Sunday, February 1, 2009

I am finally here!!!  (well, I have been since Thursday afternoon)  I landed in Johannesburg on Wednesday and on the drive to the Bed and Breakfast, I noticed that this town in South Africa looked a lot like Florida- there were palm trees and stores cluttered together everywhere!  Not what I pictured it looking like, but this is a big city in Africa, so I'm sure outside of Johannesburg it is more rural.  The Bed and Breakfast that I stayed at was beautiful!!  I had to order take-out for dinner, so of course, I ate sushi! :)

While landing in Zambia on Thursday, I was looking out of the window and saw what I thought was smoke from a big fire but it turned out being the mist rising from Victoria Falls.  After getting my bag and visa, I met Gary (one of the missionaries) and we headed out to go see Vic Falls.  Luckily, I took Gary's advice and rented a poncho before walking through because we would've gotten soaked!  We saw people come from the path who were completely drenched, and some people who were just in bathing suites.  The falls were beautiful though, and it was neat being able to see the flat land stretching far at the top and the water waaaaay below.

On the way back to the orphanage, we stopped to pick up two of the girls who were visiting family in one of the villages.  I would never remember where she lived though, because the "villages" were really just clumps of 4-5 huts along the way.  Sometimes there would be just one village and then you'd have to drive farther to see another one, and other times the villages would be about 20 feet away from each other.  Gary said that it took them a long time to figure out where her family lived at first; they had to ask many villages before finally finding hers!

I have met all of the children and am still trying to learn their names (it will take awhile with 60 of them).  A lot of the little ones were excited to see me and ran up to give me big hugs, but most of the older children were either too shy, or didn't care.  I am still not sure what I'll be doing while I am here, I am the only volunteer until about mid February, so there are lots of things that need to be done.  I think I will be teaching pre-school early mornings and maybe helping out with the older kids school until lunchtime.  Today I was playing with the younger children a little bit and we took playdough (or claydough as they called it) and were making different things out of it.  It was really interesting to me to see the older kids come over and start making animals for the younger ones.  The thing that was even more interesting was that they were making elephants and buffalo, whereas children in America tended to make shapes or snowmen. 

The last thing I am going to say before I go is to keep all of these children and ESPECIALLY four of these boys in your prayers.  The day I arrived here, an incident had occurred that put these four boys at risk of becoming HIV positive.  I went with Rebecca yesterday to get them tested and THANK GOD none of them were!  But they have to come back to get tested again in 6 weeks, then 3 months, then 6 months and then finally a year to make sure they still don't have it.  Rebecca said that hopefully at 3 months if they don't have it, then they probably won't have it at all.  The boys, who are all about 6 years old, were all so brave getting their fingers pricked and don't really understand what is going on.  Even today one of the boys asked, "Auntie Sarah, why did yesterday we get blood from our fingers?"  There is no way I can understand what these kids are going through and I feel bad because my life has been so blessed compared to theirs.  Please pray for all of them!!


1 comment:

Kristin Furr said...

Sarah - Remember me...I'm your dad's old neighbor (ran into each other at the gas station when you were heading to the airport)...I'm so happy to see that you made it safely to Rebecca and Gary's! And even more excited to see your blog posts! I have several co-workers, including my boss that spent several weeks at Gary & Rebecca's orphanage and I think they are going to subscribe to your blog too! One of my co-workers, Linnet was down there 2 summers ago and worked with the smaller children. She said she misses them a lot and hopes that you can write in your blog about how they are doing! I will ask her for specific names next time I see here. Well...just know that we are praying for you back home. God does call us outside our comfort zones from time to time, but that's the only way he can shape us into the Christians He has called us to be!
Wishing you all the best in doing God's work. Love - Kristin