Wow! What a day! Party days are always a highlight and today was no different. Our carnival themed day was a pile of fun with bean bag and ring tosses, potato sack races, face painting (that didn’t quite work ) , three super bouncers, parachute games and of course the … quads. Now remember the kids aren’t even used to riding a bike and here we were putting them on a motorized vehicle, expecting them to steer, accelerate and brake (not good for the mother’s heart in me, but Jon was in his glory!) Actually it was well controlled, only one minor accident. Only kids, 12 and older were allowed to drive, and the team members at that station, said that when the instructor gave the kids a helmet to put on, they had expressions of hesitation and maybe a bit of worry but after the experience, when they removed their helmet they were grinning ear to ear! For lunch, the “chicken dust”, both of which the kids and our team have come to love was served and everyone ate to their heart and stomach’s content. The time went fast and before long it was time for them to go home. Every child left with a candy bag and another big treat …. a head of cabbage … not the typical item for a “loot bag” but something much needed for their home. The great thing about the cabbages is that they were grown at another care point and shared with our kids. The loot bag they ended up carrying home today was quite the load for the little ones, but they carried them with pride and joy! We are all heading to bed early tonight (or at least some of us are) and are looking forward to church tomorrow!
Love to you all!
Finally it happened, I met my boy Tony! We missed each other when I was at Bhobokazi and I was really disappointed. So today at the party and Enaleni I was looking for him and I walked up to someone that I thought was him and low and behold it was. I introduced myself to him and I was so excited. He is a tall boy (even taller than me) and even though he was 16 years old and with some of his friends I gave him a hug I cannot tell you how happy that made me feel. The people here say that they are so happy we are here and what a blessing we are to them. I told them that I am more blessed and that how I wished I could do more. Riverwood you have no idea what an impact you are having here in Swaziland, lives are being touched and changed and I thank you for standing by us. I appreciate your prayers and when you see the faces of those precious children just know that you have had a part in blessing and loving those children.
Your sister in Christ Carolin
Hello family and friends. I finally decided to try blogging. As you see, I didn’t get left in London – they finally found me in the cabbage patch in Enaleni!! It’s taken me a while to process how I felt after desiring to come to Swaziland for so long. As I stepped off the bus at Enaleni for the first time, I was overwhelmed with emotion. It felt as if I had come home. As I explored, it all seemed so familiar as I had read all the previous blogs and could imagine this care point coming alive. It was marvelous to see all the children arriving bit by bit. Their smiles just light up the world! I felt so privileged to be able to help dig the trench for irrigating the garden so that these young ones could have fresh vegetables. Guys, you would have laughed to see me attempt to use the pneumatic shovel – I couldn’t quite manage to get it out of the ground!! So – Gerald – guess who gets to use the jackhammer this year!! When we arrived in Bobakazi, I was surprised to see how small it was in size but held so much. The gogo’s there were so friendly and the kids were suprisingly open and talkative. I have thoroughly enjoyed the time I’ve spent with the kids and am looking forward to more of the same. Our carnival today was a blast and I had my first taste of chicken dust and I think it was pap – I thought it was funny tasting potatoes. Tomorrow I will experience my first Swazi church service, and from what I’ve seen and heard already, I am going to enjoy. Deb, you would enjoy the trusting way these little ones hold up their arms to be lifted and held. The older ones enjoy hugs also and they are so beautiful. I guess John will have to check my suitcase so I don’t bring a sibling home for you all. Love you lots!!
Had an awesome party day today! The kids are amazing and so beautiful. We are in awe of Mrs. Todd to put so much into the fun-packed hours we all enjoyed so much. Eating chicken dust, “pap” (corn maize), and salad with my hands was a treat. Enjoying the opportunity to participate in this.
The past week has gone by so incredibly fast, it has been an exuberating blur! Three continents in two days of full travel, visiting two different dedicated care points, a new culture and language to digest, playing with children of literally all ages (from a completely different culture), meeting my “Special Friend” (Sponsor child), visiting his family on a home visit, a carnival today, and of course the “chicken dust”, as just a start to some of the major things I have experienced. NO way to write about everything this team has experienced on this trip, so please by all means you will have to talk to one of the individuals on this trip when we get back.
The one thing that has had the most significance and repercussion on my outlook, has been meeting my special friend, and the Home Visit to meet his family and discover more about his family, culture, religion, and ultimately his life. I learnt a great deal about a great deal of things. I definitely had an internal battle with the knowledge i had to digest, and ultimately the things that I cannot help with, or change. Current circumstances, and things that have occurred that can only be dealt with through prayer and trusting in God.
The work that is occurring here to help the children is essential; the life altering experiences, and teachings we are giving these children will last a lifetime. Please keep the prayers coming, and know that the difference we are making here is real, even if sometimes we don’t see an immediate change or alteration.