The Happy Hour normally held every month at Rand Aid Association-run Ron Smith Care Centre, took on a different flavour this February, as the theme of the gathering was to celebrate Chinese New Year, the year of the Monkey.
Residents from all six wings of the care centre were invited to the Cedar Park wing, which was brightly decorated with Chinese dragons, flower motifs and banners with Chinese calligraphy, proclaiming best wishes for long life and good fortune for the coming year.
Fortune cookies were offered round, and residents curiously broke open their cookies in anticipation of finding news of impending good fortune! They also had fun trying to work out what their Chinese horoscope sign is, there being 12 animal signs in the Chinese Zodiac. Funnily enough, there were a lot of ‘monkeys’ in the group, followed by many rats, oxen and snakes.
A few Chinese horoscopes were read out, indicating personality traits, likes, dislikes and likelihood of compatibility with other signs. The residents enjoyed calling out their answers to a quiz on Chinese culture and traditions and then sampled some litchi juice along with a variety of Chinese snacks: spring rolls, dumplings, meatballs, bow ties, sesame rice cakes and candies, guava confectionaries and dried plums. A few people attempted to use their chopsticks, but then decided their hunger would be satisfied much more quickly using their fingers!
“Some of the residents were able to say ‘Happy New Year’ in Chinese and also ‘thank you’ for the evening. They really enjoyed the experience of sampling the food and culture of a different country, and it was decided that with St Patrick’s Day around the corner, the next cultural experience will be Irish!” says Debbie Christen, Manager: Recreational Programmes at Rand Aid.
Joan Bellew has a giggle, getting to grips with the challenge of eating with chopsticks!
Gwen Byrne, Anne Brokensha and Peter Barker.
Denny Hancox in her daughter’s silk and satin Chinese jacket.
LETTER FROM HAPPY RESIDENT
How far we have come – This letter was sent to Zabeth Zühlsdorff, Rand Aid’s GM Services and Advance Division, by a resident, following a social held for residents on February 12:
I assume, perhaps mistakenly, that Friday evening’s Chinese Party was arranged as part of the Eden Alternative initiative. Whatever the motive, I would like you to know that this big effort made by Sylvia Birkhead, Debbie Christen, and their anonymous helpers to make a pleasant “evening out” is greatly appreciated. I must commend Bianca for the design of the invitation. And, of course, a big thank-you to those who had to clear up afterwards!
Rand Aid has made huge strides in the care of elderly since the days when OT was two hours a week in the hall!
Please pass on my thanks.