I don't really have much to update you on from this week; there are only a few little things. We planned on having a bonfire Tuesday night and the team brought stuff to make s'mores with the kids (which is what they did last year when they were here). Some of the girls were going to go look for fire wood, but they weren't allowed to go alone, so I volunteered to go with them. I thought we were just going to be walking around the fields near us, but then Gary told me to take the truck and one of the boys would give me directions of where to go. So I had about 8 kids sitting in the bed of the truck, a girl sitting up front with me, and one of the older boys yelling the directions to me from the back. I'm not sure if I've already told you about how the road to this place is made from sand and really bumpy and uneven, especially after it rains, but the kids LOVE to drive fast through it….so for the first five minutes of the drive, all I heard was the older boy yelling from the bed of the truck, "GO SARAH-SARAH GO!!!". We turned down the dirt road that lead to the fire wood, but we didn't get too far before we saw water ahead; the road had been flooded. Of course the older boy wanted me to drive through it, but after I told him to go walk and see how deep it was, he got out, walked over to the water, and yelled jokingly, "NO SARAH-SARAH, I TOLD YOU IT'S TOO DEEP!!!" then climbed in the front seat with the other girl and I. We turned around and he told me to go to the main road. I wasn't really sure if he knew where he was going, or if he just wanted to go for a ride, but I continued anyway. After a few minutes on the main road, we turned onto another dirt road that lead into the bush (can't remember if I described that either, but it's basically like what we call woods, only there aren't many trees. It's mostly bushes, and other plants on the side of the road. Every so often you'll see the dirt paths going into the bush that lead to houses or water). The kids weren't worried at all driving through the bush, but I remember thinking, "Oh my God, we're going to die!" The path was really narrow, and I just kept picturing someone jumping out of a bush and attacking us! After a few minutes, we saw a guy who was herding some cows in the open fields, so we stopped and asked him for "directions to the fire wood". To my surprise, he knew what we wanted and pointed us to a place where we got what we needed. An after we had left, we arrived back at the children's home and unloaded the firewood.
We were a little unsure if we'd actually be able to have a bonfire that night because it was thundering in the distance, but the men from the team didn't want to wait until the next night in case the weather was worse. After the fire was started we told all the children to come outside and we started handing out marshmallows. It was crazy trying to give 60 children a marshmallow to cook, but luckily, Rebecca planned ahead and already had the chocolate and graham crackers all ready for them. A lot of the kids were sneaky and kept coming back to get more marshmallows, which we gave to them anyway. Everyone had a fun time after that, just running around the fire playing games. I felt bad for the night staff as we left; trying to get all of those kids to settle down and go to bed must have been hard!
I found out that there were about 10 kids who placed in the competition, and that they would have a chance this past Saturday to go compete again in the regionals. One of the teachers took the kids to get the birth certificates that they needed, but for some reason, they were only allowed to get two of them. So we only had two boys go to compete this past Saturday, and they both took second place. I feel bad for the others that were supposed to go compete, but it's neat to see how happy they were for the boys that got to go.
This has turned out to be a lot longer than I thought it would be, but I still have one more thing. I found out last week that it's going to cost me an extra $350 to stay here. So I feel bad asking for more money, but there have been a few people who have said they are still interested in sending money and have asked me where to send it. The best thing to do would be to send it straight to the Church, so they could just take the funds out when they need to. The address again is:
Children of Zion, Inc.
Thanks again, and please continue to pray for everyone here!