Okay- this is going to be an interesting process, but I’m starting from day 1 of being in Africa and I’ll work my way back!
July 23rd and 24th
It’s 7:23 on Saturday night. I can barely keep my eyes open I’m so tired from our journey here to Johannesburg. I am such a wimp. I’m laying under the covers wearing a huge pair of sweats, a long sleeved thermal sweater and another sweater on top of that AND I’m even wearing socks. That’s a big deal for me! Socks are for the weak!!!! But as if that isn’t enough proof, South Africa is VERY different than home! You realize how spoiled you are when you realize that the majority of those who live on this continent don’t have heaters in their home. AND IT’S WINTER. IN JULY. Literally, though. Their winter is our summer, so that’s been an extreme shock to these south Texas girls. Also, they drive on the other side of the road here- my advice is to just close your eyes and you’re bound to get to where you’re going virtually unscathed. We’ve spent the day getting vocabulary lessons from all the locals. For example, a “robot” to them is a stoplight to us. When they say “I’ll do that just now” it actually means “I’ll do it sometime between now and Christ comes back again” – that is an exact quote, folks! They call a barbecue a “braii” (I probably spelled that wrong) , and we were aught that if you ask for jelly on your toast, you’ll get toast and some jell-o. Just a little different. A pancake is actually a crepe and a cookie is really a cracker and a muffin is actually a cupcake.. cupcakes don’t exist. YOU SILLY AMERICANS. I have been surrounded with accents for the past 48 hours (especially for 7 hours in the London airport) and that has continued as I’ve met other volunteers from all over the world. There are girls from Finland, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, and even other parts of the U.S. Our hosts, Corrie and Marcelle have been so wonderful to us and it has only been an afternoon. They are devoted to serving the Lord and they have told us numerous stories of how the Lord has provided for them time and time again.
Okay, so it’s already the next day… I was too tired to keep writing. Today was day 1 at the Baby House. It has been an interesting experience. The babies have SO much personality. I don’t know which one if my favorite yet (I like them all), but I really like baby H. (We’re not allowed to say names or show faces, unfortunately). She likes to be told that she’s beautiful. And then she smiles REALLY big. It’s the sweetest thing. Baby T is such a flirt. He has little dimples and switches between smiling and making a grumpy face just for laughs. Baby A is extremely independent. Baby H(different than the first baby H) is sweet too- she has a huge personality and loves to talk, even though she makes no sense. She and baby T are very close to walking! Maybe that will happen before we leave. We get to help exercise the babies to make them stronger and then they watch a worship video while we feed them. It was such a peaceful and touching few minutes. These babies have Christ as their foundation now. How powerful! What a blessing that they have been rescued into such an environment as this! The Aunties, which is what we call all of the caretakers and house mothers, were so helpful today. There is a lot to learn and it can be overwhelming, but they helped us through it all. They taught us everything from changing nappies (diapers), to bathing and moisturizing the babies. I’m learning so much, but it is hard to remember everything. Today we worked with Louise, who is from Northern Ireland, and Emma, who is from Finland. Both are so kind and it’s wonderful to bond with people who are the same age, but who are from a completely different environment and culture over such a great cause! Louise is a professional already- she leaves Monday, and has already been here a month. Emma got here the same day as us and is staying for 5 weeks. I’m sure she will be a pro soon, too. I’ve only been here a day and it’s already incredible to see how much I care about these babies. They deserve all the love in the world. I can’t wait to go back tomorrow and see them again. Each baby has something about them that sets them apart from the others. It would take all day to list everything. I wish you all could meet them! They’ve already melted my heart. And then the thought comes- how could anyone abandon these babies? How? I just don’t understand. they are precious souls but at least God has called many people to take part in bringing them the opportunity to experience a better life than they ever would have, otherwise. It’s incredible. It really is. I can’t even begin to describehow happy these babies are. They love being alive and love to be loved on. It’s inspiring really. On the way to the baby house, Marcelle and Corrie told us that they typically use the time on the way to work as prayer time. We took turns praying out loud. We brought our praises and our requests before God with the South African hills rolling by through the window. Absolutely incredible. There is so much else to tell! I don’t even know where to begin! We had KFC for dinner tonight, needless to say I was happy. There’s not much opportunity to get on the internet here, so I can say that I really miss seeing what my friends are up to- but I will be just fine without it. I haven’t received any phone calls, which is good (because it’s expensive), but it’s strange not to feel so connected to everyone all the time. It’s probably best, though, because now I can truly be where I am. without the distraction. One neat thing that happened today was that we got a new baby from the hospital. We’ll call her baby A. She came in wearing one of the outfits that we brought with us from home! (proof that your donations were so valuable!!). You provided baby A with her first outfit! How special! One thing that was very neat to do for the first time was to hang out all of the laundry to dry. (I know, I know, spoiled American with a front load dryer). Gosh! What a humbling experience. There is just something refreshing about hanging clothes out in the sunshine. All the colors and sizes hanging on about 5 different lines, all in a row. It was like a work of art! (I’ll post pictures later!) It has been a wonderful day!
Talk to you soon!