Vernon Puttkammer is Bulembu’s Director of Child Care. He deals with the various government departments relating to orphan care and oversees all departments within Bulembu that contribute to the child care program. He and his family have been on Bulembu since 2007.
How are you going to celebrate an African Christmas?
Under a foreign introduced pine tree form Europe, with European decorations, candles, lots of German cakes and biscuits and this is all celebrated with family. We celebrate Christmas on the 24th of December and then on the 25th we go to church and afterwards have a big Christmas meal with roast beef, roast chicken , potatoes, vegetables. Very German / African food.
What do you enjoy most about Christmas?
I enjoy all the family that is together, the celebration of the birth of Christ and the hope that we get through Him. It’s just a very nice time of the year where people are more tolerant of each other, more considerate and a lot less self focused.
What is your favorite Christmas carol?
Have you experienced a white Christmas before?
No, I have never experienced a white Christmas.
What do you think it’s like?
I think it’s cold and cozy.
What was a highlight for you in 2010?
Definitely the kids!!! The overall progress in the children who have been in the care program for a couple of years and how they have grown and changed has been a huge highlight. Some of the children who came into the program were very sick, literally on their death beds and now to see how they have grown in school and how they have adapted to a new life – it is amazing.
What are you looking forward to next year?
Saving more lives through the transformation offered in Bulembu.
What has been the biggest change in Bulembu in the last year?
The growth of the number of kids that have come in and also the people that live and work in Bulembu. Just to have seen the program grow and the awareness around the world about Bulembu.
What is the biggest challenge you face in the next year?
The biggest challenge is finding a way to identify the kids with the biggest need to come into the program.
What is the best about living in Bulembu?
What do you wish for Christmas for yourself?
What do you wish for Christmas for Bulembu?
I wish that the hope that comes with the birth of Christ is received by the people.