Kate and Amos kindly offered their lovely garden to be a venue for a group of families to have a day out in the countryside. The sun shone warmly and this was a surprise for A from Albania as she had previously only seen it raining in our patch of paradise. ‘Never mind’, she told us, ‘it would be much hotter in Albania!’
We had hoped for about 27 visitors but unfortunately for reasons beyond anyone’s control [weekday, illness, premature labour, had to work nights and overslept, children too tired and too short notice for places to be filled from the waiting list], we only had 10 but they were delighted with the visit. Virginia, Sean, Lydia and Ailsa met the minibus in Talgarth car park to show them the way as the venue was about 1.5 miles out of Talgarth on a single track road. Robert the volunteer driver from Unity in Diversity was very pleased not to have a bigger bus as the road is very narrow in places but the only cars we saw on the road were members of the group and it was lovely to arrive to see Kate, Amos, Rachel, Dante and a large number of friends and their children who were there to welcome the visitors and play in the garden.
Hastily rearranging the plans for the day, Kate encouraged the visitors to relax and sip tea or coffee ably served by Dante. Little four year old O saw the stream and ran in! Wellies were found and he spent the next 2 hours building dams, throwing stones and playing with tadpoles. Jean from UID and Helen from Talgarth supervised and played too. Helen found wellies too and paddled like a good one. O’s mum N was able to play with her daughter A and chat to her friend who had come as well. She said it was so good to have some time to do this as normally O is demanding. I’d first met them in April and he’s grown and speaks very clearly now. He’s in school and so much happier now he can communicate. Meanwhile Zak and Tali with occasional help from Dante [between catering duties] played football with H a Sri Lankan boy who is in the Swansea development squad and C from Albania. Robert joined in briefly before rejoining the table saying he was surprised at how tiring playing football was. 17year old H was persuaded to consider a career in Nursing/ midwifery and received lots of helpful advice. When I spoke about her brother being a football star, her dad proudly told us that she had been on the news recently whilst attending a summer school. Mum was delighted with some of the donations, some hangers to store shoes in ‘H has so many shoes!’ and an elephant bowl holder that might have come from Sri Lanka. We discussed the difference between African and Asian Elephants – I knew about the different ear size but not that Asian elephants were much more beautiful!
14 year old C enjoyed walking round the garden and was delighted to meet Virginia’s dog Lewis. His mum A enjoyed having a chat with other women as she doesn’t know many in Swansea. Lunch was as delicious as might be expected with Rachel cooking and was a delicious mung bean dahl and a vegetable curry with jewelled pilau rice. Everyone ate heartily except for B from Ethiopia who was fasting but she took a good portion to eat at home later.
Meanwhile back at the stream, O was investigating the tadpoles’ ability to withstand poking and checking upon the other pond life. He managed to eat a hardboiled egg but rapidly resumed his exploration of water and tadpoles. A painted stone hunt revealed unexpected competitiveness and beautiful stones.
Then there was cake and more cake and cake that we decided could go to the Brunswick centre drop in run by Swansea bay asylum seekers support group to share the love.
A walk had been suggested for a while and finally as we started to re load donations that were surplus and sort out things that were going to Swansea, a group went off to see the views. O and A walked/ ran most of the way and were thrilled to see sheep and a glider that passed so near that they could see the pilot. O said he would be a pilot one day.
All who attended had a great day with wonderful food and plenty of opportunity to chat and make new friends and investigate the stream! Thanks to Kate, Amos and Rachel for making this possible and sharing their lovely garden with us all.
Comments- ‘This is such a beautiful place. Thanks for a lovely day. We dropped off the various items at the Brunswick and were just in time for tea!’- Jean
‘We had a wonderful day and are so happy to meet everyone and really hope that we can come to your area again’ Thusita
‘Firstly may I offer my sincere regret that the number of people that arrived was well under what was expected. We usually have a number of no-shows but it’s not so noticeable when we have larger numbers’….. explanation of the problems and