Fr. Seraphim, Emily, James, Kadijah and I
were at the Nazareth House Apostolate School
in Kabala on St. Patrick's Day.
I really hadn't any idea whether they celebrated the Irish Holiday in Sierra Leone or not.
What happened at the top o' that morning, proved that they do indeed remember "the Day of the Green", at least at NHA School.
A few days before, at one of the Freetown area beaches, we noticed several fishing boats. One, in particular seemed like it was rocking, even though it was on shore. The words written on the boat read "RAINBOW'S END".
The closer we got to the boat, the more we saw it shake. However, once we got close enough to it, whatever was inside vanished. Strangely, the rest of the time at the beach and even back home at St. Laurence House, we all had a weird feeling as if we were being followed. Could it have been something in the boat?
At the NHA Kabala School, the studens hurried in to begin classes.
There was excitement in the air.
Suddenly we saw a little flash of green whiz past one of the classrooms. What was that? Could it be...was that a leprechaun?
It is, it is... although to some of us
he looks more like Elton John!
Much to the student's delight,
the wee little creature visited each classroom
and handed out
shiny green foil covered chocolate coins from his bag.
Not the traditional gold coins said to have been found at the end of the rainbow,
but to students who rarely have candy, especially chocolate
... this was better than gold coins.
This little African/Irish Leprechaun appeared out of nowhere and
boldly began to go about his work.
But his boldness quickly waned as he noticed
that the children were much larger than he is.
The Leprechaun became a bit timid.
Not wanting to forsake his gift giving;
he chose Mako
to escort him throughout each classroom - for encouragement and protection.
With Mako by his side, he resumed his coin gifting.
As each student received their candy coin
from the little guy,
they smiled and giggled.
The children were amazed and happy at his presence.
Student to student, classroom to classroom
the Leprechaun handed out the coins.
Thinking back at the shaking boat at the beach, we wonder. Could this have been where this little Leprechaun lives, was this the famous Rainbow's End?
All that we at NHA know is that somehow this
sweet little leprechaun
showed up at Nazareth House Apostolate School in Kabala
and handed out chocolate coins
and in doing so,
he brought lots of smiles.
After all the students had received their treats, the wee little man went outside
to deliver candy coins to the parents and
younger children that had gathered outside of the school.
He didn't leave out anyone ...
he distributed his goods well.
Towards the end of the morning,
the leprechaun was tiring and ready
to return to where it is he returns.
But first, placed in the lap of sister Emily
he took advantage of a quick loving snuggle...
then it was off to Leprechaun land. He vanished as quickly as he appeared.
As we looked around to see if we could catch another glimpse of him, we noticed
he'd left a little "Ireland" behind in Kabala.
What cheer this guy spread around.
Maybe next year, he will show up again? All of us at the Nazareth House Kabala School certainly hope so.