by Tina Xiang
Tina Xiang is an intern with Care for Children in China. Here she describes one of the social events run by the charity at its center, on the day South Africa held the World Cup opening ceremony.
Frankly speaking, I'm not a football fan, nor do I have any interest in football. Therefore, when our boss Robert emailed an electronic invitation to all the staff and asked us to forward it to friends, I did nothing. However despite my indifference some of my colleagues showed great interest. They discussed which team had new football players, which team would play excellent games and which team had the greatest chance to win. I was touched by their spirits and secretly hoped England would rank in the final four as our charity is basically an English charity and Robert is a really nice Englishman.
It's a pity that I don't have friends who are fanatics about football because they would definitely have loved this party. A big screen was put up in front of the gate for the convenience of seeing the ceremony; blankets were put on the lawn for people to sit on; food and drink was prepared; games were arranged for the children — everything was ready! Around 18:00 people gradually arrived. The little yard was full of energy and joy.
I was responsible for football games for children under ten. For one game, three goals were set and if a kid scored all three goals in three continuous tries he or she would get a glow stick as prize; for another, if kids managed to twice kick the ball into two mini basketball stands, they would get a water gun as prize. I love these little angels. Since they came the little yard was full of pleasure. Knowing that there are prizes for the games, they flocked to kick the ball. Some of the kids were naughty and impatient; after several attempts and failures they would announce they deserved a prize because they just scored the goal and I didn't see. "You did?" I asked. "Yeah, I did!" they said with such steady eyes and innocent faces that I was unwilling to doubt them; so they got a prize. If I happened to see one or two kids score the goal with the help of their hands, they would make faces and continue to try. Some kids tried again and again, failure after failure but still made great efforts. I also gave them prizes for their persistence. Some kids got many glow sticks and connected them into circles. Colorful circles beautified the darkness and brought lots of admiration from other kids. Therefore, glow sticks became more popular than water guns. A kid even traded with me, offering two water guns for four glow sticks. "What a brilliant kid", I thought, "He shows his talent for business at an early age."
I tried to be fair because in my view kids should learn from games as well as having fun.
The games were finished before 21:00. People had already sat down in front of the screen waiting for the ceremony. I left before the opening ceremony because I had to go home early, but I can imagine how exciting it was to watch such a grand ceremony with so many friends.