging us to tidy up is that Cluid, who own these homes are having a competition to see who had the nicest estate/apartment block and the first prize is €400. Well, you would think it was €4,000 the way the kids got all excited about it! I told them that 'if' we win, we will hire out a big bouncy castle for them for the day and buy loads of ice cream lol!

On the first week of April we swept and tided up a couple of different areas around our small estate.

The second week we spent sweeping and digging around a very dirty area just off the entrance to where we live. Initially this was planned to be the entrance to a new estate but due to the recession and lack of funds the project has been put on hold. Sadly, kids use this place to hang out, smoke and break glass etc., so it really needed a clean up. There was quite a bit of digging involved here because grass has grown along the kerb but we had two spades and lots of willing hands and eventually got it done. This, for me was the best day because although the work was hard and the day was hot and the children had to take turns with the spades, yard brushes etc., they worked very well together with no falling out. I was very proud of them.This little 2 yo helped for about two hours!
We worked very hard at it and ended up buying two boxes of ice pops and sitting on the curb enjoying them.

On the third week we swept up. We also washed the doors etc on the community Centre and washed chalk graffiti off lamp posts. The kids really enjoyed this! (You can just imagine the fun they had with the water!) We finished off with chocolate bars as a treat.

This last week we had a full clean up where we picked up litter from all over the estate. We also planted ivy along the long wall that is on the way into this estate. This time we had drinks and pringles as a treat.

I really enjoyed getting the kids involved in the National Spring Clean. I think it is a great idea and look forwards to taking part in it again in 2011. So, to celebrate this months activities we have booked the Garda van (free use of 14 seater police van and police driver) for next Thursday and hope to take about 10 of the kids who have been working with me for a tour of some of the pretty estates in Co Louth. We may stop someplace nice like the Bally Mac Hotel for a drink and snack in their lovely gardens and hopefully during all of this we will take part in a treasure hunt that Niall promised to organize! Happy Days!

2 comments:

ruth said...

I love your photos. The children are precious. You must have a gift for working with children... they all look so happy!

Ruth MacC said...

Hi Ruth, the kids love being able to do something and are always eager to help out. When I was first converted and moved here God gave me a love for the kids and Niall and I decided, with the support of our church, to start a Bible story club in our home. However I was terrified of the kids and the possibility of teaching them and left it up to somebody else. But after a while I settled into it all and now treat the kids as if they are my own:0)
Qe don't seem to have an open door spiritually at the moment but we have loads of oppertunities to love and serve them in the ordinary everyday way. Thanks for the comment and encouragement.