Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
We arrived in Livingston on Saturday around lunchtime. BW gave us all some money to get our own lunch. Sarah and I decided to share something and pool our money at a nice restaurant. It was so good! After we checked in to the Protea, we loaded back up into “Khaki Jackie” and headed to the Royal Livingston for some High Tea. It was so delightful.
After High Tea, we had the pleasure of seeing some small monkeys playing around on the grounds. As we were taking pictures and videos one little monkey decided to be brave and chase after Sarah and me. As we ran screaming from the tiny monkey like little girls, we couldn’t help but laugh at the thought.
Sunday we went on a Safari in Botswana. We started the day with a riverboat cruise in the Chobe National Park. Lebs, our guide was very knowledgeable and steered us around to all of the animals. We saw elephants, monitor lizards, hippos, water buffalo, crocodile, and tons of birds. It was great. After our cruise we had lunch and then we loaded up on our safari trucks and headed out. BW, Sarah and I all sat in the back of out truck with our friends from Mexico in front of us then Meghann, Marja, and Caroline. We had so much fun looking for all the animals. We saw Impala, Kudo, Warthog, Elephants, Giraffe, Water Buffalo, and Monkeys. Then when we least expected it, our driver Ronald, hit the gas and muttered something about a Leopard. We went tearing off through the bush at about 50 km per hour. We plowed through a heard of Elephants, and when I say heard I mean about 50 elephants. It was crazy. Ronald got us there in time to see the Leopard being harassed by two jackels. Then he calmly walked in front of our car. It was great. They say that Leopard sighting are very rare in the Chobe National Park. All in all, it was a good day.
This morning we got to sleep in. Sarah and I did not get out of bed until around 10:30. It was a nice change and a much needed rest. After lunch we went to Victoria Falls to see it during the day. It was so beautiful and amazing to see. We had a great guide who took us around to all of the sights. He was really good, even though we still got drenched.
After Victoria Falls, we went on a sunset cruise. There was food, animals, and good friends, along with an African sunset. A good ending to a wonderful trip.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Today was the last day at the Haven. In the morning we took time and spent it with the babies. For our class, BW asked us to write a paper on the development of one child that we picked. Of course, I picked Teagan. We spent most of morning cuddling on the couch and sleeping. It was the best time I have had in a long while. I am really going to miss her sweet little smile and the way she stares deep into my eyes. Sweet baby child.
After Lunch, we picked up some cakes that Lenord made for us and headed back to the Haven for the afternoon. We presented the aunties at each Haven with a “Thank You” cake fr allowing us to come in and disrupt their routines for the past month. They were all appreciative and sad to see us go. After that we all took up our chosen children for one last snuggle, laugh and hug. As I made my way around kissing and hugging all the children one last time, I came to Peter. I bent down to love on him and he looked up at me with his big brown eyes and grinned, grab my face with his little hands and laughed. I lost it. I am going to miss all these kids so much, I didn’t think it was possible to form a bond so quickly with children that are not mine. But I have. It is hard knowing that some of the sweet ones will not be here next if I get the chance to come back.
After dinner, Rachel and Catherine announced that we would be competing in the first annual HIZ-PATH GA Olympics. The events were as follows: Longest Leg Hair, Sock Slide, Door Lock (with Harry Potter keys), bottle chug, Chitange wrap, and 40 second clothes dash. Sarah Hendrix came in first, Lacey Nunnally second, and Kaylee Carlson third. It was CLASSIC!
After the Olympics we could here music in the distance coming from the college. So we donned our headlamps and chitange and headed out to the college so see what was going on. When we got there, we discovered the college kids having a dance party. Naturally we joined in. It was a blast. The students must have really enjoyed our dance styles because they keep taking pictures of us, I think they thought we were funny!
Tomorrow we head to Livingston for three days then back to the mission for a night. After that we head to Lusaka and are on our way home. Thanks for the continued prayers and support.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Today was our last full day of therapy at the Havens. Rach, Lace and I are back on language duty this week and it is going really well. The kids have finally fallen in to routine, and are really responding to the language stimulation. It is nice to see these kids coming out of their shells and talking more. They are bright little ones with lots of potential.
We have been trying to get the “Aunties” more involved with therapy so that they can continue after we leave. It has been slow going on that front but we have managed to form so close relationships with some of these ladies. I am confident they will do some FANTASTIC language lessons after we leave.
Today is the wonderful Caroline Martin’s 30th Birthday. We are so lucky to have her here on this trip and we are luckier to have the opportunity to share in her first days as a 30 year old. HAPPY BIRTHDAY CAROLINE!
Sarah, Marja (which I just found out this week, I have been spelling wrong all along), and I attended singing class after out movie night on the Hamby porch. Febby and Npoyanna (Two girls we have become close to here) said they were very sad to see us go on Saturday. Aubrey insisted we come to one last practice tomorrow night so that the group could all say goodbye. Sad Day.
We leave the mission in a week and the general feeling of the group is bittersweet. We have grown to love the babies here; each of us has claimed one of our own. We will be sad to leave them and I am certain I speak for everyone when I say that we wish we could take them with us. Home will be nice though. The land of reliable internet, hot showers, and few power outages.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Matty is little bitty thing and really likes to be cuddled up next to someone!
Lushomo is also so serious, he has a worried look in his eyes but it receeds when you make him laugh.
Hamilton is our Superman, he has gained weight and the “Aunties” even call him fat. Ha Ha.
Chowlee is super inquisitive and always likes to be the center of attention.
Bennett is a star, he has a sweet little smile and never complains that he itches, he has congenital syphilis, just always greet with a big smile and a coo.
Amanda is our resident princess, she cries when no one is paying attention to her or when we demand too much out of her.
Under the shade of big tree we buried Kelly this afternoon. Many Tongan songs were sung, tears were shed and Kelly was laid to rest with a peaceful breeze blowing across the African bush. We all knew a day like this might come but never did we anticipate how hard it would be. Kelly rests with Jesus and plays at the Lord’s feet now. We thank him for the time we had to spend with her and how her sweet, calm spirit touched our lives in such a short time. I am certain that Kelly will not be forgotten anytime soon
Monday, June 7, 2010
So after we fully drained the market of chitange and single-handedly stimulated the Kalomo economy, we headed home for dinner with Diet Cokes in tow. Sarah had complained of have a rough throat all day but I really thought she was just thirsty. Sunday morning she awoke with a horrible throat ache, the nurse confirmed Step throat. So once again, my roommate is sick! Great! We headed to church and had a blast singing with kids at children's church. We had another nice pot luck lunch which included Mrs. Ellie Hamby, who is something is a celebrity here in Zambia! She is larger than life and fantastic. After lunch, Lacey came down with something and after an all nighter, she also saw the nurse and has been down for the count. I babysat the sick ones while everyone else heading to sunday night service.
We headed back over to the Haven this morning for therapy. This week, we changed the groups a little (Rachel and I still get to be together) and we are doing both feeding and language therapy. Rach and I started with feeding this morning and Caroline had a great idea to read a sweet book the kids. "No Matter What", the words are simple but true. No matter what you are or where you go, I will always love you! So sweet that Rach and I began to cry. Sitting in that room, holding our babies tight, I realized I miss home but I will also miss my sweet ones when I leave. Mine is a torn heart, I love my family and want to be home, but I have also bonded with many of the little ones here and care for them deeply. I think the hardest part is leaving them with the uncertainty of knowing what will com of them.
Pray for our babies. They need as many as they can get!
I would post some pictures but after nearly 30 mintues of waiting for them to upload, I give up!
Friday, June 4, 2010
We have been on Language therapy duty this week, and it has been a real experience! It is amazing to see our little ones coming out of their shells and coming alive. We have been hear a lot of sound imitation and babbling in our baby classes, and lots more sentence structure with our older kids. They have been requesting and imitating words and sentences, also they are more vocal independently. Our day starts at Haven 2 with they older kids where we have a modified circle time, we introduce items and sing song about them. We have even managed to get the aunties involved. It was awesome to see them teaching portions of the circle time, makes me think this stuff is sticking. Then head to Haven 1 for our 1 year olds and younger kids. We do kind of a modified cradle roll class. After lunch we usually head back to Haven 1 where we do some individual type groups. Small groups with three of four kids and one therapist. We read books, sing songs, and imitate sounds for treats!! Yes bribing works here too. Then we go to Haven 3 and have two groups. One with little babies in bouncy chairs and another with about 12 toddler corralled into two beds. More singing and reading is done here. We have really seen these kids come alive this week and it has been truly amazing to be apart of that.
Wednesday after dinner, Marga, Sarah and I decided to head over to the college to attend the singing class. When we arrived we discovered there was going to be a bible study before our singing class began. The topic of discussion was Forgiving and Forgetting. These ladies posed some really tough questions to each other and it was intense to say the least. After the lesson was finished, the student body President and VP came in to make some announcements. It was a little uncomfortable for the three of us, as they were kind of airing dirty laundry. They told the girls that “there will be peace in the girls dorms”, the president then went on to say “he didn’t want to name names but he would.” After this was brought up, the VP discussed the dress code (which it seemed to me had been discussed more then once). This consisted of modest neat dress, with below the knee skirts and no trousers for girls. I can get behind that, it sounded good to me. Then the big kicker came. The President told all of the women “if you have a husband or a boyfriend that is not on campus, honor them with your actions.”
In Closing, honor your husbands and boyfriends with your actions. Remember who made you and who you belong to.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Today we celebrate the birth of our dear friend Rachel Pugh. Thank you Mr and Mrs Pugh for having her.
We haven’t had good internet service for a few days and every time I tried to post my blog, the internet would go out. So this might be a long one. I am going to combine a few days here.
We have had some great successes at the Haven this week. Our language group has seen imorovemnets in most of the children. They seem to be responding better to group activities and are transitioning much better from one activity to the next. We have even seen a decline in most of the behavior problems we initially saw. This is such a wonderful blessing to see these kiddos unfold and become more interactive. Most of the babies are feeling better but we still have some sick little ones. One in particular is baby Sidney. She is a Tuberculosis baby and is have some serious trouble. She has labored breathing, and is also having trouble eating because she cannot seem to breathe and eat at the same time. BW took her to the clinic today to see the nurse, so keep this precious little one in your prayers.
Other than sick babies and lots of spit up it has been a pretty successful week so far. It is amazing that we have been working at the Haven for almost two weeks now. I have seen so many of our wonderful little one really come out of their shells and it has been such an awesome blessing to witness. I am so thankful I have had the opportunity to come on this trip. One I am sure I will not be forgetting anytime soon. Keep us and our work here in your prayers.