Over time I have met a lot of people in Dominica, and yes, also Dutch people. One of them, an elderly gentleman, recently contacted me. He is moving back to the Netherlands with his wife and had some toys to donate. It was a considerable donation!
Together with Pamela, our treasurer, who was here at the time, we visited them at their home in Giraudel. On the phone, he told me it was just one small donation; however, when we arrived at his lovely home, there was a lot more. There were a number of bags filled with several puzzles, a wooden train set, Lego bricks, a Lego truck, and much more.
It was fun sorting everything.
The taxi was packed when we drove home. And the next day, we started sorting everything. Making sure all the puzzles were complete and it all looked decent. After all, everything had survived Hurricane Maria in 2017.
We washed all the Lego bricks and put all the puzzles in Ziploc bags, one by one. I bought an extra storage container to keep everything dry and free from bugs and little lizards, who poop everywhere. Then we continued with the large bag of crocheted dolls, a complete family with different clothing sets.
I decided to wash all of them, and they came out fresh and clean. Seeing all these various-sized dolls hanging out to dry on the washing line was funny. Finally, there was a bag of dress-up clothes. Looking at those dolls, it was a considerable donation
for sure. Sorry no picture.
Look what I found!
We sorted all the dress-up clothes, a few aprons, dresses, etc., put aside a few things to donate to a preschool, and discarded what was not usable. There was one particular thing that caught my eye. All in all we are very grateful and happy with what is a considerable donation.
I can’t explain why it caught my eye, but I knew it was important to keep it. One small donation, in this case, an old beret, will play a key role in building confidence. The beret will be called the “Breadfruit House courage hat.” And it has magical powers once you put it on.
The stage is yours.
That small donation will help the children gain confidence when speaking to a group or performing. I washed the beret a few times to ensure it was squeaky clean before we start using it. And it was just sitting there on my desk, staring at me.
And out of the blue, it hit me. During the last session of our program in December, one of the teachers mentioned how nice it would be to have a stage for the children to learn how to speak to a group, perform a song, dance, or recite a poem. It had crossed my mind a few times, so I joined the discussion and told them it had been on my wish list for a while now.How fun will it be to build up your confidence in the safety of the Breadfruit House?
I have reached out to the carpenter, who also made our benches, table with cubby holes, and the little step in the washroom, to give me a quote. read my Blog about that here. And once the stage is built, I can tell the children the stage is yours!
Well, Ms. Marieke, I want to step onto that stage, but I am scared. I am afraid of making mistakes, stumbling over my words, or freezing altogether. Of course, I will tell every child that there is nothing to fear; everyone has stage fright at some point. Even famous performers still suffer from it. But that won’t change their fear immediately.
Fortunately, at Breadfruit House, we have a solution for that. It is called the Breadfruit courage hat. This magical hat has superpowers. You will have all the courage you need when you put it on. Simply try it and find out for yourself. It works; it just does.
The power of imagination.
Young children still use their imagination in everyday life. And if you believe wholeheartedly that the beret has superpowers, it has just that. Let’s make sure their time at the Breadfruit House is magical and builts their confidence.
There is so much we have unlearned as adults. And one of the things is believing in magic, which is believing in the power of your mind. If you are confident that you can do it, you can. It is that simple. Is the hat magical, you ask? Well, I believe it is, do you?
The strength of connections.
Living in Dominica for over six years and being part of a local circle of phenomenal women means I have built meaningful connections. However, I did not meet the couple who donated everything in that circle. One of the ladies in the group introduced me to them.
I will not bore you with the details of how we met; that is a heartbreaking story. Don’t worry; it had nothing to do with them or me.
That was years ago, somewhere in 2018. We had not been in contact that much. When the man saw my interview in the local newspaper, he remembered me. If you want to read that article, please click here. For other articles featuring Marieke and Breadfruit House please click here.
He contacted me after reading the newspaper, asking if I was interested in kid’s stuff. And that is how it all happened. It was a considerable donation in which the courage hat, or beret, founds its way to the Breadfruit House. Like magic!
What wonderful story, and i am sure the beret has magical powers and that it will be tye start of empowerment for the one who is wearing it.
What a wonderful story again, Marieke! I liked to read it, what a progress you and everyone made with the breadfruit house and wahat a nice gifts and beautiful ideas and help from people. It’s really great. Also that Kees and his wife came to the Breadfruithouse, so lovely and kind….I hope you can continue the progress, it’s very positive and wonderfull to read! Hanneke.
Thanks for looking out for our children. Beautiful story.