Bryan P – Wood, Wheels and Worth.
The other day was an interesting one to say the least. It started with day two of our picnic table build. I was given the task of completing a cut list to finish the remaining two tables. I was also assigned an apprentice who was in charge of the square and pencil. He was very serious about his task. As I measured each piece he would quickly come over and place the speed square on the plank and mark the line. Sometimes the square was not lined up so the line was not at 90 degrees to the plank. (time for a training talk) In case you snuck a peek at the pictures first I was holding his hands as we pushed the skillsaw down the line. I loved the look on his face as he looked up at me after the cut. We pushed hard to finish our cuts and soon we were done. It would have gone faster if the “board carrier” had been doing his job but he was busy listening to Harry (our project leader) tell stories of his adventure as a building skill trainer in Africa.
I went over to talk with Harry and we agreed that we could have finished all three tables in one day if we set our minds to it. But then we would have completely missed the point. We may be near the end of our careers (60+) but the young boys and men we are training are just at the beginning of theirs and soak up the guidance like dry sponges. It was fun to watch young men use power drills for the first time. They managed to finish the two remaining tables just in time for our Chicken Dust lunch.
For the last month I have been talking to Amy (staff in Swaziland). She has been attempting to meet the needs of children with disabilities. Unfortunately there is very little help available in Swaziland. Several years ago I lost a job of 21 years and was struggling to find my place in the world. Five months later I accepted a position at St. Amant in Winnipeg. It has been a wonderful change in direction for me and little did I know it would also train me to help Amy with some of the needs she has.
Back to today. We are driving off into the back trails to visit a young girl and her grandmother. The girl is confined to wheel chair or a thin mat on the floor. Her grandmother has the job of lifting her between the two. It’s a hard job to do when the person being lifted can’t help. Our mission was to see if we could do to help. At first the grand mother said she was afraid of me but with the help of our interpreter I assured her we were here to help. As of now we have a game plan and a pile of ideas. That a good place to start. – Bryan P
Kailey – Rollercoaster Ride Of Emotions and Health
My trip started with a missing bag… again! It was stuck in Amsterdam for a few days and received it yesterday. After picking 1 of the 4 pairs of shoes Jon and Elliot picked for me, I put my own shoes on. It felt so wonderful to have a pair that actually fit.
With having to eat gluten free, it is a lot easier out here then you would think it would be. Although I had let my guard down one morning… I ate a bread and egg casserole. EISH! With the anticipation of being ill for the next 3 days we prayed hard. It is now day 3 and I have very little symptoms. WAHOO! GOD IS GOOD!
Our first day at Enalani was bittersweet. I found our special friend Lethu, and connected with other friends as well. I couldn’t help but feel like someone was missing. Actually 2. My parents special friend Thobehlile, who ended up showing at the princess party today. I was great to see her and catch up with her. The second person that was missing was very dear to my heart. A boy who was one of my best friends, special to many people, sincere, kind, and a goof ball in so many ways. He had passed away before last years trip. I didn’t receive the same closure the last swaziteam had. It was a very hard day with many reminders of his absence.
The first day at Bhobokazi was Great. I found our other special friend Nonhle. She had a huge smile on her face once she realized we were here. It was a great moment when my sister’s special friend Philiswa came to find me. Every kid has grown so much in the last 2 years. It was nice to see how healthy they were looking. But I couldn’t help but feel that there was someone missing once again. Another friend was missing. She has just had a baby and has stopped coming to the carepoint. I talked to 2 of the siblings and am hoping she will come on our last day.
Both princess parties were so wonderful! I got to do what I do best… decorate cupcakes. I got to walk the beautiful girls through how to decorate cupcakes. It was so great seeing how creative they can be with the limited supplies they were given. They had so much fun, enjoyed being pampered and having all the attention on them. They were reminded that they truly are all Beautiful Princesses in Gods Kingdom!
It has been so great to be here with my husband (Jaret), seeing him with the kids has been so fun. I am pretty sure he has fallen in love with Swaziland. So much so that he even said he wouldn’t mind moving here. – Kailey