… and on Christmas day 2008 the WildEarth Angels (WEangels) were the heroes that made a small village, of much less fortunate people, the happiest little village in the world!!
WE were late getting started because of rain and a power line had broken in the storm, but the WildEarth crew woke up before dawn and after a hot cup of coffee the time had come to make a special day for the children and adults of Dixie village in Mpumulanga. First stop was to collect all the meat from Sidney’s fridge, pack all the mielie pap, coleslaw, more than 400 presents and the broadcast equipment. It took three trucks to haul all the ‘stuff’ from Djuma to Dixie. WE couldn’t have done it without the help of Djuma Game Reserve, and in particular Jimmy, Warren, Char, Jurie and Pippa.
Although WE were late getting going, the kids knew what was coming and the whole village was excited at the prospect of a ‘proper’ Christmas celebration. Word had gotten around about these mysterious ‘WEangels’ and the efforts that WildEarth were going to to make sure that these special people got a taste of what we all mean by Christmas.
As soon as the technical issues were behind us (a baboon had damaged our main antenna cable in the night ๐Ÿ˜‰ Rexon began the task of giving 146 children their first ever Christmas presents … something he has been looking forward to doing for a while.
The excitement and happiness is difficult to describe. There are some ‘seekpoints’ at the end of this Blog if you missed it LIVE that will help you to understand what you did. The pictures go some way to capturing the emotions, but I need to tell those of you that have never been into a rural village in Africa and seen the poverty what it means. What the word poverty actually is …
You see poverty doesn’t just mean that you have to go without clothes, food, water, education, health care and Christmas presents. It means that nobody cares. It makes you feel worthless in a way that is hard for us to imagine or relate to. It makes you feel ignored and rips away your self esteem.
But when some kind hearted people from thousands of miles away, take the time to think of those that they do not know and will never meet. Reach into their pockets and give a little love. On a day like this day … WE change the world. Not in a small way, but in a huge way. Because the impact on these children’s lives was not small … it was massive. Not because they got a toy, but because in their hearts they knew that on this big scary planet Earth they are not alone. 
They have not been forgotten. 
They matter.
Well after the kids had their presents Rexon took us on a short walk around the village, which included a look at the ‘stand pipe’ (the tap where all the ladies collect water for their homes). Providing water to every home is going to be our new WEangel project, but much more about this over the next few days.
Then it was time for the ladies to cook the mielie pap …
with a little help from Rex …
 
Then the men got on with the job of cooking 450 pounds of beef on several fires … as the rain started up again.
Nobody has ever done this for these people before and their appreciation is very deep. Deeper than I can express.
On behalf of all the people of Dixie, all the kids, the crew of WildEarth and the viewers around the world that watched it LIVE (and those that will watch the WEarchive for years), I want to thank, from the bottom of my heart, each and every WEangel that donated to this most worthy of causes. Your money was necessary and made this possible, but it was the fact that you cared enough to do something on this day that made 600 peoples day so much brighter. You are all heroes and should be very very proud of yourselves. 
I am so proud of you all and I believe that our journey of helping others, educating people about wildlife, enjoying the trials and tribulations of our planet’s nature and saving this WildEarth of ours, has only just begun.
Merry Christmas.
Some seekpoints …
Rex starts giving out presents.

Presents continued …

Presents continued …

Presents continued …

Presents continued …

Rex thanks the WEangels and translates the headmistresses speech.

There is a great deal more in the WEarchive (http://www.wildearth.tv/wearchive) please go and explore … it really is worth it.