Today was back at Enaleni and getting to connect with more of the kids. There was more of the older school-age ones this afternoon and although over the past few days I’ve been saddened when you ask them what they’d like to be when they grow up most will tell you a soldier, today I talked to one 17yr. old who
Beamed when he said he’ d like to be a lawyer. There was even a couple who said how much they love to sing and dance at the care points. It’s very hard to see these sweet faces in shreds of clothing and not be able to run out to buy new clothes for all of them. The children are warming up to us and love to be held and played with. Even at my age I had a great time teaching a group of school girls how to play Chinese jump rope. I haven’t played that since I was 10 years old and it was great to laugh and play with these girls who had never seen anything like it before. Or maybe they were just laughing at me jumping up and down trying to keep up with them! Tomorrow will be an exciting day with a princess party for the girls and a soccer camp for the boys. Can’t wait to see their expressions.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!!!!! I love you and you are in my thoughts and prayers all day.
Today was such an incredible day. God completely filled me up with love and was able to share with so many children. The look of excitement and recognition on their faces was so exciting, I couldn’t wait to get out there and hug them, play games, sing and dance. I was able to reconnect with a child I met on Wednesday. Her name is Kholiwe and she has a face and a smile that could melt your heart. I also got to reconnect with my new bud S’petho. To his special friend, he is such an amazing little boy. He is so outgoing, so warm, and has such an expressive face!
This was a day when I also got to connect with the D-Team and Sheila. It’s so special to talk to them on a personal level and hear how we can be in different continents born into very different situations and have so many similarities. After these connections and meeting more of the children, I can’t wait to see the girls at the princess party and see pictures from the boys’ soccer clinic.
I hope everyone reading is doing well! To my family and friends: I can’t wait to see you when I get back and share my experiences. Love you all so much!
Yesterday at Bhobhokazi was amazing! I played a combination of volleyball and soccer with one little boy for a while in the morning. He was a little bit older than the rest of the little ones and was such a sweetheart but so shy. The ball we were using was a deflated, tattered volleyball but we still had a blast. By the end of the day, he was totally opening up and even speaking English with me. During the craft, I sat with a little girl who couldn’t stop staring at herself in the mirror and chatting up a storm in SiSwati. I think we became new best friends. The transformation in the kids from morning to afternoon was amazing. They totally opened up to being loved and we definitely loved on them. The rocky ground and sun were a bit of a challenge but were well worth the scrapes, bruises and sunburns for the hugs, smiles and giggles.
Today started out a little bumpy… literally. Our drum rolled off the rack of our bus and directly onto my head. As funny as it sounds (and really is), it really hurt and put me out of action for much of the day. Nothing a bunch of Advil can’t fix. We had dinner at Julie’s where I had possibly the best brownie I’ve ever had and saw the biggest millipedes. I have been looking forward to this princess party since we started planning it so I am STOKED for tomorrow. I hope that these girls leave feeling special, beautiful and sense of self-worth. Knate, I’m going to try and find your girl and take lots of pictures!!!
Thanks for all the blog posts, it means a lot to all of us. Love you guys!
These last few days have been truly wonderful, we visited Bhobhokazi for the first time yesterday and although it was very different than Enelani the spirit of those children was humbling and inspiring. I found it so compelling how the children there had no expectations on the love and attention they were about to receive from us. Although it took them awhile to warm up to us but they were eventually sitting in our laps and sneaking us smiles. I had an amazing day there and look forward to going back and loving on those kids who so desperately need it.
Today at Enelani we did the story of Daniel and the Lions Den with the kids, they all looked so cute in their lions masks. We ended the day with a fun hour of bubbles, skipping, cuddles, singing, soccer and picture time with the kids, it sure seemed like they had fun (as did we!) I’m looking forward to tomorrow as we are throwing our princess party and soccer party! The kids are going to love it. I cannot wait to see all of their faces when they see their party dresses and the pro soccer player. Although I am not looking forward to our 6am wake up call (I’m not sure I know what that hour of the morning looks like).
Thank you all again for your love and support through this journey,
Mom, i’m sorry I haven’t been keeping up my end of the bargin, I’ll try harder but thank you for reading and writing every day, it’s always so exciting to hear from you.
Katrina, I am thinking about you every single day, I love you and it kills me that I am not there for you right now but I know that you will be strong like you always are. You will be in my prayers of course, keep me updated with everything, you can also facebook me if you want a more private conversation.
Eles, thank you for writing all the time! Its so good to hear from you, I hope everything is going well over there for you, facebook me with all the updates! I love you and can’t wait to see you!
Sue, thank you so much for your prayers and support, reading your blogs are always so uplifting. I hope everything is going well in Winnipeg, hope its not too cold. Say hi to everyone for me, and if you talk to Eles tell him I say hello and I love him!
Until next time, thank you all and much love
Another “favorite day” for me. Got to direct an 80 voice African children’s choir…a huge highlight and honour for me. Wow is all I can say about that.
A few days ago Jon and I got to visit our sponsor child and dear babe Lutkehtfo and his sister. We have not been able to write about it yet as it was a heavy day for us. That very morning, Lutkehtfo was diagnosed with HIV and was feeling very sick. Him and his sister Thembuso are both HIV positive and sick. They were both very quiet and sad, making the reality of HIV/Aids very real to us. We both just felt the need to shower our love on them both. Today was that day. It was the first time I was able to hold him in my arms. He was awkward, which made me realize he rarely gets that kind of affection from home. I kissed him and touched them both so much and got some very special and precious moments with them both today.
I will never forget standing with Jon at the entrance of Enelani watching Lutkehfo and his sister begin the 40 minute walk home with one plastic bag full of his school supplies, one smaller bag with his new tooth brush and paste, and black school shoes 2 sizes too small with his feet ripping out of the back. How many shoes do my children own each back in Winnipeg? How little we think of the ease it is to shop for a school backpack? As parents of 2 young boys, we watched our African sponsor child and his sister walk away from us and desired to walk them home to make sure they were safe, a parental instinct to protect our children. Our babies.
p.s. Thanks Marianna for representing SHS for me!!!!
Cathy, 1st I could barely hold back the tears when you message was read. As I am writing this I am crying quietly. Thank you for the support right from the beginning.
You are completely correct in that I am having a great time and am being challenged everyday. It seems that time here is sometimes going so fast then, so slow. The mix of emotions that I am experiencing. I think of you and the boys everyday. As I see the kids playing at the care points, I think how awesome the next second I think what are my boys doing. I miss you all so dearly. I know this will have an impact on my life at home.
I hope that the boys are not driving you crazy.
Zach my stomach caught up to me today. Not sure what I ate but the food finally won.
Luke – we had lots of fun building today. I know you would enjoy playing with the boys here.
Reuben – I am missing you dearly. Has Basketball started yet?
**Gino, thanks for the update on the bombers. I think this is a bad deal as Buck is great but just a little tender. Who is our #2???? We will have to catch a game together this year. *** I hope this was an April fools comment.. sander says it’s not**
I am so frustrated with the amount of time things take to get done here. To get electricity to Bhobhokozi. They have applied for an electricity permit but it is going to take 4 -6 months before it happens. They do not have running water there yet. It is brought in on a monthly basis and put in a large container. Happy to know once the electricity is approved then the water will flow. Water is life in Swazi land. The next time you flush the toilet know how blessed we are to be able to do that. I am not being mean just saying how different our world’s are. So glad to be here with the support of such a great people.
Today, I was skipping with the kids, mostly girls) before they went home, if you can call it a home(mud hut). They loved it and thought it was very funny to see an adult male to jump rope. They all cheered and laughed as I was able to do it pretty well. They turn the rope very fast here. So much more to say but time for someone else to write about their day.
Over and out from Swaziland…